So I’m a Peeping Tom, am I? One reader thinks so

163

By Chuck Woodbury

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last week I wrote about my evening walk around the RV park, and the warm and fuzzy feeling I had as I glanced into the open windows of RVs that I passed. The RVers inside were going about their lives, in their cozy little mini-homes, and it looked very appealing. I recalled, once again, what magic carpets our wheeled homes can be: They take us to wonderful places in comfort, and we get to sleep in our own beds.

Let me ask you: If you take an evening walk around your dark campground or RV park, do you sometimes look, intentionally or unintentionally, into the open windows of RVs, and in the process see the people inside? I believe we all do. It’s human nature. We’re curious creatures.

Well, one of the really swell people in our crowd (not!) thinks differently. He called me a pervert for doing that. He is one of the approximately 2 percent of our readers who have a big ol’ chip on their shoulders. They justify their miserable lives by attacking others via their computers or mobile devices, hidden inside their homes or RVs where they lash out, cowardly, without anyone seeing them.

Robert Olen could be the poster child for that group. He commented: “Please cancel my subscription. I don’t want to be a part of the bunch of lemmings that follow you off the edge of the cliff. You have no tact, diplomacy, or ethics; and you certainly have no skill in authoring a newsletter. Of course, this is your game and you make up the rules; most likely as you go along. So, have fun peeping in people’s windows at night under the guise of walking your dog. I am not sure which is worse, YOUR “I am right and everyone else is wrong attitude” or your peeping Tom perversion. Good-by and good riddance.”

Many other readers gladly bid him farewell: Beth, for example, wrote: “We, that like the newsletter, say ‘Good riddance’ to people like you. What a miserable life the people around you must have. I almost feel sorry for you.”

I trust Mr. Olen is gone and will never return. I mean, does looking in the window of an RV I walk by, with its windows and front door wide open, make me a pervert? Oh my goodness. I have to wonder what in the world is wrong with some people that they can be so nasty? If only I had a way of magically seeing Mr. Olen as he typed his message. Who is he? Where was he writing from? What happened in his life to make him so angry?

I feel sad for him.

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163 Comments
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Holly
3 months ago

Some people just like to be miserable!

Joseph Weinstein
3 months ago

Open doors or windows, you give anyone walking by permission to look in. When studying professional photography learned that the eye is automatically attracted to light so when walking at night you will inadvertently glace towards a lighted area. We are also attracted to movement. Pervert, seems like a very extreme reaction. Whether at home or in a RV park I am always glancing around for my own safety. Often, while walking by an RV showing a movie we always take a guess as to which movie. Frankly, I enjoy when a bully or someone who “attacks” is called out and exposed. It seems the only way that decent people can try and shape the social media environment into one that we can safely enjoy.

Phyllis Hudson
3 months ago

I know if we are in our RV and the shades are up and lights on, that people can see in. Plain and simple. It is my choice to pull the shades or leave them up. There is something comforting walking around at night and seeing lights inside a home .

In the Woods
3 months ago

Chuck, allow me to share a different perspective. I’d bet that the vast majority of your commenters are supportive of you and your newsletter or, at minimum, civil in their responses. Now isn’t that something to celebrate! But by writing at length about Mr. Olen, you elevated that single, (likely) rare commenter and magnified his thoughts. In any public profession, such as editor, it pays to be Teflon, and to remember the ol’ “sticks n stones… “. As someone who advocates against censorship, I prefer reading ALL comments — those I agree with, those I disagree with, those that cause me to think, and yes, even those that make me shake my head or roll my eyes. Thanks.

Jeff Craig
3 months ago

I can only guess he hasn’t worked through the trauma of walking in on his Grandmother as a child…

Americans are such prudes.

(Yes, born American, served 20 years in the Navy, been stationed all over the world, not worried about nor offended by nudity.)

Steve Browning
3 months ago

Sorry, Charlie, but I can’t help feel sorry for Mr. Olen. I just wondered why he was reading the newsletter anyway with his comment. Open windows are just that, open. Therefore, free to look into.

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago

As a lonely Senior who lives alone I often have an impulse on a dark lonely walk to look into the bright cheeriness of someone’s uncurtained window BUT I always resists because I know even a brief glance can EASILY be misconstrued as criminal intent or at the least as invasion of privacy. I became aware that it IS an invasion of privacy as a younger lonely person out for a lonely walk on a dark night when my glance was met by the glance of the homeowner, and I saw the suspicion on his face even in the brief time our eyes met. If we are told ‘close your curtains or blinds’ that restricts our freedom to view the scenery. In daylight if a person is sitting on their step or in a lawn chair yes of course I’ll say hello. Our eyes are naturally attracted to light .. but a burned moth should give us a clear warning. Not many of us live in close communities where we know each person as a friend.

Eddie Telleman
3 months ago

So here’s my take – and this goes for RVs, tents, houses, offices – you are permitted to look at the building, but not stare. You are never permitted to look into the structures. So if a curtain is open and you look at a camper, you must immediately look away. No if, and, or buts. A specific invitation is always required for you to look into a camper (etc.) whether through a window, door, or crack in the wall.

If you don’t follow my preferred behavior, are you a pervert (or something else)? Not necessarily. You just don’t have the same sense of societal behavior that, as a Southerner, I was brought up with. However, it does make my skin crawl thinking that I can’t leave my curtains open without someone standing and staring in.

Hank Smith
3 months ago

He probably leaves his windows open and goes around “unclothed” in his RV. I say if you don’t want people looking in, close the blinds or curtains, just as you would at home! What a goofball!

JR Farrer
3 months ago

You’re right, Chuck. He’s just a bitter person lashing out in the likely hopes that he’ll make someone else feel as bad about his life as Olen feels about his own. Good riddance indeed!

Vincee
3 months ago

It has become a tradition for my wife and me to take a walk around the campground at night, checking out campfires, movie nights under the stars, great conversations, and yeah, peering into people’s wide open campers! It folks wanted privacy, or to hide, all they have to do is draw the curtains, blinds, shades, or whatever they use to cover their window openings at night. This is exactly what we practice in our motor home. If it’s early we are just reading, making a meal, conversing at the dinette or whatever, we leave all windows un-covered. Near bedtime, or TV watching we’ll button up the rig. Same process in the morning. We can’t wait to raise the shades and day & night blinds to let the morning in and all it brings, including chirping birds, or early risers taking a moring walk.

Susan
3 months ago
Reply to  Vincee

We’ve had people see us in the window and wave. I guess that means that they were looking too. Nothing better than friendly campers!
Thank you for all your work on the newsletters. Great info!

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago
Reply to  Vincee

You put yourself in the position of telling the person in the other home or rv how to live their life. I’m sure you would not accept such direction easily.

Sharan & Jim Harrison
3 months ago

I love your newsletter and see nothing wrong with a look at an open window or door as you walk by. Afterall, if the inhabitants want privacy they should close the door and blinds! Which is the same thing they should do in a stick house! Good grief!

Pete & Janis
3 months ago

Chuck,
I have been reading your newsletters for several years now and enjoy them very much.
You and your staff have done a tremendous job of getting the latest and greatest RV news and information into our hands. Congratulations on the 950 milestone. Because this business is you passion, you will always have new ideas pop into your brain at all hours of the day and night.
There will always be the 1 or 2% that march to a different drummer, and you cant let them get to you!
As you can see by the comments, the 98% of us appreciate what you do
Keep up the good work my friend!

Audrey Egan
3 months ago

Oh, my goodness. I read that response to your article and was astonished at how nasty it was. Who doesn’t walk around the campground with their pups (or no pups) and enjoy looking at the gorgeous rigs that are out there? My husband and I would always walk around campgrounds to see what rigs that we would put on our wish list. . . Who owns an RV that doesn’t know when the shades are up the inside lights are on that you are in a goldfish bowl?? These rigs have shades if you don’t want to be seen, and we all know it. We own a beautiful rig and enjoy when people walk by and compliment it – we worked hard to get this rig. And, as I said – if we don’t want people to look in, we just pull the shades. It’s a no brainer. I totally enjoy your website since I saw you on the NERVDA show with John DiPietro and Bob Zagami! Don’t let the haters detract you and your daughter! PS – loved her idea of the RVing pets segment, that was fun.

pursuits712
3 months ago

Mr. Olen needs to boondock. He sounds more like a hermit than an RVer.

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago
Reply to  pursuits712

Hermits can be very nice people just wanting a little privacy and quientess, which is why many people boondock.

cee
3 months ago

I’m looking to see what’s on TV as we take our evening walk. There’s no lingering, that would be impolite. I never thought of myself as a peeping pervert. Only a real pervert would come to that conclusion. I hope you seek help and find peace Mr. Olen.

Ian C
3 months ago

As for Mr. Olen, does he have any friends to walk with him?? Probably not.

I enjoy early evening walks, saying hi or just waving as we stroll by.

One other quirk I have, if the curtains/shades open is where did the maker of said RV put the TV?? Some are in purely ridiculous places that I’m sure your neck is twisted after watching it for just a few minutes.

Keep up the excellent words of wisdom that we all need in these days.

Wayne Sasser
3 months ago

One would think that with all of the angst and confusion we are living in we would put it down a while as we enjoy being among like minded people. While I agree with your comments, we must be patient and understanding of those narrow minded people who are so bitter, as they can’t see the opportunities available to them as we walk around, wave to each other, smile, say a word or two and perhaps make a friend. While they are rude and inconsiderate, they are entitled to their opinion. I wait for them to speak, or not, show their ignorance, and then decide to leave them be. No need to lower myself to their level.

littleleftie
3 months ago

Methinks, Friz, that you might not feel the same way if those remarks had been directed at YOU and not at Chuck. As the kids say “easy for you to say”.

Gary K
3 months ago

Mr Olen is definitely “out there.” If RVers were concerned about pedestrians seeing them in their RV’s then they pull their shades or curtains. I don’t believe anyone expects that you must walk starring straight ahead. For myself, I enjoy looking at all the different types of RV’s and their assorted paint jobs.

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago
Reply to  Gary K

Look ‘at’ an rv is not the same as looking ‘into’ an rv.