It is amazing what you can deduce about someone through casual observation. Keep in mind that all of these observations were made checking my mail or grilling burgers. No actual interest or spying was involved. Just casual observation and a functioning mind.
My neighbor is moving this weekend. For the most part my neighbors and I don't interact much. We all have garages, we pull in and close the doors and the only ones who go back out again are the dog owners.
But I've noticed some things about my neighbor over the past year that tell me a lot.
She's a young, big-boned girl who generally has her shoulder length hair pulled back in a pony tail, out of the way, and she wears scrubs. So, obviously, a medical technician or nurse of some sort.
She has one child, a husky lad of about 12 or so, short-cropped hair and he's in the school band where he plays trumpet. I've seen him at the bus stop with his trumpet case. This tells me he is a bit of a nerd (calm down - I was a trumpet player myself - I know of what I speak).
This also tells me he probably comes from a conservative household where they encourage their chunky children to increase their unpopularity by doing things like being in the marching band.
His mother is either recently divorced or recently separated. I think separated. She drives an SUV. Young, single mothers working in the medical field can't afford large SUVs unless they are doctors. Doctors don't live in anonymous McFourplexes in Independence. No, she's been married and he's still making payments on that beast.
I've seen her sitting on her front stoop or pacing back and forth outside her front door, still in her scrubs from work, talking on her cell phone and smoking. She's talking to her ex. I can't hear the conversation...I can just tell. She's having conversations she doesn't want her son to hear and they are stressful conversations so she is smoking.
There were times, early on, when I would go out on the patio to throw some meat on the grill and I would see her on her deck, sitting in a cheap plastic chair, coffee can on the deck next to her, smoking and reading.
She's not really a smoker. She doesn't want it around her son and she doesn't want it in her house. She doesn't normally smoke at all. She's just under a lot of stress right now.
Later, I noticed the plastic chair and the coffee can were gone. She quit smoking. Casual smokers can quit pretty easily, once the source of the stress has been removed. Something got resolved. Can't remember the last time I saw her talking on her cell phone and smoking.
Once, I saw her in something other than scrubs. She was all dolled up. Her hair was down. She was wearing civies. A dress, even! Albeit a long one reaching three quarters of a way down her legs. There was someone else outside the house. A younger woman. A babysitter. She was going out with someone or meeting someone important to her. Or maybe she was attending an event.
But I also couldn't help notice that she was wasn't wearing heels. She was wearing the clunkiest, ugliest shoes I've ever seen on a woman below the age of 80. I'm talking BCS's (birth control shoes).
She's religious. Probably LDS. This is Independence after all. The Command and Control Center of the Mormon Second Coming.
And today, she's moving out. An older couple, obviously her parents, are coordinating things. No expensive moving companies. Not even a U-Haul. Just pick up trucks and cars.
But there are a couple of movers that absolutely confirm my deduction about her religious affinity.
I offer photographic proof.
Mormon Missionaries, in full Mormon Missionary Regalia, despite the inappropriateness of the attire to the task, helping you stack big shit in a little truck.
Definitely LDS, but with issues. Her parents are helping her, a couple of missionaries in full dress uniform are helping her (indicating this is a charitable part of their mission).
But where is the rest of the church? If she were a Mormon In Good Standing, there would be an ARMY of big, burly, Mormons wearing weight lifting belts hauling shit out of that townhouse into moving vans with military precision. I've seen it with my own eyes. It is a logistical wonder to behold. It's like the Blue Angels of moving shit. Just try to stay out of their way.
The fact that she quit smoking and her parents and a couple of missionaries are involved (but her ex was nowhere in sight) lead me to believe that she was, for a while, outside the fold and is now on her way back in, with or without a spouse. But she isn't there yet. She still has some bridges to mend.
I hope she finds what she is looking for.
Happy Thanksgiving, neighbor. Have a nice life.