I just don’t think I’m going to answer the door anymore.
As extroverted and as social as I can be, I really don’t want to be bothered when I’m at home. I don’t like for the doorbell to ring. I don’t like answering the telephone (and I’m such a Caller ID junkie you wouldn’t believe it). I like controlling my interface with the outside world 100% when I’m at home, and that usually means leaving it the hell alone, and wanting it to leave me the hell alone. When I’m hanging with my family, watching a movie, blogging, eating, or sleeping, my tolerance for unplanned interaction with my fellow man is very, very low.
But I’m aware that my feelings on this are perhaps excessive, and the doorbell rings once in a while. That’s the way we do things in our society, whether I like it or not. Delivery? No problem. Generally I know when something’s coming. Neighbor? Again, not usually a problem. We have good ones all around, and there are a couple of fine neighbor kids who fundraise from time to time. Emergency? Well, that’s the omnipresent possibility that keeps me opening the door to faces I don’t recognize. If you’re way fucked—fire, wreck, whatever—and I can help, then I want to.
I think I’m going to start shouting through the closed door to determine such, though.
We got The Magazine People tonight. You ever get these folks? Until this evening, I hadn’t seen them in several years. They babble about points, and contests, and junior manager this, and enterprising youth that, and so forth. Then they hand you a laminated card to peruse. Finally, you pick a magazine or two and give them money, and you never see them again (or the magazines).
That’s what I’ve always assumed. It’s consistently seemed like a scam to me (the end goal of this is buying you a cruise?), and plus I’m generally subscribed to all of the magazines I want anyway, so I’ve never bitten. (I understand my next-door neighbor did; more on that in a minute.)
I didn’t like these people from the start. He was way too buddy-buddy for one thing, telling me he’d just been visiting with my across-the-street neighbor and complimenting me on my selection of a Ford truck. She was all breasts, and apparently mute.
After I said no, he asked if I worked on the arsenal (deduced from the decal on my truck, the scrutiny of which I didn’t care for at all). When I refused to answer, he said he was just asking because he just got out of the Army, blah blah blah. I closed the door then.
So our next-door neighbor called ten minutes later and told me the next time she had some Jehovah’s Witnesses, she was sending them right to me. Apparently magazine guy had told her that I had sent them over! I assured her I hadn’t, and told her of the similar line I had received.
But, dig: she bought some magazines. So this’ll be validation. If she receives them, then I’m a paranoid asshole. If she doesn’t, then I have the world about as figured out as I think I do. Heh.
But I really do think that from now on, presented with strangers on my doorstep, my determination of emergency is going to be shouted through a closed, locked door, and rudeness be damned.