Has Gen X Finally Become Generation Strange?

I more and more feel like a visitor in a bizarre land.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD


Photo courtesy of author

Age is nothing but a number.

At least, that’s the feeling I had when working from home — a house built in 1919.

My wife and I moved here in 2008. It was love at first sight. As soon as we stepped through the front door, we looked at each other and knew it was the right place for us. We didn’t need to say anything.

The house has been upgraded and modernized over the decades. It has all the contemporary comforts I dreamed of when I was young. But the high ceilings, ornate staircase, and hardwood floors give the place its historical character and quirky charm.

But older houses need maintenance. There’s no escape. So, this year, we replaced the roof, installed new gutters, and had the outside painted.

And then, we decided to start working on the interior. However, this time we weren’t interested in upgrades and modernization. Instead, we wanted to restore old features that never go out of style. Ceiling ornaments. Copper doorknobs. Dutch doors. Windows with divided light. Decorative floors. Built-in bookcases. Separate rooms.

I was excited at first but confused after going into the sixth week of living on a construction site with builders and painters surrounding me every second of the day. The sound of hammering, sawing, and sanding. The intense smell of wood and paint.

“Was it the right decision to restore the house?”

My nerves are getting frayed. No privacy. No moment of peace when you come home. My living space is becoming smaller and smaller.

My wife called me a “whiner.” She keeps telling me it’s only temporary.

“Please, stop complaining! You’ll love the results.”

I guess she is right. But I can’t wait to say goodbye to the restorers.

No More Restoration

Then I heard a different perspective on restoration.

“We should stop restoring stuff.”

It was an extreme point of view. My wife and I were watching a TV discussion on the protesters who threw two cans of Heinz tomato…



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.