The Old Coot is a nosy people watcher

I’ve recently written about the “UM” people and the “Huffer” people. Both of which you can’t help but notice when you are in a line. The “UM” people can’t make a decision and they say, “Um,” as they go back and forth in unsure choices. The Huffers get overly impatient in line, and huff and puff, crossing and uncrossing their arms and shifting their weight from one leg to another.

Now, I’ve discovered another branch of dysfunctional (sort of) people; the ones who sigh. A lot! A sigh is something we do unconsciously; we take in a normal breath, then draw in a second helping and exhale the double volume of air, which results in a notable sigh. It’s an involuntary action generated in the brain using in excess of 200 nerve cells, according to scientists who study this stuff. It happens when we feel sadness, anxiety, depression or despair. The sighers in line are sad; the Huffers are mad; the Um people are indecisive and disorganized. 

When you are around a sigher, you wonder what’s wrong and often ask, “Are you okay?” The typical response is, “Nothing!” If you mention that they are sighing a lot they think you’re a nut job. “I am not sighing!” they exclaim. They aren’t fibbing; they are unaware.

I don’t mind my own business when I’m out in public, especially when I’m in a line. I snoop on what everyone else is doing. Every once in a while I’ll encounter a “perfect storm” – a Huffer in front of me, a Sigher off to my side and an “Um” person at the register. It’s like listening to and watching a symphony orchestra of sights and sounds: Huff – Sigh – Um – Um- Um – Huff – Huff – Sigh. It makes me into a “Chuckle” person, chuckling in public for no apparent reason. I wonder who’s watching me?  

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