Put three FOFs together–even for a few minutes– and they’ll surely start sharing.
My FOF neighbors, J and S, were leaving their apartments this morning precisely when I left mine. I entered the elevator on the 11th floor. J got on at 7.
“How are you doing?” I asked J.
“I’m tired. It’s been a tough year.”
“Is your health ok?”
“Yes, but I wish I could stop working. It’s taking its toll.” (J is an English teacher in New Jersey and it takes her 90 minutes to commute to work.)
“That’s why I love having the office in my apartment,” I said. “I couldn’t bare commuting at this point in my life. But I’d like to get rid of everything I’ve accumulated and live in a clean, all white space with three sticks of furniture. I can’t stand all the things I own.”
Elevator door opens on 3. S enters.
“Hi S. J and I were just talking about simplifying our lives.”
“Joe and I were just in Barcelona,” S answered. “I’d like to pack up and move there. I used to love Paris but now I’d prefer Barcelona.”
“I still love Paris. I’d live there for three months, three in New York, three in Malibu and three in the Caribbean,” I fantasized out loud.
By now we were in the lobby. S went off to walk her dog and J and I continued our conversation in front of our building.
“When I’m not teaching I’m working at home reading papers,” J said. “I work 24/7. This is going to be the first sunlight I’ve seen all weekend.”
“I had a friend who told me years ago, when he was 60, that he wanted to simplify his life,” I told J. “I didn’t understand what he meant then because I was only 45, but now I do. Why do you suppose we feel this way?”
“I think all our possessions are starting to close in on us. We spend our lives accumulating things and then we realize how unimportant these material things are,” J surmised.
“So well said.”