Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Gladys Kravitz Syndrome

I’ve always been a bit of a voyeur. Not in a sexual fetishy way. I just have an innate curiosity about other people and how they live their lives. Shortly after we moved into our old place, David had gifted me with binoculars. I would occasionally look out over the street, into far-away windows, see people going about their days, and create my own narratives about their lives.

Where we used to live, it was an effort to survey my surroundings. I’d catch mildly interesting movement out the window, in the distance, and if I wanted a closer look, I’d need to interrupt whatever I was doing, go unearth my binoculars from a drawer in another room… it was a whole deal. But I’m no longer in a penthouse, where I could see all but none could see me – I’m in a fishbowl, as is every unit I face.

David and I opted to forego blinds in our kitchen/living area upstairs. I don’t care if others see us cooking, eating, and entertaining; blinds just obscure our view of the sunsets, the green trees, the birds: life. I save my privacy for downstairs, where we keep the blinds drawn in our bedroom and my office/den.

Still, it’s weird to be on the receiving end of ogling eyes. We’ll be sitting at our dining table for lunch and look up to realize that we’re the entertainment for a neighbor one unit over who’s having a cigarette break on her balcony. But this in-your-face living has its upside. For one, I haven’t needed binoculars since I moved in. Everything’s right there. There’s no way to avoid it, unless blinds are drawn.

All this up-close-and-personal has forced me to face a fact about myself – I have Gladys Kravitz Syndrome. Okay, maybe I’m not as nosy as the neighbor from Bewitched, but I do keep my nose to the window. I don’t watch reality television; I’d rather see what’s going on in a more immediate setting than New Jersey. Many of my neighbors have dogs – big dogs, the kind I like: Golden Retrievers, a Chocolate Lab, a Rottweiler, and more.

Usually, I just watch. But yesterday, I violated the Prime Directive by interfering with the subjects of my scientific observation. I was working on my laptop on the couch upstairs when I heard the unmistakable sound of one car coming into contact with another. I watched from my window as a woman attempted to park a large SUV in a narrow spot beside a silver sedan. After a few tries (one involving the graze against the sedan, a collision I caught the tail-end of), she gave up and parked in a different spot.

I watched as the woman examined her bumper, and then the side of the sedan where she’d hit it. I watched as she stepped back behind the two vehicles and gauged the size of the spaces. When it became clear she wasn’t planning to leave a note, I grabbed my iPhone and began snapping pictures: of her wiping her bumper with a cloth, walking around the cars, and then looking left and right to see if there were any witnesses. She forgot to look up. I was hardly inconspicuous, half-hanging out the window to get a clear shot of her license plate. If she had looked up, I would have waved and said, “Let me know if you need any paper for a note.”

When she disappeared into a residence off my radar, I bounded into action and created an email with a clear photo of the woman and both vehicles, her license plate number, and a detailed account of what I had witnessed. The email was to the property manager. “If you want to inform whoever owns that silver sedan of the responsible party for any damage there may be, there’s the info,” I wrote. I ended the note with, “Good thing to have a bitch reporter living in the complex, I’ll tell ya!”

Minutes later, I watched out my window as the property manager approached the cars, and snapped her own pictures. It occurred to me that I might take a photo of her taking photos and send it to her as a joke, but I realized that would be crossing the Creepy Line. So instead, I settled back onto the couch, grabbed my book, and picked up where I’d left off.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Statues stored for sake of safety (and sanity)

Monu-mental

I’ve always been a bit of a voyeur. Not in a sexual fetishy way. I just have an innate curiosity about other people and how they live their lives. Shortly after we moved into our old place, David had gifted me with binoculars. I would occasionally look out over the street, into far-away windows, see people going about their days, and create my own narratives about their lives.

Where we used to live, it was an effort to survey my surroundings. I’d catch mildly interesting movement out the window, in the distance, and if I wanted a closer look, I’d need to interrupt whatever I was doing, go unearth my binoculars from a drawer in another room… it was a whole deal. But I’m no longer in a penthouse, where I could see all but none could see me – I’m in a fishbowl, as is every unit I face.

David and I opted to forego blinds in our kitchen/living area upstairs. I don’t care if others see us cooking, eating, and entertaining; blinds just obscure our view of the sunsets, the green trees, the birds: life. I save my privacy for downstairs, where we keep the blinds drawn in our bedroom and my office/den.

Still, it’s weird to be on the receiving end of ogling eyes. We’ll be sitting at our dining table for lunch and look up to realize that we’re the entertainment for a neighbor one unit over who’s having a cigarette break on her balcony. But this in-your-face living has its upside. For one, I haven’t needed binoculars since I moved in. Everything’s right there. There’s no way to avoid it, unless blinds are drawn.

All this up-close-and-personal has forced me to face a fact about myself – I have Gladys Kravitz Syndrome. Okay, maybe I’m not as nosy as the neighbor from Bewitched, but I do keep my nose to the window. I don’t watch reality television; I’d rather see what’s going on in a more immediate setting than New Jersey. Many of my neighbors have dogs – big dogs, the kind I like: Golden Retrievers, a Chocolate Lab, a Rottweiler, and more.

Usually, I just watch. But yesterday, I violated the Prime Directive by interfering with the subjects of my scientific observation. I was working on my laptop on the couch upstairs when I heard the unmistakable sound of one car coming into contact with another. I watched from my window as a woman attempted to park a large SUV in a narrow spot beside a silver sedan. After a few tries (one involving the graze against the sedan, a collision I caught the tail-end of), she gave up and parked in a different spot.

I watched as the woman examined her bumper, and then the side of the sedan where she’d hit it. I watched as she stepped back behind the two vehicles and gauged the size of the spaces. When it became clear she wasn’t planning to leave a note, I grabbed my iPhone and began snapping pictures: of her wiping her bumper with a cloth, walking around the cars, and then looking left and right to see if there were any witnesses. She forgot to look up. I was hardly inconspicuous, half-hanging out the window to get a clear shot of her license plate. If she had looked up, I would have waved and said, “Let me know if you need any paper for a note.”

When she disappeared into a residence off my radar, I bounded into action and created an email with a clear photo of the woman and both vehicles, her license plate number, and a detailed account of what I had witnessed. The email was to the property manager. “If you want to inform whoever owns that silver sedan of the responsible party for any damage there may be, there’s the info,” I wrote. I ended the note with, “Good thing to have a bitch reporter living in the complex, I’ll tell ya!”

Minutes later, I watched out my window as the property manager approached the cars, and snapped her own pictures. It occurred to me that I might take a photo of her taking photos and send it to her as a joke, but I realized that would be crossing the Creepy Line. So instead, I settled back onto the couch, grabbed my book, and picked up where I’d left off.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Big Oak Ranch – another roadside attraction

The fines that MTS should pay
Next Article

A taste of New Orleans on the corner of Louisiana Street

Louisiana Purchase offers chargrilled oysters, gumbo, and fried crab legs
Comments
5

Ok, I am seriously enjoying this story. I somehow frequently end up witnessing similar events, where someone does something on accident, or with outright malice. I have learned to accept it as pure serendipity, and to gather as much information as I can and try to be a bastion of humanity. Thank you Barbarella for being a non-creepy, astute observer of human behavior! I used to get into trouble a lot as a small child for intervening when the bullies would pick on my friends and make them cry. The first time I got suspended was in kindergarten; a boy slapped my best friend and I shoved him in the chest hard enough to knock him on his backside I have since learned better ways of handling these issues. But my inner child does the happy dance every time justice is served.

Aug. 27, 2011

Thank you, Angela! Sounds like you are your own little hero, sticking up for the meek. Keep at it, girl!

Aug. 28, 2011

HYSTERICAL!!!!! Loved it!

Aug. 28, 2011

Haha, welcome! These days,at my age of 36, I'm almost 37, I am a medical assistant and a student and working on my college degree to be a physician's assistant. Everyone refers to me as Mama Bear, lol. Thank you and keep up your own heroic outlook too!

Aug. 28, 2011

'Crossing the CREEPY Line'...thinking that's a post in itself:)TOO Funny!

Aug. 28, 2011

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close