Monday, November 1, 2010

Privacy Issues

Something happened this last week. Something that finally prompted me to want to blog about it....maybe for therapy after the trauma (ha ha). This wasn't the first time this has happened, and it certainly wasn't even the boldest, but I guess this is the price you pay when you live in a building that was formerly a commercial building.

A lady walked into our home while I was cooking dinner, yelled out "hello", but was already to my kitchen before I could respond. There was no apologies for walking right on in (without ringing the doorbell) and after realizing this was a home.

Evidently she had taught here for many years when this was a school and wanted to come back and check it out.

She was pleasant enough, even telling me how things used to be way back when (a couple of doorways that we didn't know about had been covered up, etc.). But it was difficult to be my open, nice self with this disconcerting feeling of being violated......especially after she started peeking her head in to rooms and trying doorknobs of closed doors!

The funny thing was Dustin had just gotten out of the shower and locked the door of our master bedroom when she tried the knob to peek in. I didn't find this out until later because I was still trying to check on dinner. When Dustin told me that he had heard the knob, I wish so badly she would have walked in on him, birthday suit and all...maybe then she would be embarrassed and apologize!

This has actually happened a few times....the worst one being a Middle Eastern man coming right into my bedroom as I was hanging up my clean clothes (fully clothed thank goodness). He came right in with his young daughter and the only thing I could understand through his thick accent was "school". As if that wasn't bad enough, he wouldn't leave out of my bedroom....apparently, he wanted to drop his daughter off whether this was a school or not.

I think it's time to get a sign that says something along the lines of "Simpson Residence".

So, even aside from that, being on a busy intersection has been one of the hardest things about moving here. I've gone through what I call my "fishbowl syndrome".....I very much dislike being looked at or the feeling of being watched.

I think I've had a pretty good attitude about it though....especially considering how far I've come. It was mortifying for me to have everyone who drove by watch us move in. It's embarrassing to admit I would wait until it was dark to move things in. I would even wait until cars went by to hurry into my house so I wouldn't be seen.

We've always lived in places where we could walk around in our underwear if we wanted to. I could go outside in the yard without feeling like I needed to put on my make-up or brush my hair. Now, living here, the chances of walking out to our car without being seen are very slim. But, like I said, I've come a long way. I actually go to the mailbox now without a stitch of mascara on. And, I don't really think about it as cars go by and I'm balancing my purse, gym bag, phone at my ear, and stuffing breakfast in my face as I'm walking down the flight of stairs to my car.

Here's a picture I took in the spring of our yard and our busy intersection....

We talked about getting a new front door some day but I sure like the light that comes in what would otherwise be a dark entryway. My solution was to put up some cute, thick drapes to close when it gets dark and the lights are on......

I can't tell you what a nice cozy feeling it is to be able to walk around now without feeling like we're living in a fish bowl.....

Here's a close-up. I think they are really cute and match perfectly......

I think they'll also be great in the summer as the heat of the sun blazes in on some of those extra hot summer mornings.

Our favorite view (and luckily private too!) is all the farm land behind and to the side of us. This summer they grew potatoes and it was so pretty. We love the view of the old farmhouse too....

Oh, and BTW, the kids gleaned the fields after the harvest and we have potatoes coming out our ears.

Some benefits of living on a busy corner is 1) getting rid of stuff. We've been able to set lots of junk out with a "free" sign and it's usually gone within a few hours. 2) We get lots of waves and honks...even friends pulling over to say hi.....makes us feel popular. hee hee 3)Selling stuff. We had a big garage sell without even advertising. The kids also made good $ selling lemonade and cookies. Here they are with a friend selling their goods....


  1. YIKES! I am always amazed at people's inability to recognize personal space. You need those signs they have in new neighborhoods --for homes that used to be models--that say "Private Residence". You could stick it next to the railing, in the picture above, or next to the door, on the door. Etc.

    That man in your bedroom? I would have pooped bricks. Keep your doors locked and excellent idea with the drapes.

  2. Changing your family enterance to the back, as you pass we pass by your watchdog, may be a deterant to unwanted guests. All of us (friends and family) will always know your front door is locked, not the back. Word gets around about open doors.

  3. OMG Stephanie! I can't believe this post. And it isn't even the first time it's happened! I love your idea of the drapes. What a great solution. You're being a good sport. It sounds like the kids are thriving even with strangers invading your space. The man in your bedroom!!!??? Oh my goodness. Gleaning potatoes? What a memory. You'll have to boil them, dice or shred them, and then freeze them. I'm always having to throw bad potatoes away so hearing about an excess of them makes me quake. Love hearing from you. Aunt Sue

  4. How about a deadbolt on your front door that you always keep locked and a small sign that says Simpson Home or Simpson Residence? Since this has happened several times, I think it will happen again if you don't make some kind of change. I love the door you have now, and the curtains are a wonderful idea. Did you make them? I know that you have come a long way, and I love that you wrote a list of advantages of living there. Good luck. Corinne