Confessions of a Perpetual People Watcher


Today, I am posting my very first guest post, and I am happy to introduce Sheri Zeck to you. Sheri and I met several years ago at a writing conference, and we both continue along in our writing journeys. We now participate in an online critique group together. For those that have or have had young drivers, you will appreciate this story!

Hi. My name is Sheri and I’m a people watcher. There, I’ve said it. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I just can’t resist. It doesn’t matter if I’m at the mall, sitting in church or waiting my turn at the doctor’s office. I like to observe people. I notice their mannerisms. I wonder about their - sheri's post #2 - May 26, 14Last week I had yet another opportunity when my oldest daughter and I stopped by our local driver services facility. Now that’s a people-watcher’s paradise. One step inside and you’re “trapped” in a giant room full of strangers.

We stepped up to the counter. “My daughter needs a permit.”

“Take a number.”

Emily and I glanced at the paper … number 50.

Across the room, a lady’s voice yelled above the noise. “Number 38?”

Oh well, I thought. May as well make ourselves comfortable. I took a seat and checked out my surroundings.

Sitting nearby, a petite grandma adjusted her glasses and squinted at some paperwork. I pictured her driving, perched on a pile of pillows and straining to see over the wheel.

Standing in line, a bald guy stroked his long, braided beard. Interestingly, the stretchy rubber band he’d chosen for his beard looked much like the ones I find all over my house.

Across the room, a teenage boy flipped through a Rules of the Road handbook. Every now and then, he’d run his fingers through a mop of greasy hair and tug at the back of his jeans, which relentlessly slid down his backside.

A few seats over, a young boy with bright red sneakers sat by his mom and kicked his legs back-and-forth. When he grew tired of that, he turned around, propped his chin on the back of his chair and stared at Mr. Braided Beard.

And then there was the young lady sitting next to me. I loved watching her. In fact, I’ve been watching her for years.

At one time I watched her stretch little arms out to me when she took her first steps. I watched her ride a bike for the first time. I watched her lug a Princess backpack up the wide steps of a big, yellow bus. I watched her get teeth, and then later, pull those teeth. I watched her get braces, and then later, get rid of those braces.

I’ve watched this girl go through fifteen years worth of milestones. And today was another.

“Number 50?”

We stood to our feet and stepped up to the counter. As Emily finished her eye test, I noticed a box of pens on the counter. I took three.

“Mom!” She looked at me like I’d committed a crime.

“What? They’re free – and I need a couple extra for my purse.

“This is a government building,” she said with a smile. “There are cameras everywhere. You’re probably being watched.”

Probably, I thought. Seems like wherever you go these days, somebody’s always watching.

Sheri Zeck head & shoulders 2013

 Sheri Zeck enjoys writing creative nonfiction stories that encourage, inspire and entertain others. Her freelance works include stories for Guideposts, Angels on Earth, Farm and Ranch Living, and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Sheri lives in Illinois and writes about her faith, family and adventures of raising three girls on her blog, Writing from the Heart. Visit her website at:



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