This was one of Beck Vass' most read columns in 2019.
There's no easy way say this so I'm just going to come out with it: A stranger saw my privates. Front on.
Look, when you're at home in the day time, with kids, crazy things happen.
It's funny how this kind of thing would have left me mortified me in my 20s.
I have never even worn bikini bottoms. I always opted for board shorts because I didn't want people seeing my bum on the beach - for goodness sake.
But once you have kids and/or get to a certain age, all kinds of people have seen bits of you that you haven't even seen yourself. You realise we're all just the same, really, so what's a little nudity between strangers?
We had just arrived home and I was swapping my jeans for running shorts because I was too hot. That's when I heard our boy, 4, call out to me. It sounded semi-urgent.
A small but important point: My running shorts have in-built undies so wearing a second pair underneath feels strange. And I hadn't found any yet.
When I got to our boy he was outside, naked, at the ranch slider (he'd had a swimming lesson and hadn't gotten dressed again yet). He called, urgently: "You need to open the door!" Wearing only a singlet, I reached up to unlock the bolt at the top of the door and as I did he announced loudly: "Look! There's a man in the tree!"
And indeed there was a man. And he was very high up in the neighbour's pōhutukawa tree chopping down branches. He'd heard our boy so he called out: "Hi!" And waved. I didn't know what to do because if I ran away, there would be bare butt, which I thought would make it even worse, so I just stood there, completely pantless, and waved back.
"Hi! Sorry about the view, hope your workplace offers counselling!"
When I shared this with friends, several had similar stories.
One had been in the shower when she'd heard the phone ring. She'd run, stark naked and dripping wet to answer it, only to find a courier standing at her door.
Another lives in an apartment in Melbourne. With doors and windows wide open, she'd had a cool shower on a stinking hot day and sat down, naked, to have a cigarette. That's when the apartment window cleaner dangled down to do his job.
She took another drag on her cigarette before grabbing a cushion and going to find some clothes.
Another had been sunbathing topless and went to get a snack from her scullery. When she closed the scullery door she discovered the power meter reader standing on her deck outside.
She said he looked at her and said: "Do you want me to tell you the date I'm here next month?"
With her hands at her sides, she replied: "Yeah, that'd be good."
There's just no point in covering what can't be unseen.