Aside from being my birthday Tuesday was also my last day of classes. Now that the semester is finished I have time to get a few things crossed off my To-Do list before we leave for Chicago. Yesterday was only mildly productive because my parents came over for dinner. I spent yesterday morning straightening up before my mother arrived in the afternoon and then she and I ran errands until the boys were off work.
Today was my big day to get things done, and I have accomplished a lot. My time working around the house has been riddled with interruptions, however. three to be exact. After the third one I decided it was time to change out of Todd’s pajama pants and college t-shirt because clearly I am not having the quiet day at home I had hoped for. The first two were fine, aside from the immediate feeling of panic I get every time my door bell rings unexpectedly. The third was a problem.
The first interruption came while I was dusting, no big deal. It was a gentleman from next door letting us know that the work they are doing on the house will last for a week and will be starting early each day. The people next door sold their home about a month ago so this was the new owner just coming to introduce himself and let us know whats going on next door. We chatted for a few minutes where he explained he is not living in the house yet because they are doing major renovation. He said we should only see them early morning to mid afternoon while they are working and then they will be moving in (hopefully) at the beginning of next year. Upon coming back inside I thought, man I sure wish I hadn’t met our new neighbor wearing my husband’s pajamas. Oh well, what can you do?
The second interruption came when I had taken a break and was watching a documentary. This time when I heard the door bell my reaction was less of [panic and more of annoyance, what now? I paused the documentary and headed for the door, the whole time contemplating changing first but then deciding against it. I answered the door to a little blond lady explaining that the park next to our house has been chosen to film an Allegra commercial so she, as part of the production staff or something, has the responsibility of going around the neighborhood and making the neighbors aware. She also needed me to sign off on something showing that I had been informed. Neat, no problem.
The third disturbance was just that. This time I was changing out the laundry so when the door bell rang for the third time I had a load of laundry in my arms that I was transporting to my bedroom to be put away. There was no opportunity to change out of Todd’s pajamas, I would have to go to talk to another stranger this way. I dumped the load of laundry on the couch and headed for the door, Lucy in tow. That is a detail I have left out of the story so far, each time I answer the door I have to step outside and shut the door behind me so I don’t have to deal with Lucy. Otherwise she would be fighting with me to get outside and see the person on the other side of the door.
So, I answer the door and, to my chagrin, it is another unfamiliar face. I was really hoping this time it would be a friend or family member that was in the area and just stopping by, I was over talking to strangers, especially dressed like a bum. I step outside, close the door behind me and right after I do this I hear Lucy jump on the front door.
I ask how I can help the gentleman standing in front of me and he asks to speak to my parents. I tell him that I am the home owner and that my parents do not live with me. He became flustered and started apologizing, then he started lying.
He starts by saying he came by yesterday evening at 6:30 but no one answered the door so he went to our neighbors house and had a nice conversation with them. I stopped him and said, that’s strange because we were home last night and at 6:30 we even happened to be outside. How did we miss him? (My father arrived at our place around 6:20 just a few minutes before Todd. We were all outside helping him bring things in from the car. Then we stayed outside and spoke with our next door neighbor for about a half hour. We he had not seen our neighbor since the wedding so we were catching up. This guy’s timeline did not make sense). He got flustered again and started talking very fast saying Oh I must have just missed you but that is OK because your neighbor over here (pointing to the vacant house that is being worked on) was home, in fact I interrupted her during dinner and we had a nice long conversation. I stopped him again and asked, which neighbor? This house here? (pointing to the empty house) To this question he replied Yes. I explained that no one lives there currently and then looked at him puzzled while I asked, what is it that I can help you with??
After mumbling something and fiddling with some papers he was holding he started back tracking saying that he meant the neighbors on the other side. To that I said, no woman lives on the other side (we live next to a gay couple). He then asked me if I know all my neighbors, to which I replied Yes and asked again, sir can you please tell me what it is I can help you with? I am busy and really need to get back to work. He said that he was a Big Brother and that he mentors inner city youth and that the only way he will be allowed to continue to mentor is if he gets signatures from people supporting him.
I was lost, what on earth is he talking about? How are signatures from strangers going to validate his ability to be a good mentor? This makes no sense.
He was talking too fast for me to get a word in to ask a question. He then explained that all of my neighbors had agreed to support him and signed his sheet and then he asked if I would as well. With this he gave me a crumpled up packet of paper and asked me to sign on page three. I turned to page three and saw a list full of signatures, upon inspection I did not see one name I recognized. Now, I don’t know ALL of my neighbors but I do know the 8 that live closest to me. When he saw me looking confused at the paper he leaned in and pointed at the blank line where he wanted me to put my name. I stopped him and said, I don’t see any of my neighbors signatures here. Which one of these signatures is one of my neighbors? He started to say he has spoken to everyone on this block and everyone has signed his sheet. I flipped to the next page to see if there were more names and all I saw were pictures of magazines. Suddenly everything made sense.
I asked if by support he means he needs me to buy something? He said No, that I can make a donation, I don’t have to buy anything if I don’t want. So I rephrased the question, are you asking me to spend money? Yes.
I handed him back his paper and told him that I was not going to be spending any money. With that he thanked me for my time and asked me if I knew if my neighbor was home so he could speak to him? (I was thinking, you just said you already spoke to all my neighbors!) I said I was sorry I did not know and he left.
What a colossal waste of 15 minutes of my life! I was beyond aggravated, it was just lie after lie to try to guilt me into buying a dumb magazine. “All your neighbors are doing it” “I came by last night but you didn’t answer the door” “I mentor inner city kids and unless you support me I wont be able to continue“. The last one is where he would have got me too because what he is claiming he does is really important. Now I don’t know whether to believe him because he lied about everything else and tried to trick me into buy something rather than just being honest from the beginning. It’s like he was just lying through his lies until he came out on the other side. Ugh.
After he left I got my mail from the box and turned around to go inside, fat chance, I was locked out. Locked out in Todd’s pajamas. Of course.
Apparently when Lucy jumped up on the door after I first stepped out she some how managed to lock it, just my luck. I walked around to the garage door, punched in the code and let myself back into the house where Lucy was sitting by the door waiting for me. What a debacle.
Needless to say I am now fully clothed finishing my chores just in case.