Friday, March 11, 2011

Downtime and Imagination

It's actually warmer this evening in Chicago than it was all day today while the sun was shining, perfect for long walks. I have a busy weekend planned, tomorrow I will be attending the Family Farmed Expo during the day, then enjoying dinner and cocktails at a friend's condo downtown before ending the evening at the St. Pat's Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center. Sunday I will be enjoying the shops and leisure of Lake Geneva Wisconsin. As a result of my busy weekend I am enjoying a Friday night at home, drinking wine, watching House Hunters and taking walks with my dog.

My favorite time to walk my dog is at dusk. I've blogged about my love of walking at this time of night before and never get tired of what I see, where we walk and what I imagine. "B" and I, (short for Beagle, although her name is Eloise) and I walked and walked this evening. Past the school down the street where children and their parents were arriving for an event, past the house where the 4 boys were playing basketball in their driveway with the garage lights on, past the park where the man walked with his wife and little boy. I like to make up stories in my head as I glimpse people in their homes. Tonight it was the old woman I always see in her condo, she often wears a green sweater and is always sitting in a chair facing the TV with a card table in front of her. I imagined her drinking whiskey, watching Aliens and enjoying curry takeout before she goes to bed at 3 am.

A few weeks ago I watched the movie Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It was a fun movie about a middle age couple, stuck in a rut, kids, work, dinner out once a week at the same restaurant... who have the time of their life one night after a case of mistaken identity. One of my favorite scenes was early on in the film when at dinner the husband (Steve Carell) asked his wife (Tina Fey) to imagine what other couples in the restaurant where thinking and saying. It was obviously a tradition they did every time they dined out and reminded me that it's common, this need for us to project our impressions and to imagine. My ex husband used to ask me to do this often in restaurants, but not because he wanted me to make up conversations or stories about strangers but because I have hearing like a bat and could tell him what a couple was saying from across the room. I prefer to imagine but eavesdropping is just as much fun sometimes.

Do you ever make up stories, maybe imagine that people's lives are more exciting, tragic, or even boring than they are?

No comments: