Monday, April 14, 2008

coming out as a vandweller

so, you probably know that my co-workers are aware that i drive a big weird van. they also know that there's a cat in there, thanks to the windows in the new van and the nosiness of my workmates. the logical question out of their mouths is "do you live in there?", though my favorite question so far was "is that your cat or did it come with the van?" i've decided there's no use in trying to be secretive, so i tell them the truth. yes i live in the van. yes there's a cat in there. yes she is my cat. and although i'd rather they didn't know and/or ask me about my life, it's really not so bad. nothing's changed, in fact i think relations have improved since i've abated their curiosity. i had a vague fear about telling people about my living situation, but it's really not an issue now that they know. i would never tell them or anyone else besides a few close friends where i park or the details of my day to day, it's just none of their business and i like to be as anonymous as i can in my neighborhood. i'm finding the balance of reservation and revelation.

4 comments:

who is john gault? said...

good for you!!! i know that had to have been tough.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow van dweller, I relate to what's expressed. When possible, I no longer share about living in a van as it changes the nature of my relationship with them. Typically there are two reactions to it... The first and most common is they think something is wrong with me. Like being crazy or poor. The second is supportive, but still consider me as different. It's not that there's any shame associated with living this way as I'm totally cool with it. Only that people have a hard time getting their heads around it which sucks for me. To each their own I guess.

stranger in a strange van said...

so anonymous, how do you field questions about where you live? what about when people see the van?

I'm Chris Harne said...

When I tell people I live in a van, and get an incredulous or curious look, I just say "it's totally awesome" or "best move I ever made" or something that quickly expresses that I choose it and prefer it. Half the time people think it's cool, or it makes them see the advantages of not being tied to a more complicated existence. The other half of the time I don't really care what they think. There's nothing to hide about it, and that's the mentality I have and express.