By jeni | October 11, 2008
I got ding-dong-ditched today. It made me feel old. Really old. Mostly because of the way I responded.
Picture this: It’s Sicily, 1944. Oh wait that’s the Golden Girls. Okay picture this: I’m home in my jammies, cozying up for a night in front of the TV since John is in Hong Kong and my social calendar isn’t exactly jammin at this point. I’m drinking some tea and wondering how early I can get in bed without being pathetic.
The doorbell rings, I open up the door and no one is there. But as I look both ways down the hall, I hear some snickering. And as I stand there, it gets louder and louder. Two little boys, probably nine or ten, and these kids can hardly keep from cracking up, standing in the doorway of the next apartment Who doesn’t love a good ding-dong-ditch?
But they know I’m out in the hallway so they try to stifle the giggles. I stand there and try to think of what to say. Something like: “I know you kids are over there” seems just a little too miserly. But I don’t want to just say nothing, because honestly, I don’t want to be bothered again. And by just thinking that, I’m already miserly.
So, since I’m obviously already perceived as an old witch down the hall if I’m worthy of the ding-dong-ditch, I might as well just embrace it. So I say, in my meanest old lady voice, ” Don’t do that again.”
The snickering stopped. They were scared.
But they said nothing.
So I said, “don’t do that again, okay?”
And one of the little boys squeaked out a tiny “yeah.”
And then I had to suppress a laugh – in fact I was almost the one cracking up at that point, at myself and at the entire random situation. So I went inside, thought about how I’d acted, and decided well, those boys won’t be coming around here anymore. Not with the old witch that lives inside #36.
On the other hand, I could have set myself up for attack. But I won the first battle, I think I can win the war too.
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