I'm still shaking and can't stop crying yet. It's been about 20 minutes since the police left.
I was sitting here reading Eckhart Tolle when the front storm door opened. Huh, I thought. It's a little early for the mail. UPS usually comes later too. I'm not expecting anyone. Just the storm door opened, then nothing. for about 30 seconds or more.
Then the door handle starts jiggling. and keeps jiggling. for way too long. ok, now I'm starting to get scared. Hmmm. . . keep a calm head, don't panic, I say to myself. Deep breathing. . . door handle still jiggling.
Alright, what is going on??? What should I do? The phone, grab the phone. I'm sitting in the office, and the office is right next to the basement door. Down the stairs. Heart pounding. Breathing heavily. Dialing 911 as I quietly go downstairs to the basement. Oh, light. not good. Unplug grow light sustaining my tropicals over the winter so I have darkness on my side while talking to the lady at 911 dispatch. Hide behind storage boxes.
Door handle still jiggling. Ok, now I am starting to panic. I mean I am scared. Funny the things a person thinks of in a moment like this. Still talking to 911 dispatcher who assures me officers are on their way. I'm thinking to myself how grateful I am that I've never had this experience before. How lucky I am that I've gotten to be 50 years old and this is the most terrifying moment of my life. I'm thinking I've lived a very sheltered life and will I be able to handle it if something bad is really about to go down? I'm getting pissed. I'm thinking if this is really something bad happening, they better be careful messing with me because I plan to do everything I can to make sure I'm gonna be around a few months from now when my oldest daughter gives birth to her first child.
I come out from behind the boxes and grab a hammer and a screwdriver out of the antique desk that's been in our basement since I moved the last of my stuff from my beloved Georgian after marrying my husband. Sh*t!!! What was that bang??? Did they get in the house????
The dispatcher is telling me to calm down. Yeah, right. YOU hide behind boxes in YOUR basement with a screwdriver and a hammer in your hand while it sounds like someone's been trying to break into your house for the past 3 minutes at least, and let's see you stay calm. Anyway, it's not like I'm totally freaking out. I'm not crying (yet.) I'm talking softly, I'm still thinking clearly. So what if my voice is shaky, very very shaky in fact. SOR-RY, but this is the best I can do right now.
You, lady, who knows better than me that situations like this one don't always end well - I'd like to see how calm you stay if you were in my shoes right now. I know, they probably always say that, "Calm Down Ma'am." I'm sure the reminder to stay calm probably did help me stay focused, but it irritated me anyway. But not as much as it would have irritated me if something really bad had happened. So I am grateful. I'm grateful I had her to talk to me and hold my hand over the phone, even if she did irritate me a little.
Hmmm. . . the rattling stopped. And I hear the sound of the storm door closing. I hope that doesn't mean whoever is messing with my front door has gotten into my house.
"The noise stopped! I'm scared! What if they're in my house?"
"Calm down hun." (There she is with that 'calm down' again!) "The officers are there. They're outside now, and they're walking around your house. If they come into the house I'll let you know first."
I feel a little safer now. Help is here. I'm able to take some deep breaths again, and it helps. I'm still shaking like I've never shaken before, and here it comes. The tears. Great. Now I'm crying.
"Ok hun, the officers are coming to the door. Go ahead upstairs and open the front door."
Up the stairs I go. My whole body is shaking. My legs feel like rubber as I climb the stairs and go to the front door, which is still closed and locked. As I open the door for the officers, you won't believe what I found:
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Well, I'm already crying, so problem solved. Ok, now I am P*SSED! I let the officers in. We're all glad that it was nothing more serious than it was, and they reassure me I did the right thing by calling. Just as a matter of routine, they go through every room to make sure everything's cool. They leave. I've never been so happy to see police in my life. Thankfully this little nightmare is over and it was a false alarm.
And I am still P*SSED! I hope I don't offend anyone here. I have nothing personal against Jehovah's Witnesses. They have a right to practice their beliefs. And they've come to my door many, many times before. But they always ring the bell or knock. This time they didn't. And I never remember them messing with the front doors for the excessive amount of time they did this time. Normally, they stick their stuff in wherever they can get it to stay in the door handle or between a storm door and the door frame, and they go on to the next house.
I don't know WHAT the heck they were doing screwing around at my front door for that long. I'm sure they meant no harm. I'm glad I live in a country where people are free to practice their religious beliefs. But one thing I can tell you for sure. When someone does something as stupid as what they did at my door this morning, loitering for far too long and screwing around with my front door and almost literally scaring the sh*t out of me, I'm not going to be quiet and suck it up.
So at the risk of offending someone, I'm putting this out there for the internets. Please Jehovah's witnesses, next time you're out going door to door, probably busily and obliviously sharing pleasantries with your door-to-door companion, remember me. Because I'm sure these people at my door this morning meant no harm. I'm sure they didn't intend to terrorize me. But for a brief 5 minutes this morning, probably because they were absorbed less in what they were doing than they were in themselves or their conversation or whatever, Jehovah's Witnesses, you scared the hell out of me. And knowing a little bit about your beliefs, I'm sure that was not your intention, especially since you don't even believe in hell.
So please, be more considerate and aware of what you're doing next time. Because there might be someone behind that door, like me, and if you loiter too long, you might be scaring them. And I'm sure that is not what you mean to do.
Still, you should know, it will make a difference in how I respond to the next Jehovah's Witness who comes to my door.
And whether it makes any difference or not, the Kingdom Hall in our area will be getting a friendly phone call from me today. I hope this never happens to you. Or if it ever does, I really hope it's the worst thing that has ever happened to you. I feel so lucky. A few weeks ago some women shopping at Lane Bryant one morning were not so lucky as me.