Eavesdropping on Girls Talk

We ALL listen into stranger’s conversations………… don’t we?

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A question for you, why are women’s conversations so darn interesting?

I am a people watcher by nature, I was going to write aren’t we all? But I know for a fact some people are so self absorbed they are oblivious to what goes on around them, perhaps a little unfair of me. So yes guilty as charged I can’t help watching people go about their normal lives, nothing creepy mind it’s just that if you find human nature fascinating well you have to observe! Oh and I should qualify that statement with I have a terrible habit for eavesdropping, perhaps an unsavoury character trait but if you’re going to chat to your friend about sexually transmitted diseases, then what’s a guy to do except listen in?

I really can’t help myself however I’m far from blameless in fact I blame this new phenomenon of telling the world your private business fairly and squarely on mobile phones! I can stand next to someone in a bus queue and they’ll happily chat about their lives to a friend consequently I’ve become very attuned to conversations going on around me, and I’ve heard some corkers when sitting on the bus enduring the awful evening commute out of Oxford. But what’s to do? For some unknown reason people seem totally comfortable having intimate mobile phone conversations out loud, however the eavesdropper only hears half the conversation so has to fill in the pauses while the other person answers, but don’t you think eavesdropping is just human nature?

(I’m not a gossip though, oh no tell me a secret in confidence and my lips are sealed)

Recently I overheard a lady explaining to a friend on the phone, how she’d just left a solicitor’s office after a meeting with her ex husband, a guy she described in these glowing terms,

“Thankfully I’ll never have to see his stupid little face ever again”, you get the idea they were divorcing.

I should add the half of the conversation I was listening to was the lady gleefully taking her ex hubby to the proverbial cleaners, the alimony, the furniture, the house she got the lot! Although she had to give him a token lump sum, and by the time she’d hung up I both felt sorry for the poor guy and thanked my lucky stars I am single! Mind you she had a pleasant well spoken voice and a personality you could call ‘bitchy’ but then again she was divorcing an ex hubby so perhaps her attitude was understandable……………….. 😀 hmm do I really want to ever marry?

I’ve lost count of the shear number of Court case conversations I’ve eavesdropped on, you see our County’s Crown Court (second highest Court in the land) resides in the city I commute out of, consequently all I can imagine is people leaving Court at 4pm are SO excited and intellectually stimulated, or are so frigging relieved, they jump on the bus, whip out their mobile and tell friends mothers or girlfriends what went on in Court and the outcome of the case, and again I fill in the gaps. I’ve overheard defendants discuss their knife crimes, wounding, robbery convictions and often accompanied with foul language, not forgetting drug abuse and all absolutely staggering conversations so much more entertaining than reading tabloid newspapers, or soap operas on the TV (I don’t watch TV!) Btw I’m not joking the stories I have heard!!

I’ve also overheard conversations that are so sad and upsetting, bare in mind they’re impossible not to overhear, perhaps when someone sits in their comfy Italian leather reclining seat they’re totally aware the person in the seat behind can hear every word? The other week a young woman from the seat in front of me was chatting to her mother in tears, letting her heart out as daughters do explaining how she could no longer afford the mortgage payments on her house and other bills, and by the time I’d descended the double decker stairs to get off believe me when I tell you 20minutes of sadness and upset had left me in bits. I almost felt like giving the young lady a gift of money (but is that patronising to admit), I’ve even felt guilty that I am lucky to be relatively well off!

I don’t know some people seem do get the rough end of life, so far I haven’t, but I’m afraid I’m unsure I could emotionally handle having my life turned upside down? Perhaps the consequence for my timidity is I’m a guy who doesn’t take a risk……. is still single…… a little unhappy lol.

The most entertaining eavesdrop I’ve had by far lol was again sitting on a bus! A jaw dropping tale where the girl behind who was retelling lurid stories of her slutty behaviour while being on holiday with friends in some Spanish holiday resort, fabulously entertaining that was! You’ll get the gist when I say she was a ‘sleep all day, drink party and sex all night girl’, well turns out she’d slept with a different guy every SINGLE night, good for her, you’re a long time dead!

Jeeze I was so envious………… why didn’t I go to Spain in my twenties? 😀

(Btw I’ll skip the conversation where three girls were comparing their shopping purchases and discussing the pitfalls of wearing bras that are tooo small……………….. honestly I ask you!!! And just the other week the girl sitting next to me was regaling tales of her first leg waxing session to her friend………….. after five minutes or so I had to turn and look at her, I smiled with raised eyebrows, she went red and her friend couldn’t stop laughing………….. either I’ve never noticed this before or times have changed and I’m getting old?)

Oh yes back to the entertaining eavesdrop!

Well on another journey home two teenage (@15) girls were seated across the aisle on the other side of the bus, a row in front of me, and suddenly my attention was pricked so to speak because the two young ladies were chatting about relationships and sex, oh and loudly with plenty of passengers within earshot. Well as you can imagine I’m listening into the conversation and I’d guess all the other commuters would have turned down their mp3 media, stopped reading their paperback novels all ears drawn to the girl’s sex talk. Then mid chatting about their love lives, one girl earnestly said to her friend and I could tell she was rather concerned worried and confused, saying in hushed tones,

“Can you catch STD’s from sleeping with another woman?”

Well I’m all frigging ears mulling over questions like ‘well can a woman catch an STD from sex with another woman?’ ‘And if so which ones?’ And I must admit I was as confused as the two girls! Well to cut a short story even shorter, her friend wasn’t much help and didn’t seem to know?

Then all of a sudden a middle age woman sitting a few rows in front of me, turned around from her seat, leant across to the two girls and answered,

“Yes you can my dear, you can catch STD’s.”

And having shared her caring advice she returned to her seat as if nothing had ever happened, then the worried girl turned to her friend and rather seriously said,

:/ “I’d better get myself checked out then” and with that their conversation stopped or changed subject I cannot remember?………….. Hmm I wonder if she did get checked or have an STI.

Well as you can imagine I was in my element listening in (wouldn’t you be? Btw we all were), however I couldn’t help wondering who the rather brave knowledgeable helpful woman was? I remember thinking she must be a lovely person to bravely come to the rescue of a troubled teenager, perhaps she was a mother with daughters? A school teacher? Or just an example of someone with such great empathy, devoid of embarrassment, that she could no longer remain quiet knowing both the correct STI answer and how important the teenagers understood diseases are exchanged skin to skin.

I was truly touched.

I wouldn’t have had the nerve to speak up possibly because I was pretty confused myself! My brain was listing any number of sexual diseases before settling on Genital Herpes, I’m reliably informed Herpes is very easy to pick up from skin to skin sexual contact, but either way I wouldn’t have had the nerve to pipe up and neither did all the other commuters within earshot…………. hmm :/ perhaps men should never get involved #MeToo and all that.

In life there are those who get involved and help others, and there are those who watch and do nothing? So I’m left wondering which one am I?

(Stating the obvious boys talk loudly over their mobile phones………………. but for some reason I only remember lurid tales told by young ladies 😀 probably because lady’s conversations are FAR more interesting engaging and darn right entertaining!)

©A. Shepherdson 2018.

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16 thoughts on “Eavesdropping on Girls Talk

  1. This is in response to your Eavesdropping blog. For some reason there wasn’t a comment or reply section after your blog so you may be getting this reply on another post.

    Anyhow, I think women in general have been raised to be more open than men. We get together with girlfriends and we talk. Women love to share their thoughts with friends. BUT… the age of the person depends on the conversation when in public. I guarantee you that I wouldn’t discuss intimate sexual details in a restaurant or a public setting, and neither would my friends. ALSO, I hate when people have phone conversations in public. Granted sometimes a business call will happen and those don’t bother me, but I consider it rude that the lady in front of me at the check out counter is chatting with the friends about crazy topics on the phone rather than checking out and holding me up or the line up. I dislike when people talk loudly talking on the phone in a restaurant too. It’s rude.

    However, My book club will have meetings in restaurants and we often discuss the book and go off on tangents. We laugh have fun and in a group we may have a glass of wine and get silly. But personal things are personal. And going into sexual details when the table next to you may have children is just plain rude. I suppose I am old school when it comes to bedroom talk. That isn’t info for everyone in a bus or a restaurant to hear. I will talk in private to my friends but not out in public. Why do strangers need to know how many orgasms I had???

    I did have a couple phone calls at work when I was going through a divorce. I went into a private area to discuss particulars. It wasn’t anyone’s business. Maybe because I am a mother, I always thought about protecting my children. And I wasn’t going to talk badly about their fathers in front of them or anyone else in public. It just is not in good taste.
    I think you can discuss many subjects in a quiet manner without being the center of attention. At some point, it comes down to class.

    Now, do I enjoy eavesdropping? Sometimes it is difficult not to hear people so I have often turned around and responded to people saying, Oh I agree too! Sometimes they laugh and other times they are shocked and realize they have been shouting. I have also had to say to some people, “Excuse me but I have my grand children with me and I don’t think your conversation is necessarily something everyone needs to hear. ”
    I mean my 6 year old grand daughter doesn’t need to hear about oral sex while having a hamburger with grandma for lunch. So there IS a limit. People need to be a little more self aware.

    But… I would told have gone up to the girls talking about STD’s and said something to them. Part of being a classroom teacher was giving a class on human sexuality, and so I would gladly, and quietly give them the proper answer. But as an educator. I wouldn’t have shouted it across the bus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I probably should have shared my STD anecdote with a little more care, this happened several years ago and possibly sticks in my mind because I’ve always had the impression the lady in question was a teacher, she delivered her helpful answer with purpose, in hushed tones and in such a way as her advice was never to be forgotten.

      On reflection Lesley, the advent of letting the world know your business and loudly, is a mobile phone using phenomenon! Railway trains in the UK have designated quiet coaches for the simple reason business men/women use the carriage as an extension of their office, and it’s teenagers who are the generation that are oblivious to the fact that telephone conversations should be considered private, I doubt their mothers would chat so candidly but lol ‘kids today’ don’t mind because everyone else does it………. btw I’m not surprised you overheard such a conversation in the burger joint!

      Yes my mother will chat with friends relatives for hours but jeez the topics are always appropriate!!

      The Courtroom conversations are a little different in that yes the mobile phone user is I’d guess relieved but I have the feeling, and knowing the type of people they are, their bs is showing off so that we other passengers are assumed either impressed or shocked………………… they should know I’m disinterested and couldn’t care less.

      Again reflecting on my post and your reply I have to agree the female sex is more open emotional and thoughtful than the male, throughout my childhood I’d be aware my mother would be on the phone for an hour simply because females are quite happy sharing their lives with others………. and their wedding reception conversations are a whole different topic!!!!

      Finally (a rather extensive reply this evening) the leg waxing episode was one of those lovely moments that happens once in a while, the two girls thought it absolutely hilarious that I was rather (a little) shocked and amused by their tale……… all innocent fun, it would be such a shame if connections like these between generations are seen as anything but good fun……….. but heaven knows why they should have been discussing such a thing in public? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s hard to know why kids say or do what they do. When I was a young teen I was singing protest songs and dragging my guitar with me everywhere. My friends and I were hell bent on stopping the Vietnam Nam War rather than talking about frivolous nonsense. It was a different time. We giggled about boys but everyone danced alone or in a group so it was rare that anyone was actually having intimate relationships. In college we had friends dying in Nam and so our protests to end the war intensified. I guess I was more worried about equality for minorities and women’s rights.. (Not much different from today. ) But we wrote letters and obviously used a landline only. Still…. I have to believe that Parents need to instruct their children about appropriate social behavior. I raised two sons. They worked after school, stayed on the honor role and were involved in school sports and activities. I think kids who have too much time on their hands need to read a good book and get off their phone for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Reading your replies to several WordPress posts (thank you) I’m very much aware your thoughts opinions and sensibilities are shaped through being a mother grandmother and school teacher, whereas I’m single guy employed in the engineering industry and err my language themes are perhaps freer (clears his throat) than they should be…….. then again a blog is a great place to let ones inhibitions flow….. appropriately of course.

          I cannot say too much here but I know two ‘little people’ and perhaps due to the internet and using social media devices, their opinions and outlook are those of teenagers much older………… their parents are fabulous yet seem happy to let sexual references pass them by, perhaps it’s a generational difference? Anyways it doesn’t worry me but lol my mother’s always shocked! As an aside Christmas last I gave the eldest a book containing the most popular Tales of the Brothers Grim………… I enjoyed paging through but he lol didn’t seem over impressed, hmm perhaps he read several tales after I’d gone home!

          Lesley I’ve watched many movies set around the Vietnam war period of American history and I can well imagine classmates fighting and dying would have affected your generation making them more politically aware than say my own, perhaps the antics of D. Trump and our Brexit fallout will sharpen the minds of both our country’s younger generations.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, it’s true. My generation went through a lot…one day we were in all in class and then heard last year’s captain of the football team returned home in a body bag. Stuff like that does tend to make young people think. My neighbor was shot down on a mission and died at 19, another friend came back without legs… all young kids. It affects you to the core.

    As far as children go, my oldest son, the one who is a father, is way more conservative than I am, and has to tell me not to say certain words around his kids. So I guess it depends on the person. My grands aren’t allowed to say something is “stupid”. So there ya go. My younger son is in his twenties and he’s very careful around kids. He is the one who works in the film industry and there are always kids on set. Nope, social etiquette is still important. You have to have boundaries. Just like I wouldn’t say to an 80-year-old woman, “How the hell you doing, bitch?” I’m in my 60s but To someone who is older than I am,I would be respectful. There is a way we can talk to our peers, and there’s another way to talk around people who are older or younger than you. Social skills are important to know and that is something to be said for people who don’t teach their children those skills. And that’s why teachers have a big mess on their hands. A lot of times the kids who come into our classrooms are so lacking in common decency and kindness skills. Often because their parents are always working, they don’t have the time to just talk to them about the right way to behave towards others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My apologies for not replying last night I’m a night owl but midnight was approaching . The little people of which I speak are relatives and absolutely delightful children with impeccable manners, very sweet, very funny and well behaved (most of the time). The reason they’re lovely children is simply because their mum and dad are fabulous parents, they both lead by example, set boundaries and I have a strong sense the children will blossom into young adults who will be a pleasure to be around 🙂 . Oh and one fact I’m convinced of, I know I don’t possess the patience to work in the wonderful teaching profession! x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. No need to apologize. (I always get a kick out of how you folks in the UK use the letter s where we put z). And as far as you being freer, it just depends on the topic. Would you feel free enough to storm the capital building and speak openly about how you’d change the government? Would you stand up in a massive crowd and share your written work? That will set you free! Would you play concerts in a stadium filled to the max?
    BTW, right before I went off to college my all girls’ band was the local opening act for a group you may be too young to remember (your mom would) The Dave Clark Five. So freedom and being free spirited doesn’t go away because the years pass. Remember that kiddo.😏😉✌️🎸

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😮 omg no way!!! As a Brit (btw we spell apologise correctly 😀 only joking) of course I’ve heard of The Dave Clark Five incidentally I popped over to YouTube to watch live performances of ‘Bit and Pieces’ and ‘Glad Over’, both toe tapping classics with a hint of Beetles influence……… maybe…………. perhaps…….. you tell me!
      Lesley I hold my hands up you got me there, yes I’ll write ‘freely’ about sex and women on a silly little blog HOWEVER I’m far from free enough in the truest sense of the word, though I have been on several demonstrations in my time, such as the march through London after PM Margaret Thatcher decided it’d would be a wheeze to close 75 deep coal mines, layoff 30,000 miners and decimate hundreds of tightknit mining communities in the process………….. but did that demonstration do any good? No I’m afraid not the ‘Pits’ still closed, though I guess that’s no excuse to give up on direct action………….. lolz I didn’t say I was a free spirit but you did get me there……… btw you didn’t say if you’d ever burnt your bra in protest and DON’T answer that one!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The best people watching experience I ever had was at the Boston train station. You’re right at how self absorbed people are. Nobody knew I was watching and listening in. Well…..almost nobody. I was caught by one.

    I have two teenage girls and when they have friends over it is amazing the things I hear. I have no doubt they downgrade it to PG for dear old dad’s sake. I cringe at the thought of what they say when I’m not around.

    Excellent topic. Must steal it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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