I enjoy home improvement shows. I particularly like those where renovations happen to bring a “bargain” purchase up to modern speed…but my “weirdness” comes in during the first look at the “before” aspects of the homes.
It almost always makes me feel a little twinge of poignancy. A pang. A bittersweet sense, of nostalgia for those times and places gone by.
I can’t help envisioning, sometimes – especially with the kitchens – the happy times, the meals cooked and eaten by countless people, the gatherings enjoyed, and holidays and birthday celebrated. It can be places from times long before I was born; it doesn’t matter.
The room(s) that hosted those events is being cleared out, emptied, stripped down. That wallpaper or those cabinets and countertops so lovingly selected in 1957 or 1963, or 1990 are nothing more, now, then a mark of a bygone era, and the people who chose them and lived there have moved on, literally or figuratively, to greener pastures.
It makes me kind of…sad.
Perhaps my feeling is connected to the game my mother and I would play (and that I still do sometimes even now, I confess) when we’d be driving somewhere, especially at night, and I could glimpse through some open shades or curtains a lit room or two in a home as we passed by. I was always fascinated by that, imagining the people who lived there by having that quick look. What were they like? What were their hopes, dreams? Were they happy or in the grip of a tragic or challenging circumstance? That “What if?” game led to me writing novels, I’m sure – but it’s also part and parcel of what niggles at me during those home improvement shows.
I’m pretty sure that makes me weird (so if you’re akin to this, or even understand what I’m talking about here, please chime in through the comments, so I know I’m not alone, LOL)!
Do YOU ever get a bittersweet sense of poignancy about something that doesn’t have personal meaning to you?