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Things I've Learned Today - It's Illegal To Walk Around Your House Without A Shirt On


I cut my front yard last Sunday before it started to rain (I didn't get my back yard cut). But because last week I put fertilizer on it, it's growing nonstop. So by Wednesday, it looked like a jungle. Great. Isn't August the time of year when we don't HAVE to cut grass anymore. We have so little to look forward to in Cleveland. In exchange for being one of the cloudiest cities in the US (which I've been told before but I can't promise is actually true, nothing which stops people from telling things online anyway), horrible winters, lake effect snow, the curse of the sports teams...due to all this, we get the satisfaction of not having to cut the grass in the humid dog days of August because it hasn't rained in weeks and the grass just ain't growing anymore. BUT NO. Not this year. This year it's been raining. This year, because I bought a house, God is being cruel and I still have to cut my grass. In August. All together now...Grr...

Anyway, I'm desperate to cut my grass because - well, I think I've already mentioned the lawn nazis I live by, and I can't tomorrow since I have to go into work and then I've got tickets to see Oliver! (As far as I can tell, the exclamation mark is in the title of the play. In no way does this suggest my excitement to see Oliver!) Anyway, I walk outside. It's grey (naturally). I try to start my lawn mower. Something you might as well know. I'm not really sure how to start my lawn mower. I know to push the red button a few times and then pull the cord. The problem is, you also have to hold down this thing. But there are two things, one to turn it on and the other to somehow make it move on it's own. And I'm never sure which. Inevitably I try to hold the wrong one. It won't start. It's evidentially like starting a car in gear. Ain't gonna happen. So then I do the whole thing over again. I invariably end up pushing the red button too many times, and flooding it. So now I have to wait. Patience. Not a strong suit of mine. Today I pretended it was done on purpose b/c I needed more gas in the mower. I didn't, but it lets me save face. I'm trying not to be "the girl who can't live alone because she's a girl" girl in my homeowning attemps. I fear I'm failing.

Anyway, I start to cut my grass,I walk down the tree line twice and it starts to rain. I am not pleased by these events. But I keep going. And I cut all the tree lawn, and then start on the side, and by then it's literally pouring and icky and it's a good thing that I'm wearing an orange shirt but not a white shirt. And then my lawn mower starts coughing up wet grass. So obviously that's not gonna work anymore. I reluctantly give up and come inside. Soaked.

So I'm sitting in my family room, watching tv in my wet shit. And it occurs to me that I'm just.not.comfortable. So I take the shirt off, but I don't have a clean shirt in my laundry room on the first floor because, oh, I haven't done laundry since gosh knows when. Meaning I have to go upstair to get a new shirt. But do I really want to put the wet shirt back on? Absolutely not. And it's just upstairs. So I walk to get upstairs. Go figure, right? The hallway leads straight to the front door. Which isn't a problem - unless your front door is open. Which mine is. D'oh. So I *quickly* move upstairs. I vaguely note a cop car parked on my street right outside my house with a cop with a radar detector (I hate cops sometimes.) I run upstairs, grab a new t-shirt, put it on, and am on my way downsairs when I see the cop walking up my drive. Double d'oh! He walks up to my door and explains to me (very politely, mind you) that I cannot go walking around the the house without a shirt on.

(For those that recall, this is similar to what happened to me about a year ago when I was pulled over by a cop. That time I wasn't wearing pants. This time I wasn't wearing a shirt. So put together, cops have seen me naked. Great...)

And again, we go back to my comment earlier this week - these things never happen to the Stepford perfect people. Or people with common sense.



  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger claire said…

    That's so bizarre! I had no idea that would be illegal. Wow, I do that all the time in my apartment, often in front of windows. I guess no cops have ever noticed, but I'd better be careful...

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess the real question is... why was the cop staring INSODE your house to notice you were walking around without a shirt (were you actually wearing a bra?). I mean was the cop looking for something?

  • At 5:48 PM, Blogger Erinna said…

    I just laughed out loud at your Crazy. I'm sorry. ;)

  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Jen(nifer) said…

    Stephanie you make me freaking laugh like no other...

    Are you SURE it is ILLEGAL to walk around in your house without a shirt on? Good lord...move to NY.

    Is it really?

  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Me said…

    There's my question too - why was the cop looking in my house? I mean, is that what they do when they are sitting there with their radar detectors?

    And I *was* wearing a bra and I *don't* think it's really illegal - I can't imagine that it is. I mean, it's my house, right? And people can wear bikinis? What do I know. I'm just an idiot who can't successfully cut grass and walks around my house without a shirt on.

  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger Jen said…


    I think the cop was just wanting to let you know that he SAW you (and probably enjoyed it!).

    I'm also laughing because you said that you were sitting around in your "wet shit!" LOL!

  • At 2:58 AM, Blogger Curtis said…

    I did some quick research of Ohio law

    ORC Ann. 2907.09 (Anderson 2003), ยง 2907.09 Public indecency.

    (A) No person shall recklessly do any of the following, under circumstances in which his or her conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others, not members of his or her household:

    (1) Expose his or her private parts, or engage in masturbation

    That is the best a cop would charge you with, but I think the prosecutor would lose. Obviously you weren't exposing private parts, and you weren't in a place where you're likely to be viewed by members other than your household. The Supreme Court has recognized the inherent privacy of the home.

    Looking further, I notice that in 1996 the court held that urinating in public did not constitute public indecency. City of Cleveland v. Pugh, 110 Ohio App. 3d 472. If someone can pee outside, then I'm certain nobody would actually charge you with walking in your home without a shirt on.

    Perhaps the officer was hoping to make introductions?

  • At 7:42 AM, Blogger melyssa said…

    am i wrong for laughing out loud at this posting? i hope not! :-)

  • At 5:02 PM, Blogger Bozidar said…

    why that "growing up Greek" stands for in your title?


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