From Our Readers The Art of Eavesdropping From Our Readers

You know, when you’re a kid, your parents teach you some of the rudimentary stuff: be polite, clean up your mess, don’t use bad words and mind your own business -blah blah blah.

Well, I am reasonably polite. I try to clean up my mess and I don’t swear that much (I try not to at least), but as for minding my own business, well, sorry mom and dad but your endless lessons have failed. I just can’t help myself – I’m too curious. I eavesdrop. There, I said it, I’m an eavesdropper. You can beat me with toothpicks  now.

See that girl sitting beside you in the bus, seemingly smirking to herself like some weirdo when in fact she’s eavesdropping on your phone conversation, trying not to pipe in or burst into a laugh when you tell a good joke? Well, that’s me.

Or that other girl at the train station pretending to be listening to her turned off iPod, even humming and moving her head to the non-existent beat of ‘Kokomo’ to make you think that no, she is absolutely not eavesdropping on your hushed fight with your boyfriend? Me again.

I know it’s rude and indiscreet. I know. But I do it none the less – like when you’re five years old and your mom says, “Do NOT eat that jelly bean!” and of course you look at her, eyes wide, while you pop the candy into your greedy mouth, just because it’s stronger than you. I can’t help it.

It’s not even something I can stop doing.  I mean, unless I turn deaf, which I’m sure wouldn’t change a thing since I’d probably learn how to read lips. When I think about it, I’d be more efficient at eavesdropping then, wouldn’t I?

So basically, I’m bound to be an eavesdropper for the rest of my life. But I’m not complaining; last time, I learnt a delicious carrot and zucchini recipe and when my mom asked me where I’d found it, I just shrugged and said, “Well, you know, just word of mouth.”  Thank you, Unknown Girl from Canal du Midi bus stop.  And you were right, no need to add water in the pan, the zucchinis release plenty of water themselves.

by Lauriane Benard

Featured image via


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  1. HAHAHA!! I eavesdrop all the time! I think it comes from bus riding. I too have headphones in with no music playing if I’m listening to an interesting conversation! Or pretend to read, or play a game on my phone. lol..oh man. This made my day

  2. Yes!! What about at quiet restaurants? This just happened to me.

  3. My job as a summer lifeguard ensures hours upon hours of eavesdropping. It’s not even an art when you’re treated like a piece of furniture. Keep up the eavesdropping haha

  4. this is an art that takes practice to get it down just right.

  5. Great post! haha, it’s so true. I’m usually polite, but I definitely eavesdrop often! I try not to make it obvious though; I pretend I’m texting or reading a book or something!

  6. It’s even better when you can eavesdrop in multiple languages, especially when people don’t even realise you speak said language. You sure do hear some interesting stuff.

  7. Basically, what I understand from reading this post, is that I am missing out on all kinds of funny and useful info that I could be getting from people because I have a car. Driving around everywhere makes it impossible to have those bus stop/train stop encounters. I drive with my music playing, i even use the drive thru in places. What has that gotten me? back/butt pain from sitting all the time to everywhere I go. I’ll trade ya for that carrot and zucchini recipe.

  8. I do it without even noticing sometimes. I’ll be in the middle of dinner with my husband and roll my eyes at something someone 3 tables away is saying. He think he’s said something wrong haha

  9. haha, love