Waiting for the teenagers


The other day, my cleaning lady’s daughter came to my door. She’s a very bright, outgoing 14 year old who could pass for 18.

Cleaning Lady’s Daughter (CLD): Hi, I just wanted to tell you I’m having a party Friday night and I would really appreciate it if you didn’t call the police.
LB: Uh, OK . . .
CLD: Yeah because if the police come everyone will go to jail or worse.
LB: OK. How late will it be going on until?
CLD: I dunno. How late can we go before you call the police?
LB: Why do you think . . . uh, I go to bed pretty late – around midnight.
CLD: OK, we’ll turn down the music by then.
LB: No problem then. Have fun.
CLD: Oh yeah, we want to use your driveway for parking.
LB: As long as you don’t block me in, it’s fine.
CLD: (shoots me an annoyed look) Yeah. OK.

At first I was obsessing on how she got the impression that I was the type of person who calls the police at the least provocation. Was it something her mother saw in my house? Maybe somewhere she heard that Buddhists tend to call the police a lot. Or maybe the daughter sees me as this cranky rich white lady who underpays her mother to clean her floors (which I don’t by the way, I feel so guilty about having someone clean my house I tend to overpay them) and assumes the worst about me. Or perhaps it is all the cats that makes her believe I hate people, and especially rowdy kids who may upset my cats. And while there is anecdotal evidence about the relationship between rabbit ownership and frequency of calling the police, studies so far have been inconclusive. So, I’m baffled about why she thinks this about me.

Sure, I admit that I did call the police my first weekend living here, but it was on a completely different neighbor’s relative. How was I to know that the teenager crawling through the window of my neighbor’s house was my neighbor’s sister? I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t call the police? Later my neighbor and I had a good laugh when we finally met. And frankly, they were tickled pink to have a neighbor who actually was looking out for them.

Now I’ve stopped worrying about my reputation, and now I’m obsessing about what it is that they will be doing that makes them so worried about me calling the police? I mean, I assume there will be loud music, alcohol and weed. It’s a party. They’re teenagers. I fully expect it. But, what else could they be doing? Having a meth making party? Have a gun swap meet? Hobo fighting? A duel? Sacrificing hamsters? The mind boggles.

So, I sit here and wait for the teenagers to invade. Man, I feel old.


11 responses »

  1. waiting for the other teenager to drop ~ arrested or worse caught my eye = Oy Vey baby + they didn’t invite you to drop in?

    Sounds like a part tey werth krashin imo = eye m wearin my DS mask ~ letz go!

  2. I wanted to call the cops when the ‘live band’ a group had at the nearby community center made it hard to hear tv in our den a mile away. I didn’t, but it really made me cranky. Can’t wait to hear how it came out!


  3. never hez itate 2 kall the kopz n e thyme ~ suma demiz kewett – buff n e wayz ~ da main poynt is watt does day (at nite) knead?

    sounds like u in charge mama

  4. Postscript: Around 9pm I left my house to grab some take-out Chinese, figuring the coast was clear since there was no evidence of a party. That was, until I passed the neighbor’s garage. In it there was a group of chairs and three 14 year old girls standing around giggling and acting like 14 year old girls. It struck me that the CLD’s concerns about having the police called was more bravado and maybe wishful thinking. Ahhhh.

    A bit later they did start to blast music and there was evidence that more kids, even -gasp- boys had arrived. But, the music was shut off by 11:30 and by midnight all the kids were gone.

    Much later, I realized one of the reasons she may have been so fearful of the police – I believe she and some of her friends aren’t in this country legally, so being arrested for being drunk and rowdy has much bigger consequences than merely getting grounded by the folks.

  5. next time eye wood speak 2 sum parents ~ cuz if fowks is riskin deportation then sum body oughta be regu-lating the action = kinda reminds me of the deceptive nature of sam sara’s play zyers

  6. I felt awful when I had to call the police on the neighbors but it was after 2 AM and my daughter was starting a new job and had to get up by 7 so she needed to sleep. They were really, really loud. It sounded like they were blasting their amps INSIDE my house. Apparently, at least three other neighbors called before I did. When the police arrived, the party people couldn’t hear them banging on the door! The cops ended up having to go down the driveway and sort of crash the party before anyone knew they were even there. It sitll took them about an hour and a half past that to really quiet down enough so we could sleep. They were cleaning up and that meant dragging furniture and trash cans and bottles being thrown in the trash cans loudly.

    If that ever happens again, I think I would be better off to just pack a bag and go to a motel.

  7. A postscript to the postscript:

    I got a call the other day from the fellow who owns the apartment building where the CLD was having her party. I’m not sure if the owner is just a good friend of my cleaning lady, or a very good friend of my cleaning lady, but he called to tell me she was out of the country for an inderterminate time, and if I needed my house cleaned he would help me find someone else. Anyway, I asked who the CLD was staying with her mom out of the country. “Yeah, I know all about the party.” “Oh?” “Yeah, even though her mom told her she couldn’t have a party, and I told her she couldn’t have a party, I’ve heard she had a party.” Turns out CLD was warned by her mom that the police may come if she had a party (no doubt using scare tactics to deter her), so CLD went around and asked EVERYONE on the block to not call the police – this included the tenants in the building owned by her mom’s good friend. Yeah, like that wouldn’t get back to him.

    It kinda brings back my old teenage days where I thought I was all clever and sophisticated, when I clearly was still a stupid kid.

  8. Hi LB

    I’m guessing your title is a pastiche on Waiting for the Barbarians, by JM Coetzee. It’s a very good book, but I’m quite surprised that there are people outside the beloved republic (south africa) who know of it.
    Anyway, so much for pompous intellectual small talk – I’m really just posting to see if I’m whether I’m going to be a crab or a transvestite.

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