Yesterday, in my usual frenzied mad dash out of the house in attempt to get to work on time, the doorbell rang. I was cutting pineapple slices to toss into vanilla yogurt as part of my dinner and seriously considered not answering it.
But unlike the last time a visitor came to the door, I was dressed. A few days ago, on one of my typical weekdays off, Toby and I commandeered the couch for a mid-afternoon girly movie marathon. Knowing I had no place to be, I embraced it and lounged around in my pajamas, topped off with my gigantic fluffy pink robe.
When the doorbell rang, Toby went crazy, as usual, and I tried slinking under the blanket, willing the person to just go away. Especially if it was that crazy Jehovah's Witness lady who is stalking our house and leaving angry pamphlets in our door telling us how the Bible is full of LIES. Jerry practically invited her over for Christmas once because she's good at what she does, but now that I've slapped him over the head with her phone book-sized religious-toting information packets, I think he understands that despite her ability to use words like "God" and "heaven," she's pure evil, if not the direct spawn of Satan.
But as I was willing away this incessantly persistent doorbell ringer, I eventually realized that our front door has a window. And as I bravely peeked out from underneath the blanket to see if I could determine who it is, I stared eye-to-eye with him.
Shit. I forgot windows go both ways.
So, this unknown guy had seen me. The jig was up. I was clearly trying to avoid him and he knew it. Reluctantly and a bit embarrassed, I got off the couch, picked Toby up and answered the door with my crazy disheveled hair and pink fluffy robe.
"Um, hey," I said, hoping that I'd wake up any minute and it would all be a bad dream.
He looked as awkward as I felt.
"Hi. I'm, uh, here to read your gas meter."
"Right. C'mon in," I said. "It's down in the basement."
As I led him to the door, part of me felt like feigning a cough or a sneeze. Or even saying something like, "Yeah, called in sick today." But then I realized that it's this guy's job to interrupt people at home. I'm sure he's seen far worse. So I worked my full-length pink fluffy robe. Whatever. I even plopped myself back on the couch and waved him off as he left, making a mental note to call in the meter reading next month.
But on this most recent doorbell assault, I was dressed and ready. I looked presentable. I didn't have to hide in plain sight. Plus, Toby was outside playing in the snow, so I didn't have to worry about him and his crazy freak-out episodes anytime we open the front door.
Wiping my hands on a towel to get off the pineapple juice on the way, I looked out the door window to see a kid with a shovel. He was maybe 12 or 13.
"Hi," I said.
"Would you like your sidewalk shoveled?" he asked, oh-so politely.
"Oh, that's really kind of you to offer, but my husband will get to it when he gets home soon. Thank you, though."
"Are you sure?"
And here's where I started to feel guilty. I know this kid was doing it to make a little cash. I'm sure it's hard to make money at his age. He's not old enough to get a part-time job and probably doesn't want to babysit. I get it. But my wallet is full of tumbleweeds and I'm pretty sure he doesn't accept credit, so I thanked him again and closed the door feeling like a horrible, horrible person. A horrible person who shoos away religion and little boys offering to shovel.
Who knows? Next I might dismiss a basket of homeless puppies.
So that's it. I'm not answering the door anymore. Not for religious-toting freaks, not for gas company employees, not for little boys with shovels, not for anyone. Not at the front door, not at the back. Not with a mouse, not in my house.
I will not eat green eggs and ham.
Or, uh, answer the door. Ever.