Hiding In My Basement


Kitten hiding behind some stuff in our basement.
Kitten hiding behind some stuff in our basement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so I’m in my family room this afternoon, engrossed in watching a PVR recording of the Canada versus Sweden men’s world curling game from Basel, Switzerland, when I heard the doorbell ring.

Now what? I hit ‘pause’, put my laptop on the floor, and stood up to peek out my basement window to see who had pulled into my yard. At the same time I mentally pictured my kitchen and living room areas upstairs–were they at least halfway neat and tidy? Did I still have dirty dishes on my counter? Too late to do anything about it now; unexpected guests will just have to take my house and me in whatever state of chaos they find us.

Doorbell (Wheaton, MD)
Doorbell (Wheaton, MD) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But there was no extra car in my driveway–just my 2002 Honda CRV complete with a few rust spots.

Then I spied it–a nondescript van parked on the side of the road, just down the street from my house. My antennae began to twitch and I immediately ducked back behind cover.

I held my breath, thankful I had muted the television and that I no longer had little children at home who would shout out, “Mommy–somebody’s at the door!” while at the same time running to fling it open.

I knew who had rung my doorbell, although I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman, or if it was maybe even a man and a woman. It was mid-afternoon, mid-week, early in the month, just before Good Friday and Easter Sunday, so I knew it was either Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons, and I didn’t want to talk to them.

I watched discreetly through a corner of my window and saw a man and then a woman return to the van from the directions of my neighbor’s homes. I assumed my ‘visitor’ was still standing at my front entrance, probably scanning the main windows for signs of movement, unaware that I had turned into a ‘ninja’ as soon as I realized I was under attack.

The Fuller Brush Man
The Fuller Brush Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve had years of perfecting my invisible woman routine; when I was growing up, in the country, we had traveling salesmen that went door-to-door pedaling their goods. Mostly we were visited by the Watkins man and the Fuller Brush man, and my grandmother used to make us hide behind the curtains if she spied one of them in the driveway before the knock came on our door. Sometimes we were too late, and when that happened the salesman spent at least half an hour spreading out his brushes and creams and vitamins and powders that when added to a pitcher of water made a delicious orange drink.

But on the times when we were successful, when our bodies were hiding, motionless, behind full-length drapes or around room corners, one of us would have the task of peeking out once in a while to see if the salesman had given up and driven away. I remember seeing the Fuller Brush man, in particular, scan our windows for at least five minutes, daring one of us to appear. We never did. Grammy would have been very upset with us, and we didn’t want that.

Now I  use my years of training to hide from religious salespeople (even though they don’t call themselves that). I know that my grandmother would be very proud of the fact that I remembered what she taught me!

What about you? Do you always answer your door? And if you do, do you engage in conversation even though you would rather not? Or are you like me, donning your ‘cloak of invisibility’, muting the television, and stuffing cookies into your children to keep them quiet until the uninvited salesperson leaves?

I’d love to know!

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17 thoughts on “Hiding In My Basement

  1. For religious folks, I invite them in and offer them a cold beer. Heck, it’s hot work going door to door. I’ll listen to what they have to say and then tell them politely that I don’t like the way their religion treats women. (I think all religions treat women poorly.) Usually, that slows them down and I kindly shove them on their way. If it’s a sales person though, I tell them I admire that they’re working hard, but I buy all my goods from the Dollar Store and off they go. Finally, I’m sure hoping “watching curling” was a joke cause I laughed out loud when I read it. If not a joke, then I really didn’t laugh at all. You can choose. HF

  2. My daughter and I just hid the other day from a salesman at our door. While we were hiding we decided the next time they come around we should grab the trashbag out of the trash can, open the door and before the salesperson can even talk shove the bag of trash at them and say “Thank you, thank you! This really is a big help! Thanks again have a nice day!” and then shut the door on them. Haha we think that would be hilarious. Of course we won’t do that, but it was fun to giggle about while we were hiding!

    Great post 🙂

    1. Haha, Ginger! I think that’s a wonderful idea for a game. If I ever get up the courage to do that, I’ll let you know what the reaction was. And yes, you have to have something to think about while in hiding…even if you become a ‘ninja’ like me!

  3. Great story!

    As for my approach to an Uninvited Conversion Team to my door, I take one of two approaches. Hide like you do and let Scrappy do the yapping. Or I open the door, listen for just a bit and tell them I’m Buddhist and ask them if they’d like any info on the Buddha and the Dharma. As politely as they can in the presence of what they consider evil, they smile and back away.

    It all depended on how spunky I feel… 😉

    1. I like that idea–Maybe I’ll change it a bit and tell them I’m Bahai! Or maybe I’ll make up a religion of my own to tout. Something like “Believers of the Almighty Blog”, or “A leader of the ‘Writing Into the Light’ church”….I’m sure I could think of something, and maybe I’d even get a tax benefit from it!

  4. I don’t get many nuisance people calling at my door but I do get them on the phone. It is however easier to get rid of people on the phone than it is to bid them farewell at your door. Happy Easter

  5. Yup, nowadays I answer the door and immediately tell them that I am not interested. But I’m good at the lurking, too. I just don’t have closed curtains on my windows. (It is hard to imagine a “religious salesperson” peeking through the panes, tho. Makes me laugh to think about it.

    1. Actually, I don’t have closed curtains on my windows, either–I stand to one side of the window and just steal a quick peek through it once in awhile…makes the fact that I become a ‘ninja’ all the more important, right? LOL Hope you have a nice Easter weekend.

    1. Glad you’re in my corner, Ronnie! I never go to somebody’s place (even a good friend’s place), without calling first…so why should I open my door to door-to-door religious peddlers? But that’s just my humble opinion, of course.

      Bye for now.

  6. I’m with YOU. When I was in my last house before shacking up with the kids, I hid and wasn’t even curious who was there unless someone was expected. I don’t even answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number. Don’t you think these free spirits should make an appointment first. Aren’t we busy enough without all that uninvited interruption? I vote: don’t bother me. Oh yes. . . PLEASE.

    Is this an age thing? What do you think? Another great subject for posting.

  7. Great post Sylvia, but you forgot to mention what grammie used to call one of the salesmen because of the very quiet voice he used while giving his sales pitch – ‘Whispering Hope’.

    Love,

    Les

    1. LOL–I had thought of adding that, Les, but for some reason was afraid that somebody in his family might stumble upon the post and get offended! Although, what are the chances of that every happening? Maybe I’ll edit the post to include that! Thanks.

  8. I answer my door and say, “I respect your beliefs. I have a personal realtionship with God. Thank you but I am not interested. have a nice day, and I close the door. My husband ont he other hand will debate anything 🙂 and then wonder why they return to try and convert him:)

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