Friday, January 13, 2012

Peek-A-Boo! I See You!

I love to peek in windows. Not in a creepy, stalkerish way (more about that in a bit), but in a purely anthropological way, like Margaret Mead or Jane Goodall. OK...maybe not that pure or anthropological, but definitely not creepy.

Before you get too weirded out and started deleting me from your Best Bloggers of All Time list, you must know that my peeking is only done from sidewalks and streets.

And generally just in Europe.

Except at Christmas, when peeking is encouraged. After all, we spend lots of time and money creating visually festive homes so that people will look. But don't use up all your peeking points during the holidays. Use them the rest of the year too! I have included Peek-Tips (see below). Refer to them often!

Peek-Tip #1: It's easier at night, when the lights are on.

Peeking into windows gives me glimpses of other lives. I see snippets of a story. Posters on the walls of a room....a teen, most likely...neatly pinned in a row...maybe a budding musician who gains inspiration from the muses that surround her.  A family around the dinner table...the four of them compare stories from the day...laughing at the mishaps....commiserating over the defeats....building memories.

Peek-Tip #2: Nod and pretend like you're listening when riding in a car, especially at night (see Peek-Tip #1). Look out the passenger window to see what you can see. Caution: Do not attempt while driving.

Europe is wonderful for window-peeking. Walking is much more a part of getting from here to there there than it is here. Parading to a pub, sauntering to the subway, or roaming to a restaurant can get you into the neighborhoods and, hopefully, finding some curtain-less windows to peruse. European interiors are elegant and sophisticated, with ornate ceiling molding, shelves full of ancient books, and old world furnishings. I feel like I'm peeking into a bygone era, not just someone's living room.

Peek-Tip #3: European windows are best.

I have also been the peek-ee. NOT fun. There was a truly creepy guy who scratched on my window screen, left cigarette butts and (UGH) bodily fluids on the ground. It went on for a few weeks, no one was caught, and, thankfully, no one was hurt (other than an increase on my jitter-meter for a while).

To reiterate, that's not my kind of peeking.

Peek-Tip #4: DO NOT be a creepy peeker!

But if you can say "creepy peeker" five times real fast, I'll give you a prize.

Are you a peeker? A secret Mead or Goodall, peering at the mundane, and finding the sublime?

Have you been there?


  1. I've always believed that stories were
    windows into larger worlds - you may
    ponder at what goes on beyond their
    edges but can never completely see
    it all.

  2. Agreed! And it's fun to fill in the blanks.

  3. I'll use these tips on my up and coming trip. :)

  4. This post reminds me of a time when I lived in Lubbock. The (former) husband and I were living in a tiny two floor apartment on 66th St., across from the EZ Mart. A new complex went up toward the end of the street. Luxury apartments in my mind. I remember walking down the street, after dark, and being able to see in the windows of those apartments. Did I peek? Of COURSE I did! Who wouldn’t? To me, it was seeing how the “other half” lived, and it was fascinating! I would make up stories in my mind about the people lucky enough to live in those massive, well lit spaces. Thank you for bringing back that memory!


Yes! I've been there, Claire!