It’s a bit early for this, but today I figured out my New Year’s Resolution. I’m going to stop eavesdropping on other people’s conversations.
I haven’t quite figured out how to manage it, though. I could use those smushy waxy earplugs to stop up my ears. Or “noise cancelling” headphones might do the trick. Worse comes to worse, I could just be overzealous with the old Q-Tips one morning.
But somehow I have to stop hearing stupid people talking to each other. It’s not my fault that it happens. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. My father used to say that if there was a “weirdo” in the room, the weirdo would seek Dad out. That’s true for me too.
Like today. All I did was walk out the back door of my building to the salad bar next door, when the conversation of two men behind me caught my ear.
“…you only need to tune it every five years.” Said the first. I’ll call him “Mr. O.” “It just costs you $500 every five years. Really holds its value.”
“Whoa!” I thought. “A car you can ignore for five years? This I have to hear.”
But the two guys were not going to the salad bar next door. They continued on past it. I really wanted to hear about that car – it’s such a pain getting service around here. So I kept walking in front of them, coatless, on a pretty nippy December day. Yes, I’m an idiot.
“When you’re going to invest that much money,” continued Mr. O, “you want to get your money’s worth. And you get it with an Omega.”
“An Omega?” I thought. Now John loves to talk cars, and while I don’t really listen, I do get some information by osmosis. “I’ve never heard of an Omega.”
“I don’t think you can go wrong with a Rolex,” said Mr. R.
“What the F—-! I’m freezing my butt off to listen in on two rich guys going on about their ridiculous, overpriced watches. Can you say “conspicuous consumption”? Now try it with your bloomin’ teeth chattering.
“No, an Omega is the way I’m going,” Responded Mr. O. “If I’m going to ask my wife for a $15,000 watch, I want an Omega.”
Now, as I shivered, I tried to imagine who needed a $15K watch. Were they marine biologists needing a watch that would keep on ticking while the dove 20,000 leagues under the sea? Were they astronauts, who needed a special watch for some reason I’ll never comprehend? Were they simply close to Newt Gingrich and therefore got to tap into that Tiffany’s account?
By this point, I still hadn’t seen them. But I was dying to. Did Mr. Omega look like this:
Did Mr. Rolex look like this?
Nope. They looked more like this:
Me, I looked at my cheapo watch, and realized that I’d been outside in the cold for 20 minutes. But hey, saved money today by eavesdropping. By the time I’d finished listening, I was too nauseous to eat lunch.