We were in a New England state this afternoon dropping a kid off at camp. I looked around and realized for the first time ever that we were in Updike country. Preppies, country club types, Granolas, all chatting noisily. An otherwise attractive woman with a low cut dress and a very bony chest (what was she thinking). Plenty of Nantucket red. No tattoos. Not a single one. Lots of blonds except except for the Asians. Mohonk Mountain House t-shirts and Teluride t-shirts and boat shoes and men wearing belts. Even kids wearing belts. A certain ease of belonging and confidence. Dare we say entitlement? Was this an adulterous crowd? Hard to tell.
Crowds are always interesting. There are Boston crowds (this was not one), Nantucket crowds, Chicago crowds, San Francisco crowds. In spite of all the chain stores and homogenization any given regional crowd does not resemble people from another region. Sometimes when you stand at the gate at an airport, you can tell where the flight is coming from, and who is disembarking. Flips flops in February? Must be Logan Airport.
I am a student of crowds. A writer has to be.