I’m not proud of what I’m about to share, but here goes. I like to relax before dinner with a glass of wine and a puzzle of some sort (jigsaw, crossword, scrabble) as a segue from the day into the evening. Oddly (and thankfully) enough, a glass of wine tends to make me more steady on my feet ~ maybe it’s the sugar, or maybe it just relaxes me? I don’t really know or care ~ I just like being able to drink one with a clear conscious.
On this particular evening, for whatever reason, I was honestly just a tad tipsy (at least I hope I was based on what happened). I glanced up and saw out the window two people walking up to my front door. I recognized three things: 1) they were strangers, 2) they were teenagers, and 3) they were black.
I don’t like answering my door period, and I was startled for all three reasons stated above. Everything in the media says don’t open your door to people you don’t know, ever. The town I live in is very ethnically diverse with Armenians and Koreans, but not too many African Americans. Teenagers are, well, teenagers. Once I realized my 3 prejudices I was embarrassed at best, horrified at worst. Everyone is a stranger until you say hello, teenagers are inherently just frightened children, and what do I care what color they were?
Consequently, I opened the door laden with guilt and a loopy smile and asked what I could do for them. They were selling some sort of coupons for their football program. I asked them what high school, and it was not an area school, nor one I recognized. I then asked, “What are you doing all the way up here, then?”. “Our coach brought us up here,” said the girl. I reply with, “Oh, that’s because he knows there’s money up here.” I did. I said that. Outloud.
Now that my foot was buried up to my shin in my mouth, I started to get even more frazzled. The kids asked me if I wanted to buy a coupon book (fair enough I guess since we’re all so stinking rich up in here) . It’s for things like Long John Silvers and Caesars Pizza and other places I never go to so I said no thanks, plus I told them I have no cash. “That’s ok,” says the young man, “we can take a check”. Who has checks? I don’t anymore. Why can’t they give these kids card readers?
I’m dripping in even more guilt, because I’m sure these teens think I’m lying about not having checks.Then, I remember that I actually DID have some emergency cash on hand (yes, I dipped into emergency reserves. I was beginning to feel that this was an emergency. What if they think I’m a stranger/black/teen hater?). So I ask them to hang on a second and go into my cash reserves ~ all I have is a $50 bill.
I give them the $50 bill. Their eyes get really wide and they are gushing with thanks. I did not take a coupon book, but I told them to study hard and stay in school. Then as if I wasn’t already acting enough like a crazy old bat, I told them to brush their teeth. I did. I said that too. Outloud.
Their eyes got even bigger and I mumbled that I had braces like them once upon a time and they needed to keep them brushed. Needless to say, they couldn’t get off my front stoop fast enough. I need to get this brain/mouth connection sorted out. Fast!