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I found out a few days ago that we have new neighbours in our street. They just moved into one of the houses on the other side of the street. They seem like a nice family. Mental note to self: need to knock at their door to say hello at some point.
That said, when I was going out to start the school run yesterday, my new neighbour was putting his rubbish in front of his house, for the Thursday’s bin collection. The thing is, he was in his boxers. I mean: just his boxers (they had yellow and pink stripes. Lovely). Truth be told,  he doesn’t exactly look like Brad Pitt or Daniel Craig and I wasn’t thrilled to see his bulging tummy without anything on. I actually pretended I hadn’t seen him (I think that I deserve an Oscar for my performance as he was standing less than 5 yards away) and we didn’t speak.

The problem was that I can’t help thinking of my new neighbour’s bottom and I am terrified to see it again. It is the first time in my life that I wish for a really cold winter. He would need to get out in his coat. As long as it is not stripy as well we’ll be fine. The British summer usually doesn’t last long anyway. I should be ok. I hope. I am stressed.
I am becoming paranoid too. I think that I saw him in his PJs this morning. Next time, I promise, I will confront him and say “hello”. That’s the polite thing to say, isn’t it? Very civilised. If he doesn’t get it, I will add “nice underwear”. That should do the trick.
I don’t think that it’s a British thing. Where I am from, close to St Tropez, our next door neighbour is naked most of the time and sunbathing on her balcony. She is also hanging up her laundry without anything on. My 90-year old grandfather is absolutely delighted as it provides him with some year-long entertainment. He told me the other day that she had had a boob job and, frankly, it was disgusting and looked like plastic. He would know, he has been watching her for the last ten years. I have always thought of her as a charitable lady and was even considering writing her a thank you card.
That cannot be said of our next door neighbour. On the bright side, this shows that he is very much at ease in his house. I don’t know what to do.
So how do you deal with such situations? 

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Erm…. I’d wait till I spot him with some clothes on, and then rush out and say hello. After that, I’d be very British about it, and pretend that I hadn’t noticed he was nearly naked. I would say hello to him in his underpants while keeping my eyes studiously averted from his moobs and naughty bits!

  • I would go the avoidance route. Unless of course he was a real looker than I’d probably be outside all the time, waiting for another chance meeting lol Honestly, I don’t really understand people who go out in various states of undress, nor do I understand the craze with wearing pajamas in public. Hell in my father in law wore slippers to his cataract surgery the other day! I just don’t understand it at all.

  • Lol!

    Just go ahead and say hi… and pass on a little humor about the attire; that’s all! You really can’t say much about a person by what they wear..for all you know, they might be wonderful neighbors! Say hi and see how it goes; that’s what I would do!

  • MuMu, you shouldn’t have to endure that at your age! Does he not know you are French and are programmed to be shy?

  • HAHAHAHA! You are hilarious! Thanks for the good laugh, dear Muriel! You will figure it all out….with ease and elegance, I am sure!:)

  • Disturbing, yes, but it could be worse. Have you ever seen the web site with the photos of Wal-Mart customers?

    Check a few out. You may never leave home again.

  • Aargh, just typed the most stupendously witty comment then hit the wrong button and poof! It was much wittier than your neighbor’s bottom will be in a thong, which is what he might don if you make that underwear comment. 😀

    Bravo to your grandpa for keeping his eyes strong with vision exercises.

    Fabulously funny post. 😀 xo

  • @ Jenny Woolf – Thanks for the advice. It is a very British way to deal with the problem…I like it!

  • @ Lalia – He is NOT a looker. At all. I am embarrassed. I would never go on my street in my PJ unless there was a fire or an emergency in the house. I think I am old!

  • @ Hajra – I agree with you. But at the same time, I can’t help judging (a little bit) someone who is so eager to show his bottom. It can’t be a good sign, can it?

  • @ DC – Well, we haven’t had time to talk to be fair. Maybe the civilised way would be to write a stop-showing-your bottom card?

  • @ Brynne – thank you…I wouldn’t be so sure. I simply don’t know what to do. I need to devise a robust action plan.

  • @ Thom – OMG. Some people don’t seem to think, do they? That being said, he is just next door. I don’t know what to do.

  • @ Cath – Thanks, and sorry you lost your comments. I hate to say it, but I am also very proud of my Grandpa. Between you and me, he doesn’t need glasses. I really need to thank this lady!

  • Even McDonalds has a dress code of ‘shirts must be worn on premises’…maybe you need to draw up sort of neighbourly code of conduct?! Hubby often puts the bins out in his pyjamas (chest and bottom covered)but then we live a good few miles away from anyone else, so there is only me and the dog to offend…and I have to admit I’d go mad if he went out solely in his boxers despite where we are!

  • @ Lucylastica2 – I wouldn’t mind him being naked in his own house. And in London, houses are not miles away …I will have to think of something! I am not sure what yet…

  • Some quip about dressing for the weather, as you peer up into the cool wet autumn sky, might just do it!

  • Hahaha, Muriel, hilarious as always! And I love it when those cute little British words like rubbish appear in there.
    I like your idea of saying ‘nice underwear.’

    I want to know why it’s never the really hot guys I see running around in their underwear or shorts or speedos, either. Darn it.

  • There’s a neighbor who walks his dog wearing nothing but shorts (not sure if they’re really shorts or boxers, but they’re not see through and he has a normal physique). I honestly hadn’t noticed or cared, until my son remarked upon it being “creepy.”

    I’ve had some odd neighbors. One was a girl who walked her dog each morning wearing a see through negligee. I’ve seen old, flabby, overly tanned men jogging in 1970s short shorts.

    And I think we clearly still have double-standards for men and women that do not make a lot of sense to me. I, personally, long for the days when people dressed in their “Sunday best” for airline travel, and bothered a bit with personal hygiene. But it’s not because I think SEEING them is gross – it’s because I don’t want to be rubbing elbows with them if they ARE gross. Cleanliness and a neat appearance, coupled with long sleeves, can go a long way towards eliminating “grossness.”

    If my neighbors were hookers (and dressed like cheap ones) or dope dealers/addicts (and hung out looking like it), that would get my prudish dander up. Neighbor taking the trash out in his undies? Meh. Just as long as I can’t see his butt crack and the material’s not so thin I can see…other things. In my opinion, saying he’s no Brad Pitt or Daniel Craig implies it would’ve been fine, if only he were more handsome. How would you feel if a guy wrote something like that about a woman in his neighborhood? Standards of propriety and neighborliness shouldn’t come down to whether it’s Brad Pitt or a pit bull.

  • ehehe neighbours – they are always ones to shock! Your story sounds so familiar…maybe I have some hidden trauma from a similar experience.

    (On a side note I do remember walking into my Mum’s ex-boyfriend in his briefs in the middle of one night…not good at all!).

  • @ Cathy – I will try it, if I see him again…I like your way. very subtle…

  • @ Stacey – I know. If only he was a looker I wouldn’t mind. It would even be my guilty pleasure of the day, a bit like a chocolate bar without the calories…

  • @ Holly – I hear what you say. That said, putting the bins in my undies is a definite no no with me. I just can’t do it, don’t ask me why. I know my place, you see. And I know it is unfair for normal looking guys but the sad truth is that it is how I feel. That said, I am sure that men are the same: my GrandPa doesn’t mind looking at our naked neighbour…Despite the boob job she is quite hot (and too tanned).

  • @ Janine – Oh my! Poor you. Did you tell you Mum?

  • To be brief, he didn’t accost you. He didn’t do anything more than be inappropriate for you (and most likely others, if they looked). Again, double standards as stated above: if he was great looking, it’d be a different post. I wouldn’t sweat it.

    do we complain about all the underwear ads on buses and billboards and all, staring down as we look at models and model physiques? Some do. It’s become part of the “look at me” or “I don’t care” generation.

  • I would probably not say anything and just start avoiding if possible…at least avoid seeing him or having any form of interaction when he is not looking ‘decent’. It would be difficult to confront as they are neighbors and from my perspective, your life would be made even more difficult and complicated should any form of real conflict ensue between the two of you or your families as you are bound to see each other often. (Just a thought….are you sure he’s not reading this blog?? hehehehe…)

  • @BornSoryteller – I understand where you are coming from. That said, if it makes me uncomfortable, shouldn’t I say something?

  • @Joy – no-one knows I am blogging here and that’s how I like it…let’s hope it stays that way.

  • What a Shame he is not handsome! Let’s face it it’s only the less fortunate ones who feel at ease to show you their bottom………I think I would be a bit rude (not good) and say “Good Morning, a bit chilly today, maybe not (Eyeing at his underwear)”.
    Because really if you feel uncomfortable and you say nothing he will not change its ways!

  • Ha that is pretty much a frequent thing in our neighborhood. I am thinking that maybe they think they can get out and then back in before anyone sees them? Its kind of gross though and I totally feel your pain.

  • HAHA! That’s hilarious, Muriel! =) I’ve *never* had that happen to me anywhere I’ve been and I would have been so uncomfortable. =P I’m super impressed with your acting abilities! I’ll need to practice in case this happens to me in the future. =P

  • @ MarieHarmony – I know I need to do something. I am not sure what it will be…

  • @Jennifer – glad I am not the only one…How do you deal with it?

  • @ Sam – Thanks. As for my acting abilities, I didn’t know that I had it in me…

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  • ALK

    If there is any occasion to show some good ol’ English restraint, it is in this case! I think a polite nod next time and nothing else…

    • I need to work on my acting skills. And fast. What can I say, after all, we are all still learning, right?

      • ALK

        Wishing all the best! Hope you’ve not had any more flashes…

        • Things are quiet so far. Quiet is good. I enjoy quiet…