The People Across the Pond

No, not England or Europe… my new neighbors across the duck pond.

I can’t help it. I snoop.

Part of it is because I live in an apartment complex and all of the floor plans are elementally the same. It makes me wonder what other people have done to make it fit their lifestyle and their personality.

I have a two story vault and a spiral staircase that winds its way pass two long narrow windows that overlook one of the two ponds that surround my home. My office is in the vault and when I climb it in the morning, afternoon, evening or at three o’clock in the morning I can’t help but glance over to the neighbors.

As I said, I snoop.

Some young people have moved in across the way. I think they’ve been here a month or more. It is hard to tell because it took me weeks to figure out if they were really living there. They moved in with nothing. No sofa, no lights, no table…. Nothing.

You know you are getting old when the idea of not having your “things” makes you just a little queasy.

It is amazing to think they have been living there without stuff. I don’t even see the blue light of a computer screen or the flicker of a TV. The other night they had a party and there was no place for anyone to sit everyone just leaned on the walls and counters.

Was I ever that young?

I’ve always had stuff. But the things that I have the next generation may not need. I have books, records, CDs, and DVDs, yet those things have become electronic. Does that mean the next generation won’t need bookcases? Will they move from place to place with less because their internal life has gone digital?

One of my favorite pastimes is looking over other people’s bookshelves and music collections. It give you an instant idea of what they find important because it is how they spend their money. Do they buy music? Are all of their books hardback or paperback? Do they keep their textbooks? Are there more DVDs than books, and if so what are they? Are they reading fiction or non?

Now we can’t tell… unless we borrow the iPod or their Kindle.  No longer are their preferences out in the open for casual viewing.

An odd thought since at the same time as we are becoming more connected via electronic means we are more hidden in one-on-one interactions. Want to know what I think – read my blog. What I read – check out my shelves at Goodreads. What I listen to – connect to my Pandora.

Sigh… I’m suddenly feeling very old. 

~ Tess


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