Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Being Neighborly

My doorbell rings after dinner one night last week and as usual, I have no pants on (does anyone else see a theme here? Why am I so often without proper clothing? Oh, that's right, I never get to finish a task because I'M A MOM) and my kids are racing eachother to the door, fighting over who gets to open it, heedless of my multiple warnings about Strangers and kidnapping etc. Strangers aside, I'm more concerned at the moment about the door flying open wide for the hot FedEx guy to see me in my panties. Of course, they were cute panties. But still.

I manage to hold the kids off long enough for me to wrap a blanket around my waist while I try to remember what exactly I look like at the moment. This proves too difficult a task so I say Eff It and open the door anyway. Lucky for me, it's just two 8-year-old neighborhood boys, one with the most intricate cornrows I've ever seen and the other with startlingly orange hair. And both of them are into their second can of Mt. Dew since school let out, but the looks of their inability to sit still long enough to complete a single, coherent thought. As they talk over one another, interrupting, stumbling and repeating random thoughts I realize they're trying to sell me something from a massive armful of fundraiser catalogs. I listen politely and do my level best to hold them back with my knee - they seem determined to come in for a visit and perhaps a Cherry Coke.

"So, whaddya gonna buy?" says the tall one with the braids that I want to touch, but won't, because it just showcases my ignorant white side. The red-head is out of breath and I take advantage of the moment of quiet, not to get my checkbook, but to hit them where it hurts.

"Sorry guys, not today. But thanks for stopping."

They stand, bewildered but not broken. Yet. Says the red-head, gesturing with his thumb to my next-door neighbors house, "Well, uh, your neighbors said you're rich. Soooo...?" Eyebrows raised, lip curled in confused expectation, he waits for me to recant my polite refusal and open my pocketbook to allow the stacks of Benjamins to flutter down into his outstretched palms.

It takes everything I have not to burst into hysterical laughter; instead I offer a bemused "Really? Well, that's nice. Have a great night, boys." I turn and close the door as they walk away, rejected by the Rich Lady in the 'hood.

Greyson looks to me and says, "Who's Rich?

"You know, Great-Uncle Rich? The one that looks like Grandpa D?"
"Uh-huh. But he's not here, Mom."
"I know, buddy. Maybe someday he'll come and visit us. Wouldn't that be nice?"

1 comment:

  1. Be careful - and not because they have orange hair or cornrows - but because we had kids "selling" stuff and trying to come in our houses for various requests (bathrooms, water etc) this summer up and down our block and then 5 houses got broken into. All of the victims reported letting the kids in their house. None of the victims reported knowing the kids who were soliciting (ie - they weren't our neighborhood kids - or even our neighbor "hood" kids....heehee a little West End humor)