Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Paradise for people watching
March 27, 2013
People are so funny.
Seriously. Sit back and just watch and listen the next time you’re out and about. They may not mean to be funny. They just are.
If it isn’t the snippets of conversations, it’s how they relate to each other or how they react to a situation.
Now I’m an observer, by nature, because people fascinate me. And I feel like sometimes I have a front row seat to the show.
My day job finds me each day in the lobby of a rental condo building in Beaver Creek. I get to see and hear it all.
One of the things that never ceases to amuse me is when people don’t think something through, so they do or say things that are rather obvious if they were to step back and take a look through a set of non-vacationing eyes. I giggle quietly inside, so as to not offend, every time we are asked if our outdoor pool is heated.
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“Yes, it is,” I answer, silently adding that if it weren’t it would be a skating rink surrounded by lounge chairs. We don’t have a zamboni, so we decided to heat the water instead. It was a tough choice, though.
The lobby level of the building where I work is actually one flight up an open grand staircase from the front entrance. There is a constant stream of people, including those navigating in ski boots and occasionally those with a stroller, who get off the elevator at the lobby level, then walk down the stairs to get to the exit. Or huff and puff up the stairs every time they come in on their way to the elevator, commenting on the lack of oxygen each time they do so.
Now don’t think I sit there sadistically watching them suffer. It’s just that in most cases, I’m not given an appropriate opportunity to point out to someone that the elevator actually goes all the way down to the ground level. It’s hard to do this without making a guest feel foolish. And the concierge gods would take away my headset if I broke the cardinal rule and made a guest feel bad on vacation.
I have an odd reaction to people walking through the lobby wearing a robe. I realize they are typically headed to or from the hot tub, so it’s perfectly normal and acceptable, but perhaps because the lobby is my workspace, I find it very strange when someone comes up to my desk and starts talking to me, standing there in a robe, sometimes with it falling open, exposing their swimsuit beneath. Imagine if you will, that someone strolled into your office in a robe and started talking business with you. See? This is the reaction I have!
In my mind it’s out of context. But to them, it’s completely normal. They’re on vacation, enjoying themselves, guard down. Cracks me up.
Last winter we had a three-generation family staying in our lodge. Father, son and two grandkids, ages 3 and 5. This was by far the loudest family I had ever met, and this from someone who has been told on more than a few occasions to turn down the volume of her voice.
They had no qualms about yelling across the lobby for their children, to talk to each other in highly elevated tones from the lower lobby to the upper lobby via the open staircase, the kids frequently announcing at top volume for all to hear that they had to go to the bathroom.
I walked down the hall past their condo and could hear the bellowed conversation as clearly as if I was in the room with them, the grandfather asking repeatedly, “Jordy, do you want to play horsey?” And the son answering, repeatedly, “Dad, he doesn’t want to.” They made me smile every time I heard them coming.
One half of a cellphone conversation is always good for a chuckle. People on the phone often forget they are in a public place and the things that come out of their mouths can be taken out of context for my amusement.
The other day, a man paced the lobby talking animatedly and loudly, his words echoing throughout the open space so much so I could not ignore what he was saying. He kept insisting, “Well, I can show you mine. …”
I finally glanced over at my colleague to see if I was the only one hearing this to see her shoulders shaking with stifled laughter.
I love people. They are hilarious.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.