Is it possible to be "too fascinated" by what we notice around us?
Although I find the idea of being "too fascinated" a bit oxymoronic, I'm continually reminded that my interest in commonplace things is far from universal. Or perhaps my childlike enthusiasm for drawing the attention of others to these things is where I go awry. Case in point:
I have never been in a parking lot of any National Park - no matter how remote the park or the lot - without noticing an out-of-state license plate. Test this out yourself on your next visit to a National Park. Even in lots with just two cars, one of them is virtually guaranteed to be out-of-state. If the lot has multiple cars, it's almost as safe a bet that more than 50% will have out-of-state plates. Test this one out as well. How can I make this claim? Because I'm fascinated by the phenomenon. Sometimes I'll even walk around a parking lot to test my hypothesis.
Now, if right this moment you're saying so what? to yourself, you're not alone. When I shared my hypothesis with a fellow traveler last week after our van pulled into a parking lot, he said to me "You're kind of OCD about this, aren't you?" Though taken aback by the remark - which could have been meant facetiously, I suppose - instead of reactively firing back with a sarcastic rejoinder, I said, "I'd rather think of myself as fascinated or interested or engaged." And in that moment, I recalled similar comments tossed at me in the past like "Tone down the enthusiasm, will you?", etc.
Easily fascinated? Guilty. Too enthusiastic? You bet. Attentive to what's all around me? Beats the alternative.