The thing that bothers me the most is the uninvited guest. When I hear that doorbell ring and look out the window to see someone I know standing there, and I have not invited this person to the house for some reason, I get really angry. I used to open the door and the person would say something like, “Hope you don’t mind, but I thought I’d stop by for a visit.”
Well, I do mind. I find it incongruous that a person or persons who know me think it is perfectly acceptable to drop in to see me without calling on the phone first. In the past I have told people clearly and distinctly, “I am sorry, but now is not a good time.”
When I used to say this, the person or persons involved would get this incredulous expression, as if I had insulted them beyond belief. Their faces would turn red and they would huff and puff down the steps and away from my house. I would close the door and think, “They will never do that again.”
Unfortunately, there were some repeat offenders. I understood that they obviously did not get the message the last time, so I decided on a new course of action. When they rang the doorbell, I opened the door and said, “Look, I don’t like unexpected guests. Please don’t do this again.”
Amazingly, even after this there were a few people who made this intrusion again. At this point, I refused to open the door, and that has been my policy for the last few years. If I look out the window and see someone I know who hasn’t been invited, the door stays closed. I have become very good at peeking through the curtains without being detected.
Sometimes the person continues to ring the bell, sits on a porch chair looking at his/her wristwatch, or walks around to the back of the house. These persistent pests don’t sway me; I go off to do something inside the house until they leave. Occasionally the offender will take out his or her cell phone and call me. I always let the answering machine pick up, and then messages are left along the lines of this: “Hi, I am outside your house. Rang the bell a few times. Was hoping to stop in for a visit. Oh, well, guess you’re not home. Bye.”
It would be one thing if it were an emergency (and there has never been an instance of these visits being prompted by an urgent matter), though if it were I would imagine the phone would be a lot quicker way to connect with someone. Why go out of your way to travel to someone’s house and discover nobody home? The thing that bothers me is that someone gets it in his or her head to stop by for a social visit, fully expecting me to throw open the door wide, make coffee, and sit down for a chat. I would never do such a thing to anyone I know, and I cannot understand how anyone else could do this to me.
Now, I hope I have made myself clear. You are welcome only if I have invited you. Oh drat; there’s the doorbell.
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