It’s possible some of you enjoy having your neighbours watch you walk around barely clothed. It’s also possible that I am a dinosaur, a product of another time. A time when bodily functions were considered, if not disgusting, then at least private. Perhaps if I were built like Kate Upton, the latest Sports Illustrated swimwear model, I would glory in prancing stark naked across the kitchen, Swiffer in one hand, spatula in the other.
But I am old, wrinkled, neurotic and confused. I recently shopped for a new home and was astonished at the number of new builds that had no walls between the master bedroom and en-suite. Did only hot, young couples buy houses? Perhaps, it was the world’s subtle way of telling me it was time to be in the old folks’ home. What happens if you wake in the middle of the night suffering the effects of your mother-in-law’s famous home-baked beans? Must you rouse your partner from her slumbers and make her stand in the hallways until the all clear has sounded?
I do not understand why it has suddenly become fashionable to be an exhibitionist. Not just in the way a social dinosaur would define the word – to be unclothed - but in all parts of our life. To record the minutiae of everyday existence on blogs, twitter, facebook. To carry on conversations on our cell phones in public washrooms.
To tell complete strangers, in barbershops, hair-dressing salons, bus terminals, the intimate details of our lives. We are fascinated, mesmerized, hypnotized by the mundane. And not just in our own bathroom, but in our neighbour’s as well. Why do you think so many city apartments are equipped with telescopes?
This fascination with the banal has even influenced the kind of television we watch. A hillbilly family take turns identifying each other by smelling everyone’s breath and farts. New Jersey layabouts vomit, have sex, and self-abuse the English language for entertainment. Failed beauty queens tart their daughters up as gyrating Britney Spears, pimping their children for tiaras. Pretty men try out pretty women by sleeping with them, barely off camera, to try to figure out which one they will marry. And who said romance is dead?
Am I the only one who finds it dangerous that we are stripping away, literally, what is private? Have we become so bored with life that we must constantly over expose what we once considered personal, off the record or confidential? Having landed on the moon once, are there no more worthy frontiers to explore than the toilet or the boudoir?
I don’t want to be a dinosaur. I want to be hip, with-it, cool, dope. But some parts of my life are simply off limits.
I’m certain my neighbours are ecstatic about that.