Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home Alone

My dad has been on a business trip for over a week now, and my mom has managed to stay out trouble in his absence by not leaving the house. She is however starting to get her days and nights mixed up, like a newborn, because she gets sucked into late night TV programming and can’t quiet the voice that tells her there’s actually no reason she has to get up in the morning; she could sleep until noon if she wants. She hasn’t made it until noon yet, but she’s getting close. And she acts like someone should award her bonus points for showering and blow drying her hair every day, even though she doesn’t have any contact with other human beings. I reminded her a few days ago that most people bathe daily for pure hygiene purposes, and not necessarily to impress their families, and she countered it was the hair styling that was the extraordinary measure. Yes, Mom, it shows real determination to fix your hair every day.

But, I digress; it was the staying out of trouble thing that started this train out of the station. Yesterday, there someone knocking on the front door, and since it’s Christmastime, she assumed it was a neighbor dropping by baked goods and couldn’t open said door fast enough. But, instead of being handed cookies, a stranger handed her a bottle of Tide. Her first thought was that someone had alerted the authorities to the way she’s been letting the laundry pile up while my dad is away, but it turns out that isn’t actually against the law. Neither is eating cereal for dinner three nights in a row because you don’t feel like cooking for just yourself. And we know this because we’ve studied case law concerning the lives of domestic women while their spouse is away on business. (There’s a sweatpants clause that has served me well in the past.)

So, here’s where the story takes a turn and becomes an Oprah Winfrey special on what women should not do when home alone. #1: Answer the door for a stranger. Oops, too late. #2: Say that you’re home alone. The detergent giver claimed to be there to sell vacuum cleaners and needed to come in to demonstrate the product. It is of note here that this man didn’t have a vacuum cleaner with him. My mom spotted this like a trained field agent and said, “No, you can’t come in. I’m here alone.” Great. Next, he tells her he’ll need the Tide back if he can’t come in. Mom considers this. Tide’s the good stuff. She was holding in her hands something close to a ten dollar value. And her life was worth? Yeah, more. So, she opened the glass storm door a second time and gave it back. The man says that he could come back later, when her husband was home. And this brings us to rule #3: Don’t tell the potential homicidal thief how long he has to come and commit crimes against you. My mom said, “Oh, he won’t be home for a couple of days.” And then immediately realizing her mistake changed it to, “I mean he’ll be home tonight. Soon, really.” Sure he will, lady. How’s about you just leave the front door unlocked so I don’t have to break a window?

He went on to deliver more of his vacuum cleaner sales pitch, and I’m not even sure how it got this far in the exchange without my mom mentioning that she doesn’t have carpet. Their entire house is restored hardwood flooring. But it did. And somewhere near this juncture, the man’s “boss”, or, more accurately, accomplice, drove up to the curb and parked. Mom and the bad guy wrapped things up and scheduled a time for them to come back and pillage the house before she finally closed and locked the door. And then, having learned some valuable lessons during her primetime television watching, she moved chairs and other manageable pieces of furniture in front of the door. I understand the concept of a barricade, but since I also know my mom can barely lift a full jug of milk, I doubt it was an effective one.

Dad’s on his way home right now, thank God. Because I’d hate to see what she’d do if someone showed up and offered something even more valuable, like a gift card to Macy’s or something.


  1. In all fairness, the Kirby vacuum guys don't generally bring their vacuum door to door- If you are interested and do invite them in- they go to get it (in the "boss's" vehicle) and bring it back. :)

  2. OH BOY! In all fairness...I believe in anybody selling ANYTHING door to door is there to rape and/or pillage....I know of no exceptions. The Jehovah Witnesses are there to try and steal your heart for the dark they too. (I also believe in the barricade!)

  3. Hey Heather! This post is hilarious, especially since I've done the same thing! Once told a delivery guy that Jeff was working in Pennsylvania while the kids and I were in Tennessee. I've enjoyed reading and just joined as a follower. Colin and I have blogs too, mine is and Colin's is Keep up the great work!