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Guy Accused Of Making Neighborhood ‘Trashy’ By Using Clothesline To Dry Wife’s ‘Intimates’

Erik Witsoe/Unsplash

Let’s face it: When we’re at home, trying to get a few tasks done, sometimes we’re going to choose the method that is the easiest for us.

But then someone might decide to share their opinion about how we do things, stated the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor BeeYehWoo was fed up with a neighbor who criticized his use of a clothesline outside that was visible to other members of the neighborhood.

When the neighbor accused him of lowering property values, the Original Poster (OP) was especially angry.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for using a clothesline and ‘making my neighborhood look trashy’?”

The OP was enjoying his new method for doing the laundry.

“I began line-drying our clothes during the pandemic; I changed our laundry routine while bored at home during the lockdown.”

“Our house has a large clothesline setup. A previous owner had metal posts set into concrete in the backyard, and I bought some new lines to string between them.”

“This spring, with the warmer weather, begins my third year using a clothesline.”

“I have real data showing significant energy savings. I can hang 5 loads outside, and they’ll all dry in an afternoon.”

“Laundry smells fresh; better than those ‘outdoor fresh’ dryer sheets that smell artificial. When I mow the lawn and hang clothes after, the fresh-cut grass and breeze give bedsheets a great scent.”

“Our clothes last longer and look better.”

“We still use the dryer sparingly if we need a garment immediately. I use a clothes tree in the basement to dry during winter or if it’s raining.”

“I like the ‘green’ aspect of all this.”

But one of the neighbors did not appreciate the OP’s new approach to laundry.

“Since I started hanging clothes again, I found a note taped to my front door from a neighbor I don’t know well.”

“They wrote that I make the neighborhood look ‘third world,’ like hillbillies live here.”

“They wrote that my hanging clothes are eyesores that lower property values and can be seen by potential homebuyers (there are several houses for sale on my street). They suggested I should use a clothes dryer like normal civilized people.”

“They notes that they lived in an HOA with a bylaw banning clotheslines and wished the same law would pass here.”

“They also indicated that when I hang my wife’s clothes, it’s ‘indecent’ and visible to children.”

The OP didn’t see what all the fuss was about. 

“So my clothes are decaying the value of the neighborhood. This is a clothesline, not a beat-up car on a lawn.”

“So, I washed every dog blanket, comforter, towel, bath mat, dish rag, etc… in a fit of spring cleaning and hung laundry every sunny day of the week. I showed the letter to neighbors I trust and with my help, they started line-drying too!”

“Not out of spite but I want that neighbor to see line-drying as commonplace, and she’d have others to go up against.”

“The only point I might understand is the hanging of my wife’s intimates. She is busty and wears ‘loud’ colors, so a red striped bra with large cups or a lacy thong is certainly visible.”

The OP was frustrated with the neighbor’s accusations.

“If Victoria’s Secret displays intimates on a mannequin, and women can wear swimsuits at the beach, why is it a problem to hang laundry outdoors?”

“It’s not even an actual woman showing skin; it’s laundry without a body!”

“Are these kids so fragile that a mere whiff of sexuality in the form of panties on a line is enough to corrupt them?”

“What about male underwear, are my boxers ok to display?”

“I could hang her intimates indoors, but I never thought people were so prudish. My wife never demanded her intimates dried indoors.”

The OP wondered what the neighbor would accuse him of next.

“I continue to line-dry and wonder what our next encounter will be like.”

“I won’t respond to the note. Stepping back, I’m also realizing this is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.”

“How could somebody accuse clotheslines of these things (e.g. they attract crime)?”

“I’m also looking for judgment. Who is the a**hole in the neighborhood?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were puzzled and amused by the neighbor’s thought process.

“How can you even think to hang clothes out to dry? That’s completely uncivilised!”

“I mean… to give kids the idea that laundry isn’t done automatically? That there’s another way of drying clothes?”

“And not to mention underwear! Kids don’t know what that is yet! How dare you?”

“Is probably what the neighbour is thinking. Oh how wrong one can be.”

“NTA.” – DogsReadingBooks

“They may even have seen laundry in their own home!”

“Some of their mothers might put their bras in the laundry hamper of washing machine to traumatise their poor innocent eyes!”

“They’ve probably seen them hung up to dry in their own home as only a hooligan would tumble dry a bra!” – Stripycardigans

“My mom was very, very anti clothesline because she grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood, the one this neighbor is afraid of becoming. She fancied herself too classy for that and seeing them in the yard behind our house would make her curse those d**ned Johnsons.”

“It was also a stab in her gut when I’d come home from sleeping over my grandmother’s house, gushing about how good the sheets smelled and how crisp they were.”

“What’s so stupid is how much better it is for the earth, your fabrics, and your energy bills.” – Tapingdrywallsucks

“The underwear thing is so dumb. Kids that are old enough to know what a lacy thong is and why it’s an intimate item have already seen tons of underwear in stores, commercials, etc.”

“I guess I can understand not wanting to feel awkward and have your neighbors’ underwear in view as you are trying to mow your lawn or whatever, even if I think people should just deal, but trying to play the ‘think of the children!’ card is embarrassing here.” – mdaniel018


“Having a clothesline and being able to line-dry your clothes is a freaking luxury to some people, so they can all shut up about it making the neighborhood seem ‘third world.'” – QuackLikeMe

Others agreed and didn’t think the OP was doing anything wrong, intimates included or not.

“We have clotheslines at my house, and to be fair I (18 Female) have always dried any of my underthings on a drying rack indoors. However, that probably has more to do with the fact that I grew up very conservatively when it comes to bodies, and that we have nextdoor neighbors who are complete perverts and I don’t want them to see my stuff.”

“NTA at all OP, clotheslines are great and it always feels nice to do something that’s a bit better for the environment and the energy bill.” – Recent-Day2384

“My grandmother was born in 1913, grew up on a farm, died in 2002, but always did her laundry on a clothes line. Even after she was bought a new dryer and washer.”

“I loved to visit her and smell her clean sheets. It does make a difference.”

“Also, I never ever dry my bras!! Especially not expensive ones. They are always hung to dry.”

“And I have kids (boys) and they don’t think twice about seeing a bra. They help fold laundry. NTA.” – Typical-Garlic-7308

“NTA. Line-dried clothes smell amazing and being outside in the sun helps get rid of any musty smells that my clothes sometimes get from the washing machine.”

“Line-drying is also probably the single easiest thing to decrease energy consumption. Anyone that says behaving in an environmentally friendly way is not classy is plain ignorant, and is part of the problem.” – WanderleyWagon5678

“Absolutely NTA.”

“I’m assuming you’re American. I’m not, and line-drying is Plan A in most households in my country, with some people having a dryer, mainly if they have too much washing to line-dry or for months with wetter weather.”

“The amount of energy Americans waste is unbelievable and is literally helping to kill the planet, and therefore all of us.”

“And your neighbour’s worried about aesthetics?” – mynamecouldbesam

“That’s the biggest problem we (Americans) have here: They sell everything by way of convenience or aesthetic. A lot of people are really addicted to both and won’t think outside of the capitalist box.”

“I myself am not perfect, but I have been challenging myself to use less and do more by myself, use less packaging, etc., and I wish more people understood how much more satisfying it is to do those things ourselves rather than pay a large corporation to do it for us.”

“A large corporation that pollutes and likely doesn’t treat their employees well or pay them a living wage. It’s so much more satisfying to be making a way to survive on your own. And a lot of reusable items end up being more cost effective in the long-run!” – fcknliarcamille

The OP’s confusion about his neighbor was joined in the AITA subReddit, as fellow Redditors felt conflicting feelings of confusion, amusement, and even apathy toward the aesthetically-driven neighbor.

At the end of the day, line-drying is better for the neighborhood and our clothes, even if seeing the items out on the clothing line doesn’t turn out to be our favorite neighborhood sight of the day.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.