09 June 2009

How Neighborly.

A year ago our landlord moved out of our fantastic duplex & a college freshmen moved in. We were nervous about this, as, well, we were once college freshmen and frankly enjoyed a good party back then. Surprisingly, the young frosh was MIA nearly all summer appearing once in a while with a piece of furniture and once sent us a random and excitable text about the plant he found in the back yard (yes it is what you are thinking). This was par for the course once school began. We think he was home during the school year, but he was so quiet that it felt as though we had the entire house to ourselves.

A few weeks ago the young frosh moved out and in moved a 3 women. While their relationships are not confirmed (we haven't asked), it is widely believed that they are mother and two daughters. They are not loud (no parties, loud music, or fighting) but they are definitely present. I hear the front door open and close often, the washer is in use almost everyday, and wafts of good food escape beneath the crack of their back door. This is nice, a comfort in fact & I think I will really appreciate it when Handsome Randy goes back on the road.

But still, their presence is something I have not yet gotten used to.

About 30 minutes ago someone knocked on our front door.

Okay, wait. Before I continue, let me just set the scene a bit more. The front door to our actual apartment is up a flight of stairs and behind the locked exterior door to our duplex. However, the exterior door has been unlocked more than locked since the lady trio moved last week. I have decided to care very little about this as the exterior door only leads to their front door and up a flight of stairs to our front door. There is access to nothing else. Besides our door locks, is always locked thus I feel secure.

So back to the knock on the front door.

It's 1:30am. I assume it's one of our new neighbors, but at the same time it could be someone who came in through the unlocked front door.

I freeze and listen, waiting for the knocker to go away. In the mean time I think about all the CSI, Law & Order, & NYPD Blue episodes I have seen and the crime scenes they have depicted of people senselessly murdered in their homes only because they answered the door when they weren't expecting anyone. Dramatic, I know, but in the moment it seemed really pertinent to the situation. Not to mention my father is a man of the law & has told me many times not to answer the door when I am home alone & not expecting anyone.

So the knocker goes away and I hear a door open and close. I tip toe to our porch to see if they exited outside (they didn't) and then I conclude that it was probably one of the lady trio downstairs.

Then I begin to think what they might need at this hour. A cup of sugar? Advice? Perhaps our car headlights are on (I looked outside, they were not). Or maybe they're in touble and need help.

I have to go downstairs and see.

I call HR. I tell him what's happened and that I plan to knock on their back door momentarily and that I just wanted him to know in case when he arrived home something had happened to me.

Yes I said that. Yes I was serious. But I saw this CSI Miami episode last night and...nevermind.

HR stays on the phone with me (I put the phone in my pocket, out of sight) and I go downstairs and knock on the Lady Trio back door.

The mom answers with a jovial, "HI DAHLI!" and leads me to their dining room where she produces our bathroom rug and a few of our towels. She came across them in the dryer and didn't want to just leave them downstairs on top of the dryer*.

Really? How nice. How thoughtful. I am so appreciative. I am so happy.

I am also such a dramaqueen.

We say our goodnights, I lift my phone to my ear in time to hear HR's stunted laughter.

"I'm Okay," I sheepishly say. He says he's glad and I give him a brief summary before hanging up.

I plod up our back steps, a little embarassed but mostly relieved. I find myself wondering if I would knock on their door upon finding stray laundry in the dryer. Probably not. I would probably fold it but then "just leave it" in the basement on the table near the dryer assuming they would find it later. I would feel really great about making the effort to fold someone else's laundry oblivious the shame I should feel for simply leaving it there, in the basement.

Maybe I have to re evaluate my neighborly practices. Maybe I should take a few notes from the lady trio downstairs.


*While this is very kind, I am puzzled as to why one wouldn't leave those things on top of the dryer or on the table nearby which is in place for this exact situation. I was apparently too lazy or spacy (or both) to stop by our onsite dryer and pick up the rug and towles that finished drying sometime yesterday thus I deserved such an unknown fate for my bath wares.


  1. I would love to see you in July. We could catch up over some wine and such. email me at hillarythoren@hotmail.com closer to the time and I'll give more personal info out like phone number and what have you!
    Hooray for Dahli!

    p.s. I think the laundry thing is strange too.

  2. Okay, so yes, friendly and neighborly to bring you your laundry, but at 1:30 in the morning? Did they really think you couldn't possibly live without your rug and towels until the waking hours?