Many of you may know that writers are constantly doing character studies. We are intrigued by people. I think that is what makes us want to write.
I am constantly watching people, trying to figure them out from afar (sometimes, even from up close). At restaurants I'm sitting in the corner booth by myself sometimes, watching people interact. Coffee shops and bakeries are great for this. At the mall, at the movie theaters, around the lake. I am constantly taking small mental notes of how people interact and argue and talk and laugh and cry and smile and add it to this little repertoire of instances.
Facebook is a horrible tool for this. Horrible not in the sense that its not useful; horrible in the sense that its too useful. I feel like Facebook: taking advantage of the fact that people post personal information for all to see. I'm not "stalking" random people, mind you. Not strangers. Just old friends. The type of "friends" that are really just acquaintances but you got to meet once in a lecture or you're old acquaintances from high school. I look at their walls, their photos and try to get a sense of where they are, what they've been doing with their lives since we last talked (which often is years).
One friend in particular has intrigued me since high school. She is the epitome of perfection for most people. She's gorgeous, she's smart, she's super nice, (and as a result, she's super popular), she's community service oriented, she's well-dressed but not slutty, she's Christian, and she seems to have a very high future waiting for her. I look at her pictures and not only feel jealous at her easy beauty (there are just some people who are blessed with looks) but wonder if she is as perfect as she appears. What does she struggle with? What does she long for? What makes her angry? I've never seen her lose her composure or get frustrated with someone. She's not even stuck-up or vain like you would expect.
Not to mention, how in the world do you get a person like this?
There has got to be something to her, but there is no reason that I would ever have to contact her. There is no way for me to find out. On top of that, most of her Facebook pictures are posted by other people; she doesn't spend much time on Facebook. I glean information from the wealth of her friends who dote on her.
She epitomizes the ideal for me, but in my mind, I'm thinking, "There has got to be something wrong with her." But no, even the large scar on her arm she got for a horseback riding incident can't even taint her beauty.
Is this weird? Probably. Somewhat stalkerish, I know. My intrigue for her befuddles me sometimes too. I think it is just because she is a character that I don't understand. There are so many other people that I can watch and make assumptions about that have a large possibility of being true. But for this one female acquaintance from high school, I have little assumptions I can make on good measure.
If you ever figure someone like this person out, let me know.