Monday, 24 June 2013

been people watching again

I am currently sat outside a cinema. I have been for two hours. I am not some bizarre cinema-watcher (although I have been today). And, at least for the moment, I am not sitting typing to hide the fact that I have been stood up. The real, entirely uninteresting reason, is that I arranged to meet The Husband here at half past six. My appointment this afternoon finished at half past two, but was close to the cinema. Rather than drive home and back again I decided to come here and do some work on my laptop.

It is phenomenal how much I have done. I’m guessing because my laptop is disconnected from the internet, and I have turned off mobile internet browsing, preserving battery for when The Husband might text. Which he just did, incidentally. He is stuck in traffic. Ho hum. I now realise I will not be able to post this until later (due to aforementioned laptop disconnection). However I am two hundred words in, and have time to pass (more than I thought from the sounds of that text), so I will continue, and you will simply have to suspend disbelief and imagine that I posted this the moment I finished typing.

It has been a rather pleasant afternoon’s work, with the radio on in the background, suspicious looks from the passing pedestrians aside. Admittedly a Cineworld carpark is not the usual location to write a dissertation in the middle of a Monday afternoon (or any other time for that matter). And if I was being completely truthful a cup of tea and a few biscuits would have been a nice addition. I’m not planning making this a regular revision haunt, but for today it has proved a success.

The obvious question, if you were the critical sort, would be why we didn’t just meet at a cinema nearer home. The answer is that I am easily swayed by a good deal. We sign up for free preview tickets of films and we have tickets for The Internship at this particular cinema tonight. When I say we, it is important I clarify (particularly as she has now found this blog) that my mum has signed us up, and checks for tickets, and the only work I have to do is walk the ten doors to her house and pick up the pre-printed slip that she has text to say is waiting for me. Spoiled doesn’t even cover it.

I am getting slightly distracted by Ralf Little talking about being a procrastinator on the radio – somehow feeling his successful career validates my own bad habits. It is interesting being sat outside a cinema. Couples arriving for afternoon dates, parents and children running in for an after-school treat, groups of friends kicking a ball up to the door and disappearing inside. I have seen quite a few people go in and then leave again. This is an anathema to me. I cannot fathom going to the cinema without checking what is on and what time it starts. I might be a procrastinator, but I am also a planner. I think very carefully about things before I don’t do them.

There is also a man, on his own. He stands on the steps and plays with his phone. He has looked at the posters a few times. He has headphones on and would look entirely at ease, except for the fact that his head whips up every time a car pulls up. First date? Second date? Have I got it completely wrong? It’s a funny old feeling that I remember well from my own first date, with The Husband, no less, at a cinema. The butterflies in the tummy, hoping they are going to turn up, but nervous about what to say when they do. My head is synchronised with the man on the steps. Looking up expectantly at every car that arrives. More than eleven years on I still have butterflies, but there are no nerves now. And there is a blissful comfort in knowing that he will, without question, be here.

Honestly and truly, with perfect Hollywood timing, as I typed that last word The Husband arrived.


  1. This is such a great post...and definitely encompasses the feeling of meeting on a first date, but also after eleven years.

    And seriously...people watching is one of my favorite activities!

  2. people watching is fabulous. There is a film, I think it might be date night, where they sit in a restaurant and make up stories about the other diners. I love that game!