Thursday, January 26, 2012


            I started writing a chapter on friends, but was just distracted by an unfamiliar face at my front door.  He had a clip board in hand, so my immediate reaction was to open the door, see what he was pitching and send him on his way.  But on second thought, that’s how I got myself in trouble last time.  So I checked that the door was locked, ran upstairs to my bedroom and opened the window to yell down to this disturbance.  “Yes! Can I help you?” I yell with my shaky voice.  Between the run up the stairs and my instant nerves, it’s sometimes hard for me to get the simple words out.  He pitches me his window measuring and sealing bit while I pretend to be listening.   How awkward!  I bet the whole neighborhood can hear this conversation and are wondering while I am being pitched to from my upstairs window.  As he continues, he wants to know my name and a time to set up an appointment.  “NO…I’m not giving you my name!”  “But we need your contact information to set up a time”, he insists.  Now I’m pissed because he just transformed from an innocent contractor hired by my complex, into a strange creepy salesman at my door while its pitch black outside. 
I put my foot down and tell him I will Not give him my husbands name (its bad enough I gave him my first name) and he can come back and bother my husband on the weekend.  Please! I dare them to bother the world’s greatest salesman, so I can have a chuckle.  He gets the drift and sneaks off into the night. 
            I’m thanking God right now that I didn’t open the door.  I know we have the best neighborhood watch on the planet with everyone being extremely nosey, including myself, but you never know when they are not watching and someone devious is. 
            I opened my door the last time to a friendly enough looking women.  She told me she would clean my carpet for free.  My carpet, at the time was filthy and I was just thinking about calling sears for a visit.  I was excited to let her in, but then she pulled the old bait and switch.  She called two huge men who looked like they just got released from prison, from around the corner (probably hiding behind a tree), turned to them and said, “ok boys, see ya when you finish” She then gave me the most shady smile and went on her marry way.  I was dumb struck.  For some reason my common sense went right out the window and I let them drag their crusty old vacuum in.  They started moving the furniture and pitched me their cheesy sales routine as to why I needed a three thousand dollar vacuum that looked like it came from the 1950’s.
  I immediately called my neighbor to tell her what was going on and to keep a look out for me.  Then I went into panic mode, grabbed the kids and waited outside on my front lawn until they were finished cleaning.  The carpet guys weren’t too happy that they couldn’t give me the full presentation.  I tried to keep an eye on these strangers in my house by hovering in and out to make sure nothing got swiped but the whole ordeal was extremely awkward.  Especially since Jay kept screaming outside because he couldn’t stand the sound of the vacuum (even from a distance).  In the meantime, my neighbor kept calling my house line to find out if I was ok, but I couldn’t hear the phone from outside with Jay screaming in my arms.  She panicked and thought I was in danger, woke up her sleeping two year old who never normally naps and ran outside to rescue me.  To bad she just didn’t look out her window to see I was already outside.  She was relieved but annoyed she didn’t get to enjoy her daughters nap. 
The kids played on the front lawn while my carpet “supposedly” got cleaned.  After they were finished, they wanted contact information to follow up and try to push the expensive vacuum some more, but at that point, my nerves were shot and I told them to put their paper work away because I was signing nothing. 
            An area rug sized portion of my carpet seemed a tiny bit fresher, but it was so not worth it.  I was up all night roaming the internet for their company’s name and guess what?  No such company exists.  I did manage to find out about the vacuum called “the Kirby” and every website warned “Do not let Kirby salesman into your home.”  I didn’t say that they were dangerous.  It just warned of shady sales, bad ingenuity, manipulative sales people, bogus promises, etc.  All those warning seemed very accurate.  Apparently, certain sales companies hire outside sales people to pitch “the Kirby” (a well know vacuum) but these independent contractors make up their own company name and location to seem local to dim witted housewives, like myself. 
            I was a little relieved to find out these salesman do exist and that they are not just complete criminals coming in to do God knows what, but I was horrified with the fact that I let myself be a target for something bad to have possibly happened.  I put my boys and myself at risk and the guilt punched me in the head all night long.  Usually I am on high alert for this sort of shit. 
When I was ten, the meter man knocked on my parent’s back door. 
I think I had a head cold at the time and my ears must have been slightly block because I swore he was saying “let me in!” as opposed to saying, “meter man”.  My shaky hands peeled back the blinds and my heart stopped when I witnessed him pounding on the door with a big brick like looking object in his hand.  I ran to call 911 and hid.  Now, years later I can see how it was amusing to some how a swat teem showed up with shot guns, bullet proof vests and the meter man in hand.  “Is this the man?” they smirked.  It was! And since I could see him and his uniform up close, I knew he was not a threat.  The police got a nice hearty laugh, which only fueled my fire.  What the hell was I supposed to do?  I thought he was breaking in.  He was shouting, “Let me in.” 
I managed to get a little sympathy since I was a ten year old girl with sad eyes and big tears, but the joke was on me.  The meter man was told by my mother to always use the back door because she was usually sun bathing back there.  Ew!  Come to think of it, I think she must have been crushing on the meter man (I did have a perverted mother) and his brick like looking weapon turned out to be his meter reading device.  I guess he used to pound on the doors so busy housewives could hear him clearly. 
 The poor guy wasn’t at all upset by the whole ordeal.  But he did get a nice scare when they pulled him out of the deli across the street with shot guns and sirens.  At least he will get a funny story out of it…while I get made fun of.  Hey, when you have been subjected to as much cops and America’s most wanted on TV by your father (like I was)  then you might be a little paranoid too.   Maybe paranoia is helpful in this day in age.  It’s a creepy world out there and I have to be on high alert, especially for the children. 
I can’t even tell you how many times I ran for the phone or a knife when I see a suspicious man sauntering to close to my front door.  Or how I carry a big case of mace on my key chain.  I’ve never had to use it, thank the lord, but I feel safer knowing its there.  I’m debating a gun in the house, but like my husband Jake says, I’ll wind up shooting the meter man, the ups delivery guy, an innocent bystander or even my husband, himself.  He would probably be the first victim.  He could be my practice target J  So, a gun in the house is not the best idea.  I’ll just have to rely on common sense and safety.  Something I didn’t have the day I let those damn Kirby salesmen in.

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