Train in Vein

Private Parts

A couple weeks ago I had a chance to run out and get a soda between cases. Dollar in hand, I passed by a guy in scrubs sitting in the hallway to the waiting area. He was mid conversation, and I heard (loudly):

“Listen, I am no longer your boyfriend.” He was speaking in a dramatic and forceful tone.

I’m won’t lie – I tried to mosey on by prettttttty slowly toward the soda machine. I mean, who wouldn’t be intrigued by such a heated and public conversation? That dramatic sentence? Please. Well, I was indirectly in luck, because a measly can of soda turned out to be a dollar and twenty-five cents (I won’t even get into this, but do take note – outrageous). I ended up having to walk past him three more times in going back for a quarter, returning to the machine, and going back to the OR. Again, I moseyed. More snippets of the convo ensued…

“You came around looking all beautiful and hot.”

“You can’t expect me to do these things for you, I’m not with you.”

I was stunned at this seemingly normal and “together” guy, sporting uniform hospital scrubs (complete with an ID badge), carrying on about private things in public. I mean, kind of a blow to the confidence of our patients’ families to see a professional in his half of a spat right there in the lobby. Just carrying on. Not to mention my level of confusion… I mean, is it his crazy ex on the phone, or is he nuts? Or both? Or does love and lost love make us all just lose it? What happened???

I cracked open my deee-licious Diet Coke (interestingly, in private – I don’t want patients to see me drinking caffeine because I don’t want them to think I am tired and worry), and I got to thinking. Did he want people to hear this conversation, so we know he is in demand or something? Does he just not care? Beyond his story, what makes a person have such a talk right there in the middle of a public area? Do we care about privacy anymore? Have the internet and cell phones done away with our desire to keep things to ourselves? Are we all just so used to watching other peoples’ realities, we assume that they want to see ours? Or maybe with the constant flux of information we just feel invisible?

Anyway, I am thankful for people like this man, because I am a natural born eavesdropper. Big time. I can’t help it. I stare, I listen, I observe… People fascinate me. Obviously. I dedicated my life to medicine and knowledge of the human body. I literally see and touch what is inside of people. But we won’t go down that creepy road. Yeah, that was creepy, wasn’t it? The truth is, I am much more interested in someone’s skin care routine or what their handwriting looks like than I am their liver or spleen. If I could glimpse a stranger’s to do list or daily planner??? Heaven.

So, I don’t exactly know what my point is here. This guy and his ex, I feel bad for them. Breakups are horrid and painful and they make you lose it in public places (Ahem, definitely guilty of that). I also feel sorry for myself that I couldn’t hear her side of the conversation, or the conversation in its entirety. On that note, I feel sorry for myself that I’m not invisible and free to observe people without being the creepiest creep ever! Oh well. Maybe someday.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to enlighten me on what could have been going on here. Or make me feel better by telling me that you can’t help but listen to conversations like that too, okay? Oh and thank you to my darling sister Abbie for the title of this! Haha.

Image via

  • Kelsey Brooks

    I can’t help but eavesdrop either! I’ve done it as long as I can remember but I think working as a secretary for the past three years has greatly increased by “talent” for it. You’d be amazed at what stay-at-home moms talk about amongst each other and on their cell phones for everyone to hear! Jiucy! Great post, and great picture 😀

    • Alexandra

      Oooh I’d love to hear that!!

  • Jacinta Wyld

    sex can make ppl act like nut jobs, seems it was a sexual relationship with crossed wires. probably said and heard similar stuff in my life.

    • Alexandra

      I agree!

  • Hernandez Diaz

    I feel you as well, Some People are just Fascinating to watch, what makes them tick you know~But I do agree with you that you know we don’t have privacy anymore, everything we do now is on the internet on blogs, or facebook, on Twitter on tv, I mean Sooner or later Privacy is just gonna be a word definition, not reality~and I think its just been so convoluted and not cherished and I think people should be more private with their problems I mean I personally would never throw out private life for everyone to hear or see, but I am certainly interested in hearing and ease dropping on others.

    • Alexandra

      Oh my gosh I hope we can hang onto privacy!!

  • Elisabeth Miller

    With cell phones around, I feel like I know way too much about everyone. I love people watching, though, and I often make up elaborate back stories for people who pass by me.

    • Alexandra

      I love that game!

  • Stephanie Assad

    The best is when you see that person again and you can continue their story. I stay late a couple nights a week at school (where the sodas [AND water] are $1.75. Outrageous.) and I always sit in the same lounge; I see the same people. It’s like a weekly soap opera!

    • Alexandra

      The best kind of soap opera ever! $1.75 is insane. Maybe I will come there and sell sodas. I bet I would do great!

    • Anonymous

      Sharp thninikg! Thanks for the answer.

  • Kelly Cosby

    Sometimes, if a friend sitting next to me starts texting someone, I’ll start looking over at their phone as if it’s my obvious business to know what they are saying and who they are texting. And then I feel like an idiot when I’m like oh sorry, that’s not my phone that’s yours!

    • Alexandra

      Haha! I totally do that to my sister.

  • Liz Haebe

    I’m a big starer, and I’m a total eavesdropper. I would’ve been intrigued. And, obviously, if he’d wanted to keep it private, he could’ve found a place to do that. I work in a hospital too, and there’s always an alcove, or some place that’s a little less obvious than the lobby. I mean, I’m just sayin’…

    • Alexandra

      post a commentTotally. Exactly what I thought. Maybe he felt really cool?

    • Alexandra

      Oops… What happened with that?

  • Emily Johnson

    HAHHA this is so funny! I agree that I am surprised by how open some people are about their “bidness” in public :) (Although I will admit I’ve realized as I’ve gotten a little older there are times when you just get so annoyed at someone that you just go for the gold (not flavor of love style or anything but with some elevated tone of voice)). ANYWAYS I am a respiratory therapist and I do notice that there is some fantastic eavesdroppin’ opportunities around hospitals. People seem to let their private stuff fly in those places!

    • Alexandra

      Ha! So much bidness. I mean, people are literally letting in all hang out in gowns I guess, so…

  • Sílvia Juncà

    You are not alone, I “sin” too!! :p

    • Alexandra


  • Lorraine Costa

    The other day I was going to my class when at the hallway I hear a guy on his phone: Yeah, I did the test yesterday, I dont have AIDS, we should celebrate.
    What did the world came to be huh?

    • Alexandra

      So he wants everyone to know he needed an HIV test??? What a stud.

  • Patricia Serrano

    Maybe thats why I´m getting into psychiatry; so I can get to hear everybodie´s gossip with every little detail 😉

    • Alexandra

      And because you have the patience of a saint…

  • Rachel Firmager

    Truth is stranger than fiction- This is what makes eavesdropping such a guilty pleasure! Sometimes I think that only hearing half the conversation is better…the other end probably wouldn’t live up to expectations! The best/worst conversations to overhear are in bathrooms, especially when people think they’re the only ones in there!

  • Abbie Anderson

    You totally look at my phone. Nosy.

  • Abbie Anderson

    Just kidding, I love you sister!

    I like to wear headphones so I can hear people but they think I can’t hear them, nosy runs in the family!!!

  • Miranda Robertson

    The absolute best conversations I overhear are at the Family Court. I could literally sit outside the courtrooms all day listening to all of the self-reps going on about their dramas, because they’re never quiet about them. Of course, sometimes you just get to see them straight up assault each other, and that’s always interesting. You think wanting to know why he was having that conversation is nosy?? Imagine wanting to know why someone punched someone else in the head as they exited the courtroom and stormed off going ‘she’s an f***ing c**t who doesn’t deserve her children’… sadly, I will never know

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