You know how sometimes a specific event triggers a realization in your head? Had one of those things. I want to install a peephole in my front door. The realization was not about installing a peephole but more that I don’t have to open the door to anyone, if I don’t want to.
This matches the moment I realized I don’t have to answer the phone every time it rings. I’m not a doctor on call, nor do I hold office hours in my home. My front door is for my convenience, just like my phone. Nor do I need to sneak around, pretending I’m not home when the random person demands my attention.
Yeah, I know, it sounds and feels rude to ignore the bing-bong, the jangle or the snippet from a song bursting forth. The conversation or game, or fun moment I’m enjoying with my grandkids, husband or anyone I actually invited over is worth more than the imperious demand of whoever wonders by my house. And yet.
And yet, I fall for it most of the time. Did the other day and it still rankles me. Am I such a slave to other people I don’t even know that I let them jump into my life, hold my attention, and interrupt moments I will never regain? Apparently so.
It feels like I’m ignoring, dishonoring, thumbing my nose at that person on the other side of the door who just Might Need My Help. Ah ha. Not so much about them but more about me and that crazy savior button getting pushed, again. And again. And again.
Once upon a time, in the not so long ago, people did not lock their front doors. Ever. Neighbors knew who lived around them, making note of strangers walking around. Kids played in (gasp)the front yard. Along with drinking from the hose, climbing trees and generally running from yard to yard in a pack.
Now we mow our lawns for looks, not use, decorate the front path to impress instead of invite, ignoring the front porch wavers. And the idea is great, romantic and homey. Since I grew up in the country, outside of town my images of town life included all the stuff I watched on Leave It to Beaver. And other forgotten shows. But you know, the Cleavers were not front porch people either.
Have to re-examine my childhood images more. June Cleaver did open her front door from time to time and she never seemed to be in the middle of anything important, family related or otherwise. Come to think of it, she probably ignored the front door bell all the time. It simply never made it into the script for us to see. And I just bet Ward installed a security camera right after Wally and the Beaver went off to college. In case Eddie Haskell dropped by.