Micro-Invasions of Other People´s Homes

Bonjour, bonjour. Tu sens bon! Like a forest of pine trees that has a tiny coffee roaster in the middle. Miam.

It´s Wednesday. I am writing to you from Buffalo, NY. The weather is grey blanketed skies, like I am in a kid´s fifth grade diorama. I don´t mind. It´s cozy. Good reading weather. The Carolinas are bracing for a storm and one of my closest family friends lives there, so I am hoping the storm is not too bad.

Memories of my trip are bobbing around in my head. Mostly of items in other people´s homes. I like being an airbnb guest because I get to see the tiny decisions that people, real people, make for their homes.

I like to imagine the type of person someone is by what kind of shampoo and conditioner they are using. In Victoria, our host chose Dove shampoo and conditioner. It was so soft on my skin. In the last hotel, the family we stayed with had men´s body shampoo and Garnier Fructis shampoo. I used the men´s body shampoo and got to feel what it was like to smell like Axe body spray. It was not unpleasant. The thing I did find unpleasant was the decoration of our room–namely a Barbie doll riding a reindeer on a covered up piano. This was slightly more disorienting.

Why do people choose what they choose and what does it say about them? In the airbnb, a tiny house in Port Alberni, I was surrounded by an overwhelming sense of comfort. The grapes in a jar in the fridge were heartbreakingly cozy. The pink face lotion in the bathroom brought me back to my Nann´s house where I try her lotions.  She rations the lavender and the rose petal, a habit left over from the war. The four cookies in the tupperware, two chocolate and two vanilla, made me want to stop each day at 3pm and have a tea. These small details tell the story of other people´s lives.

I listen to Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft´s podcast, ¨Happier¨ and they ask listeners to pick a word to focus on for the year. Mine is ¨connect.¨

I am going to send my manuscript out (thank you Mike!).  I am starting to apply for jobs. And, I realized that I think I write this blog because I like the connection, the thrill of people from other parts of the world reading this and commenting.  People my age, millennials, get a bad reputation but I think maybe we are just lonely, hungry to reach out across the divide.

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