I'm Snooping on My Neighbors! What's Wrong with Me?
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I work at home and have developed a very strange problem: I can't stop spying on my neighbors. The houses in my neighborhood are all very close to each other, so I can see people in their backyards, front yards and sometimes I can even see into my next-door-neighbor's living room. It's not like I'm watching them do anything that exciting, really, but I still can't help myself. I'm even tempted to invest in a pair of binoculars. Why am I so snoopy?
Dear Sneaky Sue,
Let me first explain that if you happened to see me last night eating a pint of Rocky Road ice cream while watching six back-to-back episodes of Friends - I can assure you that it was a complete anomaly and I am usually watching PBS while doing stomach crunches. Oh, we don't live in the same neighborhood? Never mind.
I think it's totally natural to be curious about other people's lives. Isn't that why we all made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire? I mean, how many of us poke around people's Facebook profiles to see how they look, what they're doing, whom they are married to, etc. It's just the natural human condition. And your interest in your neighbors is really no different.
But (you knew the "but" was coming), it's one thing to peer through your hedge now and then and quite another to buy a pair of binoculars and check out someone's 1990s sitcom addiction firsthand. Because you are not some spy on a covert mission. You are probably just bored.
I think we often start obsessing over other people's lives when our own lives get a little dreary and humdrum. Perhaps it's time for you to stop checking out what everyone else is doing and start doing something yourself. Get out of the house as much as possible. Go exercise. Take some guitar lessons. Go volunteer. Visit a museum. Start bird watching—oh wait, no hobbies that involve binoculars.
And when you have the urge to snoop, have some dignity and do it like the rest of us—just check out your sixth grade boyfriend's third wedding photos on Facebook.