I’m preparing to teach a class on creating and analyzing characters to a bunch of home schooled high schoolers. I confess, the prospect and planning have kept character attributes on the forefront of my mind.
I sat in the mall food court the other day, (teenage sleepover event) and made little notes about everything I noticed.
- A group of young moms were boisterous. Looked like they’d just finished a round of mall-walking. One at a time they power-walked their double strollers toward Frulatti. Except one lady. She didn’t have a stroller. She carried an infant in a wrap around her shoulder and had a curly-haired toddler by the hand. She brought of the rear, naturally. And I got the feeling she was a newbie to the group. They included her, but she didn’t have the fitness-enthusiast look about her. I wonder if she thought this was a toddler play-date? I felt sorry for her, but at least she wore sneakers.
- Later there was a very tired mom of two (no wonder, there) and her child-deprived husband. Totally different looks. He had the baby on his shoulders with one hang on its back and holding the preschooler by the other hand. All the while, with a smile on his face, he talked about the things they’d see and planned to see. The mom, meanwhile, was pushing the empty stroller. Several paces behind them. No make up, comfy clothes, messy hair. But her eyes got me: half-lidded with raised brows like she was already half-asleep. Yes, my friend. This is date-night for the next few years. Sorry ’bout that.
- Finally on the way home, we pulled to a light beside a couple of people on motorcycles. I’m not talking the stereo-typical, leather-wearing types. This guy wore regular working shoes, gray slacks – yes, loose-fitting slacks – and a shirt in a little deeper color. He remained still at the light, watching the lady next to him. On her own bike. She was the one who struck me. This highly caffeinated woman had first date written all over her. Wearing spiked heels and yellow leather pants (at least it looked like leather), she certainly drew the attention. Blond hair bubbled over a white blouse. Yes, bubbled because she never stopped moving. She danced on her seat. Tapped her toes. Leaned herself and her bike from one foot to the other. All the while bobbing her head and tossing her hair back. I watched her until the light changed and the couple turned right, all the while thinking, “Lady, you are trying too hard.”
Those are my character moments for this week!
Your Turn: Here’s a challenge! Observe the folks you encounter this week. No, really observe them! Figure out something about them based on their body language or movements and come share about it. There are too many interesting folks around to stay silent!