Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If He's Smart, The Salesman Never Rings

Unless you're giving away free tiaras or babysitting, I'll have to pass.

 Morning Readers,

I know you tuned in today to hear rational commentary about the world at large, but what if we started with Rice Krispies and anxiety instead?


First off, the limited edition red, white, and blue Rice Krispies are fantastic. They don't taste any different, but if you swirl your spoon just fast enough, it's a crackly milk tornado of Americana. Two thumbs way up.

Now then, have I ever told you what happens when you ring my doorbell?

Growing up, I had neighbors who owned a rat terrier who, every time the doorbell rang, threw herself right at the glass storm door. It was terrifying, but she was just super duper excited to see whoever was there. I'm the opposite of that.

Salesman? Neighbor? Ax Murderer? How's a girl to choose?

I wear crippling anxiety like a suit, so standing inside the coat closet and evaluating my options usually sounds fine. Because, in the end, people ringing my doorbell during the day are almost always salesmen, and I know what's coming next.

"Mom. Mom, open the door. There's a guy out there, Mom."

"I know."

"He can see you. Even if you're laying on the floor."

"Go upstairs, child, and leave me be."

"It's ok, I'll open it for you. Hi! My mom's hiding behind the door. What's your name?"

My whispered, "Sh*t" is carried off on the wind as I push the door open and the offending child behind me. "Can I help you?"

Last Friday found me staring at a clearly-exhausted young man sweating profusely in the July sun. I felt bad for him. Poor lamb thought he was there to sell windows. He didn't even see the attack coming.

"Hi there. Are you the lady of the residence?"

"I run this nut house, yes."

He smiled. "Great. You see, we're having a sale on windows. I noticed that some of yours are a little, uh.. "

"Yes, that's duct tape." I nodded quickly. "Well, it's very nice of you, but we're not doing windows this yea-" Before I could finish, children started leaking out behind me like an oil spill.

"Mom, who's this?"
"Is he here to make dinner? I'm hungry."
"Yeah, did you know she only feeds us sometimes?"
"Can I see your clipboard? I'll draw a camel on it for you."
"Here, I'll take all those papers. I need to decorate my dollhouse."

Desperately, I reached behind me and tried to shove three kids back through the door, while the baby, suspicious I was about to sell her for some new double-panes, clawed her way up my shoulder and tried to throw herself down the other side.

The poor window man looked around, quickly realizing he was being closed in on from all sides. "Are- are they all yours?"

I thought about it. "They are. I'm not real quick to claim the one trying to untie your shoes though. I mean, he looks like us, but he's a bit of a loose cannon right now."

The salesman looked past me and peered into the house timidly.

I laughed. "There aren't anymore in there."


Shaking my head, I took the flyer the man was absently holding out for me while he watched all three of the older kids race down the driveway and look for a way to climb into the storm drain. "No, but I have a neurotic dog who'd love to come out and tell you his problems. How much time do you have?"

The man smiled politely and peered sideways. "My name is Mark, by the way. If- if you ever need anything, the number's on the card. We can come out and quote you. I can see you have-"

"My hands full? Or kids falling into the sewers? Either or, thank you so much for popping by. I'll keep you guys in mind for next year. If you have to head out, I totally understand. But if you want to stick around, I'm going to tie a rope around my waist and jump down in there to pull everyone out. I could really use someone to hold the other end."

"No, it's ok."

"You sure?"

But he was already speeding down the street.

I yelled for down the driveway. "Ok, everyone out of there. Head to the backyard so I can hose you off."

I'm not sure how many years I have left of Kellerman children rushing anyone who comes to our door, but it is what it is. In the meantime, I'll be anxiously waiting for the doorbell to ring again, drinking coffee, and making Rice krispy tornadoes.

Because they really are delightful.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: