I Love to Eavesdrop


Ok, I admit it…I love to eavesdrop on people’s conversations.

But I really don’t like to call it eavesdropping.

I prefer to think of it as “investigative reporting.”

How else do you think I get my blog posts?

And I especially don’t consider it eavesdropping, when I’m listening to a woman who’s standing 100 feet away from me in the post office, SCREAMING at the top of her lungs on a cell phone, “WHY DID YOU HAVE TO CHEAT ON ME, YOU BASTARD? AND WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE WITH MY SISTER?!?!”

No…that’s not eavesdropping. That’s called hearing.

One of my favorite things about eavesdropping, is trying to make it look like I’m NOT eavesdropping. I mean, if I’m going to be nosey….I want to at least be clever about it.

One of the greatest places for me to eavesdrop is at Starbucks.

Maybe it’s all the caffeine that people are drinking that makes their lips flap so freely, but I always hear some of the most interesting conversations there.

Like the other day, when I stopped in for my afternoon grande’ coffee and a cinnamon chip scone.

I was sitting all alone at a table, listening to these two guys talking at the table next to me. And the whole time I was eavesdropping, I pretended that I was going through my wallet sorting out debit slips, yet my ears were glued to their every word. And after I finished sorting out my wallet, I then pretended to write a grocery list in my little notebook, but what I was really doing, was writing down their conversation. I decided not to post it though, because what started out as a very good conversation, ended up being about what color they were going to paint their bedroom walls in their new apartment.

“Do you think we should paint the walls in that Ralph Lauren khaki color? The Laura Ashley periwinkle? Or eggshell?”

And in my mind I’m thinking, “How about FUCHSIA with a CHARTREUSE border, ladies??”

I especially love Starbucks in the morning, because the place is always filled with tons of office people bitching and moaning about their co-workers. And I always feel so much better after listening to them, because it reminds me that we all have at least one asshole at our job. Now when I eavesdrop standing in line, I usually just pretend to be looking at all the pastries in the case. Sometimes I even pretend to be listening to the music that’s playing in the store; making it look like I’m really getting into it, by bopping my head and moving my hips a little. It’s the perfect cover-up, because no one ever suspects that I’m listening. They just think I have really great rhythm.

I think I’ve missed my life’s vocation.

I should have gone to college to become a nosey television journalist.

And can you imagine….?

“Hi…this is eavesdropping NBC news reporter, Ron Carnavil, coming to you LIVE from Starbucks.”








Have a wonderful eavesdropping weekend, everyone!

38 comments

  1. Ah, the art of eavesdropping!

    Sounds like you're a pro at it.
    I, on the other hand, have lessons to take, apparently.

    The problem is I've trained myself not to.
    But after hearing your adventures--I might wanna reconsider! LOL

    It's just that I have very good hearing and very poor attention span...and a very, very creative brain.

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  2. You little snoop, you!
    I too love to listen into other people's conversations and other things that they think no one will hear. I love to put a glass up against the wall of a hotel room and listen to what is going on in the adjoing room. I sit there for hours with a tumbler imbedded in my left ear and listen to the hum of the next room's TV and the toilet flush.
    When I go to church I listen for the hushed wisphers in the sacred place and I hear "Look at Mary. What a slut she turned out to be and here she is in church. What nerve she has." I being the saint that I am, will move closer to hone in on this convesation so I may not miss a word.
    Then there are times in the supermarket I will follow someone around just to hear what is going on in the life of perfectly unknown boring person just to know that I am not the only one in the world who has a love for talking to the shelves of food and standing in front of the yougurt selections and say " 59 cents a piece now that is a bargin."

    Oh what a wonderful life I have. Next time around I want to be a tape recorder.

    Have a great day

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  3. OHHHH RON, we could do the broadcast TOGETHER!!
    I swear that not too long ago, I was sitting in Starbucks with a pen and a piece of paper and was actually writing down things about people because I was going to do a blog post about it!! Then I thought that it would be boring to most people because I'm just not a good writer. But all the neat characters and personalities are certainly in there at times. And how can you NOT do a little eavesdropping?! Some of them talk so loudly, it's almost like they WANT you to listen. And the ones that really drive me crazy are the bluetoothers. They are just standing there, and then they say something, and you think they are talking to you but then you see that THING in their ear. It's so obnoxious sometimes. Okay, I use my cell phone occasionally, but usually quietly at my table, not just hanging at the condiment bar, in someone's way, with my arms folded looking all important, like this stopping to get a coffee thing is just holding up the day.
    LOL You just want to tell them... 'sit down, relax, don't take it all so seriously'....

    Sometimes when I'm sitting there listening to my iPod I will turn it wayyyy down if I think someone might be talking about something interesting. Other times, like you, I'll pretend to be doing something else but will have one ear listening.
    I haven't heard anything too delicious and gossipy for awhile though. But I'm hoping to go there today, and it's Friday, so maybe someone will have exciting weekend plans that I can report. LOL

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  4. I love people with cell phones who think that as soon as they answer it, the invisible walls go up and around them!

    You should more retsraint than me. I would have been forced to mutter "I completely understand why he cheated on you." *snort*

    Have a beautiful weekend.

    ~vk~

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  5. I would so watch that show!! You could be like TMZ - except with a heart and a soul and some intergrity

    it never ceases to amaze me how people will just walk around public space blabbering into their cells - with the damn bluetooth thingie it looks like they're all just talking to themselves

    have a great weekend

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  6. Mornin' Mel!

    aaaaah...ya see, it's that Libra energy of ours that makes us have a creative mind, good hearing, and a poor attention span. It's all that "air" in our sign.

    I'm the same way, Mel!

    But for some reason, I can sit for hours and just listen to people around me talk. It's like my hearing suddenly MOVES to wherever there's a conversation going on.

    You should see me on a SUBWAY!! I can listen to three different conversations simultaneously, PLUS keep an eye on my subway stop!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!

    Thanks for dropping by, dear lady!

    And I want a FULL report from you on the next conversation you eavesdrop, ok?

    tee, hee!

    Have a great weekend!

    X

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  7. Bwwwhaahhahaahahahaa...Sir Dave!!!!!

    I hope you know just how much I enjoy your brilliance!!

    Dave, Dave, Dave....I think I should have you do a guest post on this blog soon!!

    You're not going to believe this, but I was actually going to use a photo of a man holding a glass up against a wall eavesdropping, for this post, but I had trouble downloading it, so I opted for this one.

    Hey, you reminded me of all those times as a kid, eavesdropping on people in church. And let me tell ya....those were some of the most "juicy" conversation I've ever heard!!

    God love em'!

    Thanks sooooo much for sharing your humor on this post, bud!

    I so enjoy it!

    Hope you get in some great eavesdropping this weekend!

    X

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  8. Howdy Crystal Chick!

    OK...can I just tell you how much I was thinking of YOU when I wrote this post!!!!

    I know how much we both enjoy frequenting bookstore coffee shops (especially Barnes and Noble), which is a Starbucks. And I knew you'd have something interesting to add to this post!

    And you did!!

    Don't you hear the most INTERESTING conversations there? And it's like you shared...you can't help but hear them, because everyone is talking so damn LOUD!

    OMG...and don't EVEN get me started on bluetoothers! I get them in our store ALL DAY LONG, and what totally pisses me off about them, is that they don't want you bother them or even approach them, but then when you ignore them, they get insulted that you're not giving them good customer service. So whenever I see a customer with one, I just walk away.

    They all look like air traffic controllers, anyway!

    Hey, listen...I think that's an awesome idea about you and I doing a broadcast together! We can just get a digital recorder with a microphone and hang out all day in B&N on Rittenhouse, and do LIVE broadcasts!

    We can be the infamous M & Ron broadcasting team!

    Thanks for sharing on this post, neighbor!

    MUCH enjoyed!

    And I hope you get in some good reporting today!

    Have a great weekend!
    X

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  9. Good Afternoon Vixen Kitten!

    Hey...did you just recently change your avatar?

    It's wonderful!

    What beautiful eyes you have, dear lady!

    OMG...you have NO IDEA how much restraint it takes for me to NOT say something to people talking LOUD on cell phones. And because I live in a city, I hear it ALL DAY LONG on the streets. It totally amazes me what people will talk about in public. It's the verbal arguing that really gets to me.

    "I mean, come on...do we ALL need to hear your dirty laundry?"

    Grrrrrrrrrr

    Thanks oodles for stopping by today, Vixen!

    Hope Pea is doing well!

    Have beautiful weekend!

    X

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  10. Helloooo Dear Dianne!

    Every time I think about you, you leave a comment!

    It's ALWAYS so great seeing ya!

    OH, PAAALEESE!!!! I just shared a ventful comment with Crystal Chick about my feels on people using a bluetooth. THEY MAKE ME INSANE!!!

    I can never tell if they're talking to me, or themselves.

    I'm one of the RARE people on this planet who doesn't own a cell phone. I'm really not a big phone user, so it's never been a problem. I think they most definately come in handy sometimes, but man...they've gotten way out of control.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, Dianne!

    Wishing you a wondeful weekend!

    X

    P.S. and are you LOVIN' this nice cool weather?? Yep...I know you are! Me too!

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  11. Dear Ventie,

    I love to Eavesdrop and to be nosey. I often give my advice when I hear a conversation that is loud enough for me to hear. I simply say I couldn't help over hearing your conversation!

    I can't tell you how many acquaintances I have met that way.

    I love to listen to others ranting and raving. Its like they almost have an audience. However I can relate to the cell phone lady.

    I was on my parents driveway and I used some choice words with an ex of mine and my brothers friend
    (they both happen to be 10 at the time they are now 11). Told my mother as she was taking my brothers play date home, how he never heard those words before. That little boy was never invited over again!

    That child is such a prude!

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  12. Hellooooo Domestic Diva!

    YOU GO, GIRL!!!

    Let it RIP!!!

    OMG...your comment made me HOWL!

    And I so agree with you about meeting people through eavesdropping. Like you, I don't have a problem with joining in a conversation if I know I can add something substantial. I mean, why not? If I see someone lost on the street, I'll usually go right up to them and ask if I can help.

    I really enjoying meeting new people and talking to them.

    Everyone at work calls me the TALKER!

    I can literally talk to a wall and have fun!

    HAHAAHAHHAHHA!

    Thanks soooo much for stopping by today, Diva!

    It's always a pleasure seeing ya here!

    Have great weekend!

    X

    P.S. Happy Eavesdropping!

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  13. You could give lessons in eavesdropping Ron! :0

    I have to confess I do it too thought my Mum always told me "Eavesdroppers never hear good about themselves!" Thankfully I've never heard anyone talking about me. ;)

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  14. ron, can i just say that little round ron is so cute with the blue eyes? do you really have blue eyes?

    well, i think i'm back from troll hell and if not, i will be taking my blog private and you will join me, right??

    your post about snooping is so funny...i do wish you lived near me, you would be so good for my depressed state of mind....why don't you drop everything and move out here? it's glorious! anyway, i have seen people JUST LIKE YOU in places like starbucks listening and i think it's one of the best places to find out what people are REALLY so preoccupied with, excepting sometimes i wish i hadn't listened! ;)

    xoxoxoxo to you, ronnie.

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  15. OK, now that offends me when someone comes in to my work and has an ear glued to a damn cel phone the whole time (or WORSE: driving behind me, and using both hands during their conversation.) I just think it's rude and stupid beyond all rudeness. I'm supposed to acknowledge with a greeting, but they totally ignore me (more than likely they're just lookie-loos killing time ANYWAY) but I still greet them and they're totally oblivious.
    And irritating loud ring tones? I went to pay my Verizon bill one day and someone had "Obama Obama Obama..." now as much as I like Obama, there's no way I'd get something that damn irritating....even if it was free!
    And no, I don't want to hear nobody's damn dirty laundry/gossip/about the sale on the current hypey-handbag brand having a sale, or...

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  16. Hey Ron!!

    It's something I REALLY miss, though I've gotten kinda good at evesdropping in "French," it's still not the same! Plus, it's not as interesting... I think Americans a are hands-down the best people to eavesdrop on!!! They share ALL kinds of info.. French people don't talk about this kind of stuff in public, let alone within audible hearing range!!
    So, I'll just have to live vicariously through you until I get back to the States this summer!!
    Take care and have a FABULOUS weekend!!
    Leese

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  17. Good Evening Akelamalu!

    Hey...I was thinking about starting an online school for eavesdropping called: Dropping Your Ears School of Listening

    Summer registration starts soon!

    HAHAHAHHAHHAHA!

    I like that...

    .."Eavesdroppers never hear good about themselves!"

    I believe it too!

    tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    HAPPY SPRING to you!

    You're weather is coming!!!!!

    X

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  18. Hellooooo Linda!!!!

    YES...I really do have blue eyes!

    SO glad you like the little Ronnie caricature! If you look on my right sidebar, you'll see another one. I found this GREAT place online, that lets you create caricatures of yourself for FREE!! I've made about five already. I even have one for summertime too!

    YES...I will definately follow your blog if you go private with it! Just let me know when and if you do.

    I LOVE Starbucks for eavesdropping! And it's also a great place to "people watch." Living in a city, so see all kinds of characters coming off the streets. I've literally gotten so many idea's for blog posts from there.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by today, dear Linda!

    HAPPY SPRING TO YOU!!!!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    XO

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  19. Aloha Debi!

    OK...since you and I are BOTH in retail, I can SOOOOOO identify with your ANNOYANCE of customers talking on their FREAKING cell phones and trying to purchase something from me at the same time!#!?*!

    Grrrrrrrrrr!

    OMG...and the RINGERS?????

    What the hell ever happened to just a PLAIN ring???

    I actually wrote a post WAY back when I first started this blog called Cell Phone Ringers, so if you really want to know how I feel about them, check it out. It should be in my archives either Sept or Oct 2007.

    GREAT seeing ya, Deb!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Have an awesome weekend!

    Hope you had a great first spring day!

    X

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  20. Bonjour Leesa!

    YOU ARE SOOOO RIGHT!

    American's hands down, talk more openly and freely in public about personal stuff.

    God...when I was living in Japan, my eavesdropping went down to NOTHING, because they're so reserved and respectful.

    But I bet it DID take some gettting use to, eavesdropping in French!

    Oui Oui Madame!

    Thanks for stopping by, Leesa!

    Hope you had a FABULOUS Spring day with the gals!

    It was beautiful here, but VERY cold!

    *but I'm not complaining.

    tee, hee!

    X

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  21. Oh, you'd have loved eavesdropping on the conversations that the people at the company I used to work for had... there was more than just one a**hole in that place!!!

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  22. Morning Tinseltown~

    Yea...I kinda have more than just one at my job too.

    Tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Have an AWESOME weekend!

    Happy Spring!

    X

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  23. wow, now that's what i call a cell phone call that i would like to listen to. normally i tune people out, but if you're going to scream about cheating. i'm going to listen. what would have been funny in star bucks is if you would have suggested a color and then sat at their table and went over some color ideas with them. lol. maybe they would be more quiet next time.

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  24. Mornin' Natural!

    OMG...you are TOO TOO funny!!!!

    The two guys in Starbucks were actually looking through a color swatch book, and I was DYING to get a better look!!

    I think the next time I eavesdrop, I'll bring along a periscope!

    HAHAHHAHHAHAA!

    GREAT seeing ya, Natural!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  25. Next time I see someone getting into the rythm of the store music I will be watching what I am saying lol

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  26. Hi Grumpy!

    Oh damn!!

    I gave away my eavesdropping secret!!!

    tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by Grumpy!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    X

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  27. ya know, I don't go to starbucks, as it is close to a million miles away, but
    (~giggle~)
    You would have loved the conversation my girlfriend and i were having at the airport last week, she was bitching that her sons balls were so big he kept wearing out his underwear.
    seriously!?
    and she was so pissed because his dad, he X,
    had the most microscopically small ones that she decided that a woman was a much better lover because she could pick penis and ball sizes at the store.
    I never saw anyone fall over, so i guess no one was listening.
    I thought it was funny, but then
    I love her, and she always cracks me up.

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  28. OMG, OMG, OMG....Sorrow!!!!!

    I wish you could have heard me BUSTING out laughing when I read your comment!!

    I was CHOKING!

    HOLY SHIT....THAT WAS FAAAAAAABULOUS!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    And I would have given my right BALL to have heard that conversation!!!

    I have a wonderful feeling that I would LOVE your friend too!

    I can't thank you enough for sharing that story!

    And it's FAR better than any conversation I've ever eavesdropped on in my life!!

    Thank for stopping by, lady Sorrow!

    Love you!
    X

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  29. The advent of cell phones has made eavesdropping so easy! People on cell phones are like people in cars, they think they are invisible for some reason. The things they say in public are equivalent to car nose-picking! Astounding!

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  30. Mornin' Nitebyrd!

    Yea, and what "I" really love...

    ...are the people who talk on their cell phones in public and PICK their nose at the same time!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

    Thanks for the GREAT giggle, Sis!

    You always do that to me!!

    Enjoy your Sunday!

    X

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  31. You are such a scream. I love to eavesdrop, I mean listen, as well.

    I'll have to remember the head bop, hip sway next time. That's brilliant!

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  32. No wonder you always have such good posts. hee, hee

    Have you noticed that people talk loud on their cell phones..you can hear some crazy stuff that way too.

    Keep up the good reporting..we love ya!

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  33. Hiya Chrissy!

    Yea, DO try it....

    ...because everyone will think you're a Sold Gold Dancer!

    I can't tell you how many autographs I've signed!

    HAHAHAHAHAHHA!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady!

    Always a joy!

    Enjoy your evening!

    X

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  34. Good Evening Dearest Gypsy-Heart

    It's SOOOOOOOO wonderful seeing ya!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    OMG...it totally amazes me what people will talk about in public on their cell phones.

    And you're right...they don't even try to whisper, they SCREAM it!

    Oh well...if it weren't for them, I'd never have a blog post!!

    Tee, hee!

    Hope you're enjoying this glorious SPRING, my friend. I know how much LOVE it!!!

    Love ya!

    XXXXXX

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  35. Interesting concept, depending on where you live. In the city, interesting. In the country, often touching. I an inbred-redneck community, decidedly too much information and rather disgusting at that.

    Great work, Ron.

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  36. Hi Chris!

    Welcome! Hey, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share a comment!

    Nice meeting you!

    Your comment made me HOWL!

    That was great, buddy!!!

    Please stop by anytime. You're always welcome!

    Enjoy your evening!

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  37. I am not alone!!!!!!

    Ron,

    I just recently came across your blog and will now be reading your blog forever (or at least until you stop blogging). Why you say? If I had to pick only one reason (out of many), it would be because of this eavesdropping post. I do EXACTLY the same thing, and have actually also justified it by calling it "investigative journalism." In fact, I'm currently writing from Starbucks and listening to the people around me.

    I would love for you to check out some of my "Things I overheard" posts over at my personal blog --- http://the-berto-blog.blogspot.com.

    Keep up the great work, Ron. Looking forward to your future posts!

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  38. Greetings Roberto!

    Welcome!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time share a comment. It's so nice meeting a fellow-eavesdropper!

    And doesn't "investigative reporting" sound so much better than eavesdropping?

    I SO need to get a laptop, so I can blog instantly in Starbucks! The stuff you hear in there is FAAAAABULOUS isn't it??

    Anway...I can't thank you enough for your kind words, sir!

    So glad you enjoy Vent.

    And YES...I will definitely stop by your blog and check it out - love to!

    Stop by here anytime...you're always welcomed!

    Enjoy your evening!

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