Model Homes

People don’t sit outside their homes anymore.

I’ve always loved houses with wraparound porches, but what’s the purpose for those anymore? Sitting outside, enjoying the view from your street just seems strange. When I walk through my neighborhood, I occasionally meet another walker, but for the most part, I rarely see anyone outside their homes. When I encounter humans outside their homes, they are either landscapers, or homeowners, checking their mailboxes. I mostly see people coming or going home.

My neighborhood is quiet, interrupted by a barking dog here or there–sometimes my dogs–or the muted sounds of a car engine. Aside from that, it seems pretty deserted. This appearance is deceiving because there are people living in the houses. The houses and lawns are well-maintained. It’s just not customary for people to “live” outside. It’s not just my neighborhood, but this is common in many, if not most, neighborhoods across America.

Even as I lament about this absence of “outside living,” I wonder if I’d like it. Probably not. I don’t interact with my neighbors that often aside from a wave so I don’t know how I’d feel seeing them sitting outside. We planted trees in the backyard so we could sit on our deck in privacy.

Model homes are used to sell properties. They are staged with furniture but not with people. When people move in, they stay inside.


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