Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Morning Caller


I am such an idiot. This morning, while I sat in my usual foggy-headed stupor in front of my laptop (if I fall into the trap of logging on as soon as I get out of bed, that's the whole day shot to pieces), the doorbell rang. Usually, this means that the UPS guy is downstairs with a parcel that won't fit into the mailbox, and unless one of us gets downstairs within ten seconds, UPS guy, who doesn't wait around, will hop back into his van and drive away, and one of us will have to trek fifteen blocks to the post office to pick the parcel up. And of course he usually comes so early that we're not dressed, and there is much pulling on of clothes and tumbling half-clad down the stairs. So this morning when the doorbell rang, I was the half-clad tumbler, and, aware of how bed-headed and ridiculous I looked as I ran down the stairs (bare feet, dress unfastened down the side, hair in sleep-spikes, etc), gave what I thought was an apologetic-stroke-mischevious grin to the person peering through the glass panel of the front door. And pulled open the door. And it wasn't UPS guy. It was Ruth, friendly old black lady dressed like she'd stepped straight out of the 1940s, with a clutch of pamphlets in her hand. And a fat little bible. "Well hello there," she said, smiling so nicely that I didn't have the heart to shut the door in her face, even though I knew what was coming. "We're just sharing the words of Jesus with our neighbours. May I read to you from scripture?"

And lo, it came to pass that I stood on my doorstep for ten minutes, trying to hide my near-nakedness from the Jehovah's Witnesses (Ruth's friend, an elderly black man, stood watching from the gate), passages of scripture being intoned to me and copies of the lovely journal The Watchtower being thrust into my hands. Ruth reminded me that I would die, which was very helpful, and gave me a special issue of Awake! which addresses the challenges of adolescence, which was very flattering given that I haven't been an adolescent for almost eight years and don't count on getting back there anytime soon (actually, maybe that was Ruth's canniest move of all. Squeeze the ailing ego of the middle-to-late-twentysomething with assurances that they don't look a day over 17, and they'll let you preach to them for as long as you want to. Smart move). Ruth also, I observed, took very careful note of the apartment number of the one gullible fool in the whole neighbourhood who'd opened the door to her, and asked if she could come back soon. Whereupon I mumbled something about not actually living here....her face fell a little, thinking me either a stinking liar or the harlot lover of the heathen man in 3L (both of descriptions apply perfectly to me), but assured me that wherever I was, I would see Jehovah's people out spreading the word. Which I sincerely hope I do. Before they see me.

6 comments:

Sinéad said...

Ah yes, being a fellow stay-at-home-hack, I have perfected my response when I open the door to a postman bearing CDs or books. Usually, I've gotten so engrossed in work that I can't be arsed to change out of my PJ bottoms, favourite scruffy cardie or sort my atrocious excuse for hair.

So I've come up with a fantastic line that's not only an excuse, but often gets me a sympathetic head tilt or a "Ah Jaysus, I'm sorry luv".

Just look slightly mournful and whisper: "Sorry, I've got the flu/a headache/lazyitis". Chances are you'll be looking as groggy and crap as me in the mornings, so it's totally believable!

that girl said...

Oh I do the same thing - crawl out of bed, switch the computer on and then before you know it 2 hours has passed and I'm still in my pjs ... come to think of it - I still "am" in my pjs "sigh"

Stellanova said...

Heh, good to know I'm not the only person who picks up a hanky and tries to look feeble and sickly when answering the door to the postman in my 'jamas at an unjustifiably late hour. It doesn't work on my actual postman anymore, as he has been delivering stuff to me for three years and is now perfectly aware of my slatternly habits, but it seems to work on couriers!

And I wish I could say that I don't get dressed for hours because I'm engrossed in work, but the sad truth is simply that I'm very, very lazy.

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