Ack. My Eyes.

It’s warm and sunny once again, in our little neighbourhood that backs onto conservation forest land, and that means… our neighbours are out sunbathing in the nude again.

And we are at a loss as to what to do about it.

We’re not prudes. Or maybe we are. But either way, I do not want to see my neighbours naked. And I certainly do not want to look up from weeding my vegetable garden to see the twigs and berries of someone else’s ill-tended garden, if you follow the way I have drifted.

Our neighbours are European, which means, when I tried ever so gently and diplomatically to ask them not to sunbathe in the nude last summer — or at least, to refrain from doing it where I can see it — they dismissed what I was saying with “It’s natural.” And I realize that in other parts of the world, it is fine to parade your bits and pieces for all to see. But we are not in other parts of the world; we are in suburban southern Ontario. And I just don’t want to see it.

I have issues, not just for myself, but for my daughter. When I begin teaching her about stranger danger — which has been on my mind a lot lately, with the abduction and murder of a little girl in a nearby town — how do I differentiate between these things? How do I explain that strangers showing her their “private parts” is not appropriate, when a neighbour does it every sunny weekend?

We’re not nudists. We’re going to start to deal with the whole “privacy” and nudity issue within our family when our child is old enough to understand and talk about these things. We’re family, but we’re drawing what we feel are appropriate lines when it comes to nudity and privacy. But that is within our family. We certainly do not have a level of familiarity with our neighbours where we feel it is “okay” for our daughter to see them naked.

We honestly don’t know what to do about this. We’re finding we are unable to enjoy our backyard because we don’t want to look up and see our neighbours in all their naked glory. We want to be good neighbours, and we don’t want to have conflicts, but I can’t see any real way out of it. If we go and talk directly to them and tell them that they cannot, by law, sunbathe naked in their yard, we will piss off our otherwise quite lovely neighbours — and good neighbours are hard to find. But we’re angry and annoyed with the fact that it is an issue for us and we can’t enjoy our weekends as we’d like to. And the only other option is to call the police and have them come and speak with them, and that would be worse, I think.

So what does one do with a naked neighbour? BDH suggested a paintball gun. I am thinking of moving. Neither option is really viable.

All I know is, if I have to bleach my eyeballs one more time, there’s going to be trouble.

25 thoughts on “Ack. My Eyes.

  1. How high is your fence?

    We have a 7 foot one on one side for a very similar reason. Hot tubbing al fresco can happen at any time for our neighbours. They are not picky about where they disrobe.

    M

  2. So sorry to hear about this most vexing issue. That would drive me bananas.

    Is a fence possible… with a row of pleached hornbeams planted in front?? 🙂 (Okay, perhaps the horticultural part of the solution would be a little labour intensive.)

    Perhaps your neighbours would be willing to go in on the fence with you??

  3. I agree if you are sans fence like your neighbours are sans clothes this might be a good investment…cheaper than moving.

    If a wood fence is too much than maybe plant some cedars..they are cheap (evil walmart sells them for $15 a tree) and they grow really fast and tall….plant them really close together.

    Other than that…I don’t think it would be inappropriate to invite them over for a little tete-a-tete (clothes mandatory) to tell them you don’t dig the bits and pieces in all their glory every weekend…maybe you can work out a weekend schedule…you get 3 weeks of them in clothes and one not.

  4. Sadly, we already have a 5-foot-fence up already. And we paid for it the first time around.

    That’s it. It’s settled. We’re starting a utopia somewhere and moving. A utopia with RULES.

    And free DVD rentals. And really good ice cream.

    Damn. Now I have to make a list.

  5. We built a really tall fence to keep our nosy old cranky neighbour from walking into our yard & looking in our windows – yep, he really did that. But you can still see through the cracks in the fence so I think even a tall fence would not solve it. I would suggest calling the cops and making an anonymous tip. Your neighbours will never know for certain it was you and if they ask you just say “How rude, someone really called the cops on you? Geez some people” Maybe it will be enough to get them into a string bikini and a speedo in the backyard.

    Kirsten

  6. I’m a fan of the cedars. My parents planted them to block out their noisy neighbors, and they are wonderful. Within a year they had grown high enough to block out any visuals. And they look really nice, too. Their backyard has become this peaceful little retreat on an otherwise busy, annoying road thanks in large part to the trees they planted.

  7. I am sad in my heart that no one feels starting one’s own utopia is a good idea. You could all come visit. Or, live there, even… provided you wear clothes and don’t block our driveway and stuff.

    We would be (mostly) benevolent dictators. Honest.

  8. Oh I am in for the Utopia!!!! I need some Utopia right now…and if you have rose colored glasses I would take those too!!

    So Utopia would have:

    Really good ice cream
    Free DVD rentals
    Neighbours wearing clothes

    and I would also like to have the following:

    -All the asian style noodle dishes you could eat
    -Foot massages
    -A Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too – a la Zoolander
    -no work unless you want too!

  9. All excellent choices. Uh, earth to Rana… (sorry, had to throw in another Zoolander reference my own self) of COURSE there would be all those things.

    And, you know, no taxes.

  10. oh and I would want to be the one who the the eugoogoolies…I am a really good eugoogolizer!!!

  11. Uh, Rana? I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.

  12. Oh Snap! Maybe we should go be coal miners…but then we might get the “black lung” so maybe not.

  13. Hello folks!! I’m sitting here on my lonesome in Utopia waiting for y’all to catch up…

    And BTW, they’ve got cedars here.

  14. All I have to say is this “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.”

    Oh and the cedars…they will block out the twig and berries for sure!

  15. I had a dog once that was a uni-turner, honestly she could only turn to the left… in fact if she walked more than a few paces in a straight line she started turning to the left. She was brain damaged though… huh… sorry tangent. I say buy your neighbours a membership at the local nudist colony and tell them to rock it there with their nekkid pals.

  16. Well, I tried talking to them, but it didn’t work. I felt like, “This guy’s really hurting me.” And it hurt.

    Oh wait. Maybe it was more like “Taste my pain, bitch!” I forget.

    Meh. Cedars and utopia, man… cedars and utopia. It’s the only way.

  17. Oh, wow. I thought I was the only one obsessed with that movie. It’s kind of a relief to meet others like me.

  18. Cedars. Most municipalities have limits on how high you can build a fence, but shrubs can grow as tall as they damn well please. Another super fast growing option would be poplars – since you only really need the screening factor in the summer I am assuming!

    If utopia has child care without being on a waiting list for 3 years, then I’m in.

  19. “…someone else’s ill-tended garden, if you follow the way I have drifted.” LMAO!!!

    Maybe tell your hirsute neighbours “You gotta tame the beast before you let it out of its cage.”

    -or-

    Do what I would do in your situation – place a complaint with the 5-Oh. They can keep it anonymous.

  20. Most municipalities have a limit (6.5 feet in TO in the backyard for instance) but it’s only enforced if people complain. And then, you can appeal it. I guarantee the nudists will blink (if they even bother to attempt to report) or the community council will approve it on the grounds of “privacy” ‘cuz community councils generally aren’t pro-naturalist.

    If your existing five-foot fence is wood, add a section of pre-done two-foot lattice. Stain the whole operation one colour and be done with it. Naked people be damned.

    But if you go the cedar route, don’t forget to put soaker hoses on either side of your new hedge. Water the crap out of them for the first couple years. It’s hard to drown a cedar. Lots of sun and abundant water make cedars very, very happy — and super thick. Oh, and don’t forget lots of well composted manure because they’re also very heavy feeders.

    Man, I love a happy cedar.

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