It’s amazing to me how easily we convince ourselves that we are the only oddballs on the planet who like the oddball little things we do. For me, it’s 19th century literature, history, architecture, manners, dress… but you knew that.
But the moment we put it out there that this is the thing that really makes our motors run, suddenly we find legions of kindred spirits, ready to join us in our oddball little pursuits.
It’s a nice reminder that the internet, despite all the negative press to the contrary, is really amazingly good at bringing like-minded people together, building real relationships, and establishing ties of friendship that would never have been built otherwise.
This week, I’ve been staying in The Samuel Sewell Inn in Brookline, just across the river from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I work. (I sleep over sometimes when the weather is particularly bad, or work is particularly intense. My commute from Cape Cod is very long and occasionally such measures are called for.)
This morning, I left my Jane Eyre DVD out on the TV stand, where I laid it down after watching it last night before falling asleep. This evening, as I returned home from a long day at work and an evening spent teaching a college class, I found a note attached to my DVD, left there by the manager, who pulls the blinds in each room when the sun sets. (It’s that kind of a great place, with fanatical attention to detail. I love it here.)
Here’s what the note said:
Now, how great is that?
The lesson I’m choosing to extract from this is that like-minded people are everywhere, and we are never as alone in our passions as we might think we are.
All you have to do is put it out on the table for others to see.