Jim, Maggie and I live in a nice quiet suburb conveniently located just outside the metro area of Minneapolis. The kind of suburb where the police have time and energy to spare. This allows the "po-po" to hone in and focus on busting hard core criminals. Kids at keg parties, and parents in minivans who don't make complete stops. Keeping our streets SAFE! Word-to-ya-motha. AAAH-ITE-DEN.
We happen to live four blocks away from where Jim grew up. I liken the boys raised in these parts to homing pigeons. They leave for a few years, but always bring their mate back to roost. They also seem to carry the belief that this particular suburb is better than any of the neighboring suburbs, or ANY suburb for that matter. Of all the suburbs in America, this is the best one. The most prestigious. They bleed the high school colors (green and white). They couldn't imagine forcing their children to go to high school in the neighboring burbs. As "W" might say "the Terra! The Terra!" That would be like being voluntarily and unceremoniously demoted in the social rankings. You would go from Lord to indentured servant. The humiliation. As though if they chaged zip codes they would start wearing acid washed jeans tapered and pinned at the ankle. They would grow mullets. They would all start wearing bad cologne and using poor grammar and their children would walk around with dirty bare feet and faces. Their sons would (gasp) NOT PLAY HOCKEY FOR THE HORNETS.
Being so close to Jim's parents, and frankly, most of Jim's childhood friends, we get a lot of unannounced visitors. A LOT. We have to lock the front AND back door before we undress or even think about doing the deed. I WISH I was kidding. This was not that big of a deal before Maggie was born. Now that we have a child it is the source of much disruption. We have people stopping by at all hours. Let me start by saying I love them all, and in addition, let's just say that the vast majority were not sitting on my side of the aisle at our wedding.
A few months ago I had my friend Becky over and we were hanging out on the patio and after a night of wine drinking and good conversation, we decide to wrap things up and get to bed. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. We were picking up the patio and closing things down for the night. Becky said "Meghan, I think there is someone in your kitchen." I looked up incredilously and saw that a friend of Jim's had stopped in and was standing in our kitchen. It was 1:00 IN THE MORNING. Jim had been asleep for hours. They walked right in without a thought. You would think that if people are popping in that late, that would indicate that Jim and I are night owls and usually up that late. No. The fact is we typically go to bed by 9:30 at night. I don't even answer the phone after 9:00 p.m.. This begs the question: IS IT NORMAL FOR PEOPLE TO STOP BY UNANNOUNCED AT 1:00 a.m? I can tell you I wouldn't do it. But that's the thing about people. They are all different and have different ideas about stuff like this.
I can not count the number of naps I have tried to sneak in exhauted desperation. These doomed naps have been interrupted by random unannounced knocking at the door. "BANG BANG BANG!" I startle awake and think to myself "BULLOCKS!!! BULLOCKS BULLOCKS BULLOCKS! If you wake that child up I'll.....I'll....I'll...!! Motherfuuu-uu-uuu-ck..... I am working on 3 hours of broken sleep! HAVE YOU NO DECENCY? Perhaps if I ignore them. Yes! I will ignore them! Then they will go away! HAHA! I WILL IGNORE THEM! GENIOUS!"
This denial leads to a few deceptive moments of silence. Then, MORE BANGING. At this point the curious visitor typically checks the garage to see if our cars are there. The next step: the determined visitor opens the front door and bellows "HELLOOOOOOOO?" directly into the hallway. Their "HELLOOOOOOO?" reverberates down the hall that leads to Maggies room. It echoes and bounces all the way down the hardwood floor to her nursery. This is about the time I say "WHY DIDN'T I LOCK THE DAMNED, DAMNED DOUBLE-DAMNED DOOR? CURSES!!! AND WHY THE HELL DOES MY LIFE REQUIRE THAT I LOCK THE MOTHERLOVING DOOR JUST TO TAKE A NAP? WHY?????? WHY????????? SWEET GOD WHYYYYYY? WWAAAAAAHHHHHH! WHY?"
In a frantic effort to STOP THE MADNESS before they wake up the baby I ususally give in, leap out of bed and stumble down the hallway and discover which cherished friend or relative has popped in for a visit. Don't get me wrong. I adore these people. Just not when they are waking me and my infant up in a loud unannounced visit. Sheesh.
Jim's solution to this is to scotch tape a sign on the door that reads "QUIET! BABY SLEEPING". The problem with a sign like that is that one must remember to put it up before napping, which is something I usually fail to do. In fact, I am convinced that putting that sign up is pretty much a guarantee that I will lay my head down and not be able to sleep. Either that, or just about the second I start to doze off the phone with the ringer-on-the-highest-setting-because-Jim-is-hard-of-hearing will ring.
I have decided that it's best to just not nap at all. Just keep the "OPEN" sign on the door and wait for them to walk right in. Or not. Because clearly, they are walking in anyways.