So, the other day I was at home, minding my own business, relatively happy, and thinking about what to make for dinner. The doorbell rang and was quickly followed by a pounding knock. This was followed immediately by another pounding knock. “What the heck?” I thought.
As I walked towards the front door I could see, through the side window, a 40-something-ish man dressed in basic khakis and a light blue shirt. “Salesman,” I said to myself. “He’s ignoring the ‘No Soliciting’ sign.”
I almost didn’t open the door, but then I thought that maybe he might not be a salesman since the knock had been so insistent AND he was ignoring the sign on the door. I mean, maybe something serious was happening and he needed help.
Cautiously I opened the door just wide enough for me to fit in the doorway, but not wide enough for the man to see inside the house. My guard was up as he turned towards me. I could see that he was wearing a large name tag, but I couldn’t see what was printed beneath his name.
“When are you moving out of your house?” he questioned emphatically.
I felt confused by the question. Did he have the wrong address? Was I somehow in trouble? Did something happen that I didn’t know about?
“Excuse me?” I said, puzzled.
Again, boldly, he demanded, “When are you moving out of your house?” He was smiling like a Cheshire cat.
I glanced nervously at his name tag once more and this time I caught sight of a couple of the words beneath his name…real estate. Now I was beyond irritated. Beyond, beyond irritated.
Tersely I replied, “I wasn’t aware that I was moving out of my house.”
He was totally undeterred. “How long you lived in this house?”
“A while,” I said as I crossed my arms and leaned my shoulder against the door frame. I was getting ready for battle.
Mr. Real Estate chuckled and repeated my words low and mockingly while shaking his head. THEN he looked at me, introduced himself, and once again said, “So when are you planning on moving out?”
“Is there something I can do for you?” I asked with an edge of sarcasm, barely in control of myself. I was not only angry, I was getting scared. The man was arrogant and pushy and I felt as though he was somehow going to snatch my house out from under me and turn me out to live on the streets.
“Just wondering when you are moving out,” mr. real estate smirked.
“Well,” he said smiling and reaching into his pocket. “Here’s my card. I’ll see you in six months,” he continued smugly, pointing his finger at me.
Dumbfounded, I actually reached out and took his card! He chuckled again as he turned to leave. I slammed the door and locked it, then slung his card across the living room. I started to cry and walked around in circles, shaking. I had actually let mr. real estate man rattle me. And then I got hopping mad.
I retrieved his business card, looked at his stupid smiling picture, noted his name and tore out of the front door to go find him. I stopped at the edge of my front yard and looked up and down the street. He was nowhere to be seen. “You worm,” I growled as I took off up the street on foot. “I WILL find you!”
Weeeeellllll, I had, of course, headed in the wrong direction. I figured it out after a block and a half. So, I turned around and started storming back in the other direction. My next door neighbor pulled into her driveway just as I was passing her house. I took a quick detour, told her what had happened, warned her to be on the lookout for my special guy, and asked her to send him back over to my house if she saw him. Then, I headed back out to the sidewalk to resume my mission.
All kinds of plans about what I was going to say to mr. real estate were hatching in my head. Most of them were out of character for me. When I am angry I think of all kinds of things that I would like to say to someone, but somehow manage to keep myself in check. Impulsive words spoken in anger are pretty much never the right words.
Once I was headed in the right direction, it didn’t take me long to locate mr. real estate. He was on the front porch of a neighbor who lives a couple of streets down from me. He was laughing and talking with the neighbor man at the door. They seemed to have made a connection. I turned and walked very slowly back down the street, biding my time and thinking. After a couple of minutes I heard someone calling to me. “Hey, did you need something?” It was my neighbor. mr. real estate was smiling eagerly as I called out to my neighbor and told him that actually I needed to talk to the real estate guy.
As mr. real estate got closer to me, I unsmilingly held out his business card to him. “I won’t be needing this,” I stated “It’s a fancy card and probably cost a bit of money, so I thought that you’d like to have it back.” mr. real estate had stopped smiling.
His shoulders slumped slightly. “I thought that maybe things had gone badly back when I was at your house,” he said shaking his head and looking up at the sky.
“Yea, pretty bad,” I stated matter-of-fact. “Frankly, I found your approach aggressive and threatening. You walked up to my door and demanded to know when I was moving out of my home. I realize that you are trying to make a living, but you can’t talk to people like that!” I was firm and unmovable, direct and to the point.
mr. real estate couldn’t meet my eyes as he visibly squirmed. He blathered on about how I was the only one that had ever had a problem with his approach and that all he had intended was for me to know that if I was considering selling my house, he would be happy to offer his services as a real estate agent.
“That’s not how you approached me,” I countered evenly. “You showed up on my doorstep and aggressively demanded to know when I was moving out. I felt threatened and angry.”
He made a few more statements of explanation, painting himself as well meaning and an all around good guy. As I watched him, I realized that he had recovered from any momentary remorse that he may have been feeling and was quickly slipping back into his true character. “Wow. Untouchable,” I thought quietly to myself.
With my jaw clenched tightly, I started to back away from him. “Hey,” he said brightly as if nothing unpleasant had just happened. “What’s your name?”
Seriously? I gave him my are-you-completely-insane look, shook my finger ‘no’ at him and without answering, I continued to move quickly away, not turning my back to him until I had put several feet between us. As I reached the corner, which was a short distance away, I heard him loudly pounding on yet another victim’s door.
So, how do you get past something that really eats away at your peace? I walk it off, talk it off, pray it off, eat it off, write it off, and sometimes cook it off. Crunchy foods are a stress-relieving favorite for me. Let me clarify that statement. I don’t mean crunchy foods like carrots and celery; I’m talking about salty or sweet crunchy foods. They’re very cathartic. Potato chips, popcorn, snack mixes, and caramel corn have lead my personal list, but my daughters revel in Muddy Buddies.
Recently I found a recipe for Butterscotch Buddies, a twist on the beloved Chex Muddy Buddies. I’m not sure how many batches of Muddy Buddies have found their way through my house over the years, but it is a lot. They have been my daughters’ number 1 treat and have fed countless teenagers during my daughters’ high school years. One of my grandsons loves Muddy Buddies so much that he asks for them in place of a birthday. Now that’s loving Muddy Buddies!
Because of my ridiculous chocolate/cocoa allergy I haven’t been able to eat Muddy Buddies for quite a while. When I saw this recipe for Butterscotch Buddies I got very happy. Everyone knows the pure joy of peanut butter and chocolate, but how about butterscotch and peanut butter? Here’s my personal testimony…they are soooo good together! What a great new stress reliever! And if anyone at work is reading this post, I’m bringing a few batches of these into work next week. Oh yeah, baby.
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