From Mary El Pearce. Follow her on Twitter@CupcakesDC and email her at maryelp[At]borderstan.com.
When I first moved into my apartment, I was pleased with the courtyard view I shared with half of the other residents. My unit sits in the dip of the U-shaped building, so the view is really more of the neighbors than of a pretty courtyard. I imagined lounging on my balcony with a book and glass of lemonade and making light conversation with everyone else doing the same thing.
While it hasn’t been exactly what I imagined, the way I’m situated has proved to be quite pleasant and advantageous. More than once I’ve locked myself out and relied on my neighbors to let me balcony hop over to my apartment, and other neighbors have given me eggs and wine when I was in dire straits.
What hasn’t been pleasant are the neighbors across the way who have very loud fights on their balcony, slamming their sliding glass door again and again in fits of rage and screaming, “IT’S OVER!” (and we all desperately hope they mean it this time, but they never do). But this isn’t even the worst offense.
During peaceful times in their tumultuous relationship, they tend to their various plants in their underwear. And these are not the types of bodies one might enjoy gazing upon first thing in the morning. Their flabby, hairy, washed out and sagging skin is only briefly interrupted by ratty, tighty-dingies (cannot be described as “whities”) that accentuate their limp, bulging packages. Up until last week that’s the most I had seen of either of them.
Then — oh, help me — I was sipping my coffee last Saturday, admiring the stillness of the morning under the rising sun, when a motion across the way caught my eye. And there he was, in all his glory, pulling back the curtains sans anything. My mouth dropped open and coffee dribbled out — the shock sent me into a temporarily comatose state. Then I gagged. Where was this man raised, in a nudist colony?
Dude, Urban Etiquette 101: Keep your junk off the balcony.