Meandering Stranger

19 03 2009

Oh, people. PEOPLE. Do you remember the other day when I was, all “Ohhh, no, I opened the door to a stranger, a stranger with the word “ex” in his self-description, wah wah wah how can I be so dumb?” IT GETS WORSE.

Yesterday another strange person showed up at our house. This person was unlike Strange Person #1 in two ways: one, he was not as nicely dressed as #1; and two, he did not, as logical visiting rules dictate, knock on the door. In fact, he did not indicate his presence and desire to converse with me, the home-dweller, in any way. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY FIRST CLUE.

No, instead he kind of meandered about on our walkway, in the general vicinity of our front door. Directly in front of the huge windows in our living room which look out onto the front yard and walkway. I happened to be in the living room, which is how I was able to witness his meandering. He all of a sudden noticed me noticing him, and kind of gave a little nod, and moved slightly in the direction of the front of door. I took this to mean that he was, in fact, going to make his way to my front door, and stupidly got up to answer it. (‘It’ being the front door he still had not knocked on.) (Hi, I’m Caley and I’M A MORON.)

So, with a baby on my hip and a rowdy rapscallion of a 3 year old at my side, I opened the door. To some dude. Some dude who was currently still in front of my house meandering. I looked at him, and he looked around a bit before squinting his eyes and staring up at the top of the house. “Uh, hey, do you need a paint job?”

What?

“Um, I’m not the owner, sorry.” I figured that would make him leave. I don’t own the house, therefore I won’t be making any decisions/purchases regarding the painting of the house. “Oh, you just the babysitter?” he asked. Sure, I thought; why not? “Yep, just the sitter,” I replied. HA. Now you have even LESS reason to talk to me.

(…or MORE, if you’re THAT KIND of meandering stranger, ohgodwhathaveIdone???)

At this point, he started meandering again. Not down the walkway back to the sidewalk. No no, right across our lawn. Through our yard into the next door neighbors’ yard. And now he was adding mumbling to his meandering, because was saying something that I had to ask him to repeat 3 times before understanding: “Do you want me to leave my number with you?” “No thanks, that’s alright,” I answered.

Once he asked the paint job question, I naturally assumed he was in the business of painting homes, and going door-to-door trying to get some work. It’s not the first time we’ve had painters or lawn care people or even the local butcher doing just that. But let’s take a look at the difference between those Credible People and my Meandering Stranger, shall we? The Credible People are, if not in a uniform, then at least dressed in business-casual attire. My Meandering Stranger was dressed in jeans and a filthy sweater. Credible People use the walkway; they do not trample through your grass. Meandering Stranger both meandered and trampled through the grass. Credible People come armed with info: pamphlets, flyers, door-hangy-things, business cards, etc. Meandering Stranger held nothin’ but a disposable paper coffee cup. Hmm…

All I can say is THANK GOD he meandered his way on outta my life. I shut the door and promptly cocked my head to one side, running through what had just happened, seeing 5 minutes too late all the warning signs I should have seen in the beginning, going, “What the… what just… what?”

Jeff got home from work about 10 or 15 minutes after all that went down. I told him about it as soon as he walked in the door, and immediately he asked, “Did he look like…” and described to a T my Meandering Stranger. How did he know this? Because as he’d turned onto our street, he’d seen two police cars stopped and questioning the very same man at the end of our boulevard.

Here is where I get a little sick feeling.

Is there like, a cure for this kind of moronosy? A class I can take, a pill I can swallow, a door I can NOT open, OMG DO I HAVE TO OPEN THE DOOR TO EVERY LUNATIC I SEE? Seriously. I’ve been very lucky so far. Luck does not last forever.

I can’t even start stories with, “You will not believe what just happened!” with Jeff anymore, because he knows me, and therefore he will totally believe in a heartbeat whatever new nutcasey thing I’ve done, no questions asked.


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6 responses

19 03 2009
Ethan's Oma

since I already heard this story and have “recovered” from the thoughts of what COULD have happened, I find myself wondering….just what was it he was proposing to paint ? your ENTIRELY BRICK house ? or did he perhaps notice the NEON green walls inside and assume you didn’t like them ? hmmm

19 03 2009
Hallie

When I lived at home, I always looked out to see who was at the door. If I didn’t know them, I hid like I wasn’t home. I haven’t had to do it since then b/c we almost always have security doors.

You are trusting, I’m paranoid.

20 03 2009
kidjuggler

Wow. There are a lot of “What Ifs” in this story! I am glad he was just a meandering, muttering man and not a … well, yeah … I am sure you have already thought of that.
I am thinking dog. Yeah, a big dog. Get one of those.
I am thinking baseball bat. A big bat. Get one of those.

Oh, and don’t open the door for solicitors, ex-cons, strangers, long lost relatives, friends that owe you money or chain saw “salesmen”

21 03 2009
Mae

Oh Caley, I just got done throwing up a little bit after reading this and thinking of all the things that could have happened. You my friend are totally lucky and I know you probably heard this a thousand times since this incident but I have to say it. DONT EVER OPEN YOUR DOOR TO SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW!!! I could never see out my apartment door in Wisconsin and if someone came by I asked who it was and if I didn’t know them I wouldn’t open my locked, bolted, and chained door.

23 03 2009
aliasmother

Perhaps you need to tape a sign to your door at eye level that reads: DO YOU KNOW THIS PERSON?

Do you think that would help?

24 03 2009
astarte

You know, I also open the door to people, but then, I have giant dogs that I’m more than happy to show to people, as in, ‘break in and they’ll tear you limb from limb’, which of course I don’t think they would, but who knows how they’d treat a burgler? Anyway, I’m glad that you’re OK, and if it makes you feel better, the police were probably questioning him because someone else had been watching him and called them, not because he had specifically done anything wrong.

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