I live on an island. A big island with cities, but an island nonetheless. Sometimes when you're living on an island you become so accustomed to local idiosyncrasies that you forget that in other parts of the world, these things may be seem odd or even bananas.
Today, someone close to me, I won't say who, spoke to someone on the phone for more than ten minutes about sourcing building supplies for "hobbitshires". At first I took this information in with a warm and open heart. Who am I to judge the building of shelter for hairy-toed fictional beings? But as the conversation progressed, my cynical Mainland brain kicked in and I said, "Stop right there, did you say this person is looking for wood to build housing for hobbits?"
This happened today.
I'm not going to go into hobbitshire detail here, you can Google it yourself. It's a thing here on the island apparently and I'm not saying it's a bad thing. It's probably a wonderful thing. I bet I know some of the people involved and I'd have a delightful time if I were ever invited over for dinner at a hobbit house. But, what is the etiquette when you're talking to people building hobbit dwellings?
This is not Iceland, Elves aren't formally part of the culture here, but somehow because we're on an island everything goes and so if someone says over dinner, "Do you know where I could ethically source some wood for the shelter I'm building on the side of my house for a gnome I know who is down on his luck," I'm expected, as an Islander, to blink only once or twice, hold the gaze of the builder and reply in a calm and supportive voice "That is noble of you, how can I be of assistance?"
I thought the suspension of disbelief only applied to the realm of theatre and novels. Don't get me wrong, I want to live in a world where hobbit housing is possible, so maybe I can't have it both ways. I can't be cynical and appreciative at the same time. I'm lucky to live in a place where the whimsical is embraced, so I should just shut up.
But I didn't did I? I couldn't leave it alone. I went the other way. I'm on the record now as being derisive when it comes to hobbitshires, event though I would quite happily visit them somewhere else, I just don't want them in my own backyard. I'm the worst kind. I'm a NIMBY Hobbitshire Critic. This is not what I expected to be saying about myself at this stage in my life. I thought I'd be further along and for that I'm sorry. But this is who I am. I don't understand myself either. Goodnight to all the little hobbits. I will try to be a bigger person tomorrow.