Friday, February 4, 2011

Voyeurism in the Digital Age

I'm afraid this is not a cheeky post, as such a title might suggest when it's coming from a romance and erotica writer.

This is a post in mid-creep-out…and I woke up in such a good mood.

There's a camera, probably a video camera, pointed into my kitchen from the house right next to us. My condo and the creepo's unit are both on the third floors, and my husband called me into the kitchen to point out the incredibly obvious camera propped in their window, angled right into ours from perhaps twenty feet away. It's so obvious, in fact, that I suspect it can't have been there for more than a day or two without us noticing. My husband immediately took a zillion pictures of it, and I called the police after a few minutes' unfocused fretting. They're coming by today to take a report. I think my husband wanted to go the vigilante justice route—march over and confront them—but I wanted the cops to see the creeptasticalz before the neighbors know we know…though if it is video camera, they now have plenty of footage of my husband documenting their set-up and us standing in the window, pointing and discussing what's to be done about it.

Sleazy scandal-wise, it's like, minorly scandalous. We don't have wild monkey sex in the kitchen and the most embarrassing thing that happens in there is me dancing like an asshole to Kylie Minogue while I'm cooking dinner. However, our bathroom is beyond the kitchen, and I do pass through naked once a day going back to the bedroom from the shower. This may sound stupid of me, but our neighbor's window is a skylight, so a person standing in their room really only has a view of the sky…unless of course they prop a camera up there at a certain angle. So, someone may possibly have three seconds' dim footage of me nakers, strolling by with my pajamas clutched to my chest.

I feel like I'm supposed to feel violated and panicked, but I'll be completely honest—I'm just annoyed. I'm annoyed perhaps most greatly that some douche ruined my husband's morning. He had a shitty day yesterday and this is the last thing he needed. And if taping my pasty butt is indeed the point of the camera, I'm sorry, but I just refuse to feel victimized over that. I don't care if some weirdo has a couple seconds' evidence of my boring old average nakedness passing by a window. I don't even particularly care if it's on some shoddy fifth-rate voyeur pr0n site. Everybody gets naked… That said, I will start wearing a towel in the mornings from now on, or at least buy some blinds for the kitchen windows.

Still, non-crisis or not, this did wreck my day, or at least my morning. My head cold is finally clearing and I'm supposed to be plugging away on a proposal, focused. And I'm not focused. I'm irritated and disappointed that this happened. I live in such a nice little city, but of course, even the smallest town has plenty of room for creeps.

I'm waiting for the police to come and check things out and take a report. The dispatcher lady was very nice when I called, which made me feel better. I had no idea what, if any, procedure there was for this situation, and it was validating to be taken seriously…and a relief to absolve my husband of his perceived duty to charge over there and thump some skulls.

Another thing that annoys me is that now, thanks to some creepy jackass, I'm probably going to get re-annoyed every time I walk by their house for the foreseeable future, which is just about every day. Is it possible to logic one's self out of that gut reaction? I guess I'll find out.

I guess I also want to clarify, this isn't a goes-to-show-you cautionary tale post. I'm not saying that everybody should stop walking around nakers in their homes because the world's inherently pervy and unsafe. Walk around nakers if you want—this probably won't happen to you. Or if it does (or if it has already) you very likely won't know, anyhow. Live in ignorant bliss, as I was doing quite happily until 7:30 this morning. Do check your neighbors' windows on occasion, though. Live in well-informed ignorant bliss.

Well, that's it. My husband had to head out to work, and it was nice to vent this to somebody now that I've had an hour to process. I'll check in later and let you all know what happens, once the cops come and do whatever it is they do in this situation. In this day and age, let's be honest—it can't be an uncommon occurrence. I'm sure they've dealt with it before. Anyhow, thanks for reading. I hope all your mornings are going more smoothly than mine is, so far. Such a sucky feeling, when the world decides to remind you that sometimes it's not such a lovely place.


  1. Totally crazy but I think you have the same attitude about it I would. I hope the cops take it seriously and find out what the hell they were doing (well besides the obvious) and take action.

  2. I'm sorry this is happening to you & I really hope all turns out well. Most importantly, I really hope you don't end up getting mad every time you walk by their house.

    We had a Peeping Tom once. I found out because my cat started hissing like crazy at the window. (Talk about a guard cat! Never knew he had it in him). My then-fiance, now husband, was a few houses down at a friend's house. He came tearing back home with tire iron in hand. As much as the creep creeped me out, I'm very glad my husband never caught up to the guy. While thumping heads might've made him feel better, in the long run, I'm not sure what the police would've made of that.

    Anyway, I'll be thinking of you, hoping all turns out well & you feel safe being nakers in your own home.

  3. OMG. That makes me so angry for you! That's terrible. Is there any way at all that the camera was pointed up at the stars? Oh grrr. Hopefully the cops will do something. Sorry you had to deal with that this morning.

  4. Thanks, ladies. And thanks, Ella for the laugh over the visual of your man and his tire iron. I needed that!

  5. This always makes me feel better when mo fos do something irritating...What goes around, comes around. He'll get what's coming to him, don't despair.

    Keep us posted!

  6. Shoshanna, thanks for the outrage! And no, it's definitely pointed into our kitchen…or possibly at the epic icicles hanging from our roof. (Yeah, right.) I don't actually know which of our small cast of trashy neighbors lives on what floor of that house…for all I know, it could be a kid. I'll keep everyone posted as the intrigue unfolds.

  7. That's crazy! I'm glad you called the cops and didn't confront them. I hope you keep us updated!!