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“The fogged glass in your shower window isn’t as fogged as you might think it is.” This was the crux of the awkward conversation I recently had with my neighbor and wrote about in an article posted on ksl.com a few weeks ago, deeming it the most awkward neighborly conversation ever. If you haven’t read the full story, click here, get caught up and be mortified for us.
Following the story being published, I received more than 40 reader comments detailing their awkward neighbor stories. I have to admit, some of them may come close to beating mine in awkwardness.
I found it funny how the theme of the most embarrassing stories tends to surround one discomforting topic. I don’t know what it is about our psyche, but it reminds me of the bad dream we’ve all had where we show up to school naked. The ultimate of horrors. I still have that dream sometimes, and I always wake up with a pit in my stomach. Given that this is such a common fear, I suppose it’s no huge surprise that when it comes to awkward neighbor stories, the most ghastly of them all seem to echo that dream in some way, shape or form.
I’ve picked a few of my favorites to share here. So what do you think, who wins the most awkward neighbor story award? You be the judge. In the following recounts, all stories are left “anonymous” so as not to implicate the neighbors telling these stories and make things more awkward than they already are.
- Another fogged-glass faux pasOne of the comments was reminiscent of our story, but with the roles reversed: “We had a similar experience to yours, only I was the neighbor. We were having a dinner party with an out-of-town guest around our kitchen table and admiring the view of the mountains when our neighbor stood up out of her soaker tub in full glory behind her ‘frosted glass.’ Everyone sat there with their mouths open, stunned. I was so embarrassed for her. I didn’t know how to approach her about it, but tried to do it in a casual way. She was angry and very insistent that her frosted glass was sufficient! Needless to say, they didn’t speak with us after that and never put up a blind.”
- Blunder with the blindsAnother comment simply read: “Once a neighbor left a note on our door that stated, ‘Please close the blinds to your bedroom window in the ‘up’ position instead of the ‘down’ like you have currently been doing. Thanks!’” Eeeks! I can relate to this one, having been in my third trimester during the heat of the summer with my last pregnancy: “A couple of years ago, I was expecting during the summer. I was home alone most days and thought I would save us some cash by turning the AC off. As a result, I would usually roam the house nude until evening approached and it cooled down a bit. We have a dog and use a sliding glass door on the back side of our house to let her out. Most of the time I would hide behind the dark brown curtains to let the dog out since our backyard neighbors are always outside, particularly the dad, who is always grilling dinner or working on the house. This went on the whole summer. One day in the fall, I was driving home along the road that runs parallel to the back of our house, directly in front of our neighbors’ home. I could clearly see all the windows along the back side of our house, and was shocked to discover that I could see my husband through our sliding glass door AND those lousy curtains! For months I had been walking around naked and pregnant, hiding behind those stupid curtains, and they weren’t doing a thing! I even taught their kid in primary at church. Why, oh why, didn’t he or his wife say anything? I’m still embarrassed!”
- Too neighborly a neighborHow about: “I recently had a potential neighbor, whom I had never met before, knock on my door and state that he was going to purchase the home next door and had noticed my children’s play set and swings on the side of the yard that would adjoin to his lot. He proceeded to ask me if I would move the swing set because he enjoys swimming in the nude and the pool runs along the side of the fence that is close to our property and the swing set. In an effort to be a good neighbor and avoid causing friction, I had a contractor come and put two more layers of block on my fence and turn the swing set the other way. After all that work, he didn’t qualify for the loan and didn’t end up purchasing the house!”
- The noisy newlywedsWhile these are all hilarious, I think this one could be the kicker: “Newlyweds in a basement apartment without enough insulation. Clear enough? Our upstairs neighbors chose to write us a note informing us that our amorous activities could be heard by them, and could we PLEASE keep it down. Um, mortifying enough?”
After reading these stories, I have to admit it’s kind of nice to know we aren’t completely alone in this type of predicament. One thing is for sure, living within close proximity to others tends to bring about some “interesting” situations.
Many readers have inquired how things worked out for us post me spilling my guts to the whole world about our predicament. The article actually got quite a few page views right off, so I started getting really nervous realizing the chances that Mr. and Mrs. X had seen the article were much higher than I had initially expected.
A few hours after the article was on ksl.com, I heard the doorbell ring and about froze in the middle of serving my kids dinner. I ran to the living room window and peered through the blinds. Sure enough, it was Mrs. X. The possibilities of what the conversation could hold had me briefly terrified.
But to my complete and utter relief, she couldn’t have had a better sense of humor about it. She even brought me a loaf of delicious Kneaders cinnamon pull-apart bread. She’d seen the article while at work and got a kick out of it, as did her husband.
However, the work front for my husband wasn’t going as well. He was out of town on business in New York that day when he got an IM from a Salt Lake co-worker with a link to the article. This was actually the first either of us had heard about the story being published. The link spread around his work like wild fire and pretty soon he was getting all sorts of IM’s from co-workers like, “Hey, want to come clean my shower?” to “My friend is having a bachelorette party, want to be the entertainment?” and “I didn’t know you had a part-time job as an exhibitionist!” Lucky for me, my husband has a great sense of humor and took the harassing with a grain of salt. After all, he was the one who encouraged me to write the story.
Our window issue still persists. We’ve had a garbage sack taped over the window until we figure out what to do. Classy, right? We keep meaning to look into glass blocks, but I’ve actually gotten quite used to the garbage sack.
I guess something we can all take away from the surfacing of my story and the other awkward neighbor accounts is to learn from each other’s mistakes and avoid finding ourselves in similar instances. So check your fogged glass, your curtains, your blinds and even the soundproofing of your walls, because you never know what side of you your neighbors might know better than you think they do!
Lindsay Ferguson is a wife and a mother of two young children. She writes from home and keeps up a blog at www.lifeasamomuncut.blogspot.com.