The Exhibitionist: How an Onsite Property Manager Saved This Resident's Marriage
A Day In The Life...
Management professionals who work onsite certainly see more than their fair share of “interesting” individuals! When I received this story about a bold female resident who fancied showing off her “attributes” to a nearby neighbor, I had to laugh. Things heated up as a jealous spouse insisted it was time to close the blinds. Check out the predicament it placed this property manager in:
“Donna! You’ve got to come now!” A woman’s voice shrieked at me from over the phone. It was late on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and I was looking forward to locking up the leasing office, going home, and enjoying a glass of wine and a good book. I lived in the apartment next to the office, so my plan was just a minute away.
That plan wasn’t in the cards though, because I knew whose shrieking voice that was. It was Dee, one of our long-time residents. She’d been in my office several times to complain about one of her neighbors, and I’d given her my cell number in a moment of weakness. According to Dee, her neighbor, a young woman, liked to go “strutting around in her birthday suit” in front of her bedroom window. After a while, my staff and I had taken to calling her The Exhibitionist!
Adding to Dee’s distress was the fact that The Exhibitionist’s bedroom window faced Dee’s living room window, and unsurprisingly, Dee’s husband had become completely and utterly caught up in enjoying the “show.” Not long ago she’d contacted our office to voice her grievance.
“You’ve got to do something!” Dee demanded. “It’s ruining my marriage and it’s downright indecent!! If you won’t get involved, I will take matters into my own hands!”
The woman was distraught. She seemed to be teetering on the edge of...well, the edge of doing something with serious legal consequences.
“Dee,” I said encouragingly, “Calm down. I will see what I can do. Maybe this resident doesn’t realize her blinds are open.”
“Oh, she knows what she’s doing,” Dee wailed. “She knows people are watching her and she enjoys it. This is not some innocent ’Oh, I didn’t know my blinds were open’ thing.”
Again, I tried to calm her. “Dee, I’m going to take care of this. Here, let me give you my cell phone number. The next time you see your neighbor in the window, call me on this number, and I’ll come right over. Do not, under any circumstances, confront this woman.”
And here we were. This was my cue to “come right over.”
I made it to the area between Dee’s building and The Exhibitionist’s fairly quickly. The rain had subsided, but it was overcast and the skies were rapidly darkening.
Suddenly, Dee was beside me, appearing like a ninja in the growing darkness. “There!” she instructed, pointing accusingly at an upper apartment window, though I didn’t need any help identifying the subject of her ire.
My eyes were already focused on what was going on above me. The apartment backlit the perfect silhouette of a naked woman who appeared to be oblivious to the fact that her blinds were wide open. She was on full public display. “You see that! You see that!” Dee was jumping up and down next to me, thrilled at her vindication.
“Oh, trust me. I see it,” I told her. “Dee, go home. I’ll deal with this.”
Dee looked crestfallen. “I want to go with you,” she begged. “We can knock on her door and confront her. Tell her that she is out of line and she needs to put on some clothes.”
I convinced Dee to go back to her apartment, and waited until she was home before proceeding to The Exhibitionist’s front door and giving it a few knocks. After a couple of minutes, the door opened slightly, revealing a woman wrapped in a bright pink robe that barely contained her “healthy” proportions.
“Yes,” she purred at me, looking at me questioningly.
“Yes, hello. I’m the property manager. We’ve had numerous complaints from your neighbors about, um, well, it’s just that…Look, you need to shut your blinds if you’re going to walk around without any clothes on. It’s not acceptable.”
I stopped my blathering because the woman was staring at me with a smug smile.
“So, you’re saying that I cannot enjoy being naked in the privacy of my own home?” she asked. It had been a long day and I was tired of playing games with The Exhibitionist. She knew full well that she was acting inappropriately, and I’d had enough of it.
“Look,” I said, “Here’s what I’m saying--You can be naked all you want in the privacy of your own kitchen, bathroom, living room or dining room. Be naked in your closet and in your hall – just do not be naked with your blinds open! If I hear about this again, I will call the police and let them deal with you.”
I was not happy to see her smiling throughout my tirade, but she did finally concede.
“Okay, I’ll shut my blinds,” she agreed, stifling a yawn as if I were boring her to tears. “Jeez, a girl tries to spread a little happiness around, and she gets this?” She abruptly shut her door, still complaining loudly on the other side.
Happily, there were no more complaints from Dee after my confrontation with The Exhibitionist. Dee came by the office and made a big deal about it and told me that I was her hero. She said she and her husband were getting along better than ever. After the whole exhibitionist thing, she said she’d had a frank conversation with him. And he’d hinted that maybe it would spice things up between them if she would walk around naked, so she happily obliged!
I filed this is in my mental TMI folder for future reference, never thinking that you could achieve hero status for simply ordering someone to shut their blinds.
I guess it’s the small victories that count!
From the book "I Have a Complex, but I'm Managing It!" Stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.