Get this picture in your mind:
You wake up early, stretch and get up. You’re naked, but before you open the blinds you pull on your easy-pants and a shirt. Stretching once more, you look out at the community garden behind your house, and beyond that, the houses on the other side of the garden. Everything is still quiet. No kids outside on the playground equipment and no people walking on the pavement towards the nearby shops. You walk downstairs, grab some breakfast and while you eat it, you read the newspaper. After a second cup of tea you go back upstairs to take a shower. Coming from the shower, you drop the towel around your body to the floor and bend forward to use the towel around your head to dry your hair. You swing your hair backwards as you straighten up and see a man standing in the community garden, his face turned towards you.
What do you do?
Every morning when I come from the shower, I sit at my dressing table to dry my hair. Naked. My dressing table is right next to the window and the blinds are open in summer, as I prefer not to stand under the hot ceiling spotlights in our bedroom. During week days there’s no one outside as it is far too early for that and everyone is getting ready for work. Weekends can be different though. Each morning as I sit there I think about what I would do if someone sees me either from the community garden or from the houses on the other side, about 50-75 meters away from ours. And each morning I think the same thing: so what if they see me!
Until one Saturday morning I returned to the bedroom from the shower, dropped the towel around my body, dried my hair with the towel around my head and as I straightened up, a neighbour living in one of the houses on the other side, stood in the garden. He didn’t look up at our window, but I instantly ducked away. Suddenly I was not as brave anymore. No more ‘so what if they see me’ but ‘oh damn, what if he sees me’.
But, what if? Why shouldn’t he see me?
The only reason I don’t want him to see me is because I don’t want to ’cause trouble’. I don’t want anyone in the neighbourhood to get angry with me and come to our door and complain about the fact that I am standing naked in front of the window.
Now bear with me here…
Let me try to give you some insight in my thought process…
Standing naked in front of the window?
No, I wasn’t standing in front of the window. I was standing IN my bedroom. In my bedroom. In my house. Naked. Who ever said you’re not allowed to do that? My house, my bedroom, my body.
Yes, if the blinds happen to be open, someone can look inside, but they don’t have to, right? They can choose to look away. It’s not like I’m inviting them to look inside, and it’s not like I am walking naked outside. I’m in my own home where I can do what I want.
So, that established, shouldn’t the person who happens to see me naked in my own house, be the one to duck away? Or at least turn his/her head away? Actually, why should a head be turned away? Why can’t the person just look? Look without any ulterior motives? Look without getting any sexy ideas? Just look, then go about his/her own business?
Unfortunately that’s not how things work in life. Somehow we have taught ourselves that some things are wrong. That we should be ashamed. That we are not allowed to look. Or that we are not allowed to be naked close to a window, even if it is in our own houses. And somehow some people do think they have the right to come to a door and complain for the things you do in your own house, because it ‘disturbs’ them.
I guess this means I will continue to duck away when I see someone outside who might see me naked in my bedroom… but I sure wish it could be different.
Or is my perception totally wrong? Is it only me who do this, duck away? What are your thoughts on this?
© Rebel’s Notes