Monday, August 1, 2011

Overheard Conversation

I took my son to the doctor this afternoon and overheard this conversation between two women and I HAVE to share it. I have to idea what they were talking about my my imagination has kind of been going while all afternoon.

Woman #1: I just got back from the sauna retreat.
Woman #2: What did you think?
#1: It was really intense.
#2: Yeah, they are really intense, but very spiritual, too.
#1: I know what you mean, but intense.
#2: We had a retreat a few weeks ago and you'll never believe who (garbled name) invited.
#1: Who?
#2: Well you know we don't invite ANYONE in law enforcement, lawyers, judges, or anything like that.
#1: Or prostitutes. We don't invite prostitutes either. (by the way, my ears totally perked up at the word prostitute, and I didn't even pretend like I was reading my book anymore)
#2: Yeah, no prostitutes. Well, (garbled name) invited a parole officer!
#1: NO! What happened?
#2: Well, everything was fine the first day, but then the second day we did (her voice was too low for me to hear what they did, dang it!) and he started questioning things.

And then the doctor called her back! I was going "No!!!!!!" in my head because I needed to hear more about what kind of lives these women live.

But, no worries about me being bored. The other lady in the waiting room took the silence as an opportunity to tell me about how her husband just sold their house out from under her and forcing them to move to Oklahoma (they are moving next week), for no reason at all, because neither of them have jobs--totally venting to me! But we got called back before I could dive further into that.

I love doctor's office waiting rooms sometimes. We are in them a LOT (my oldest has a ton of health problems) and the things I've overheard.... Although, this sauna thing was the most intriguing conversation of all.

Have you ever overheard something juicy? Do these conversations ever make it into your books?


  1. WOW.
    yep- that would have my mind running...

    Too funny.

    I overhear crazy things, and it makes me wonder - WHY are you talking about this in public??

  2. Uh ... now I wish you would have heard the whole conversation! lol


    I love listening to other peoples conversations. I don't mean to half the time, but once I hear a good story, I just gotta listen to the rest!

  3. Prostitutes at a spiritual retreat? What kind of question is that? How weird. And funny.

  4. Wow! I've never heard anything like THAT in a doc's waiting room before! Hmmm. I wonder what kind of a sauna they go to. Illegal, perhaps? But don't forget "spiritual." Wow.

  5. I think I'm going to the wrong doctor's office. LOL

  6. What in the world was the parole officer questioning? Crazy!

    I like to make up stuff about people I see. For instance: those two are on their first date and she doesn't like him at all. Or: he's here with his secretary and not his wife!

  7. Maggie - I make stuff up about strangers, too. It's so fun. Nice to know I'm not the only crazy one out there. ;)

    Kaylee, I admire your restraint in not refusing to let the first woman leave when she got called back into the office. That conversation sure got my imagination running in many directions.

  8. I love listening to conversations of others, not so much for the content, but often for the rhythm and cadence of how they talk. It's especially fun to list when travelling in other parts of the country - getting a feel for which people will call a coke "soda" and who will call it "pop". Whether someone calls a faucet a spigot or a tap or a faucet ...a sack may be a bag or a poke depending on the age, location and social class of the person speaking. Getting a feel for that sort of diversity of speech really does help with writing dialoge. I'm not a fiction writer, but as an avid fiction READER one of the first things that will make me reject a book in unrealistic dialogue or books in which all the characters sound essentially the same. People speak in their own idiosyncratic ways in real life, I think they should in books too.


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