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.