Stop, Drop and Roll

I’m hoping this fall wreath I put on my door says “Festive/I will dive behind the couch if you knock on the door and I’m not expecting you.”


The truth is that I might be a Publisher’s Clearing House million dollar winner if not for the fact that I perform a death roll behind the furniture the second I hear the doorbell.


Because I’m most likely not wearing any makeup and smell like garlic hummus, which means even if the UPS man is hot, it won’t do me any good. But also because there’s a chance someone is selling something—be it cookie dough or religion—and I don’t have an interest in either.

It’s bad enough that a couple weeks from now a gang of cute little ghosts and skanky tween witches will come begging me for chocolate covered cavities, but the appetizer to their desperate pleas is to show up on my doorstep with an 80-page catalog full of overpriced things that make the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog look like a Walmart flier.

This just in: I don’t need a $14 roll of wrapping paper that covers about one small shoebox.

I don’t blame them for being forced to raise money. When I was little we went door-to-door selling sub sandwiches for a class trip that probably included name tags, room mothers trying not to lose kids/their sanity and someone puking on the bus coming home.

But back then the business of fundraising was different. We were motivated to sell for little trinket rewards and bragging rights and neighbors could get five sandwiches for a 10-spot.

Now the parents take this catalog to work with them and leave an order form passive aggressively on the break room table, the result of a) an understandable fear of sending their kids out to strangers b) laziness on the part of the kids or c) the fact that a 1st grader can’t carry the weight of an 80-page catalog.

And while I think the exposure to rejection would be good for the kids to get used to—welcome to the real world, my friends—I think a better way to teach them responsibility would be to send them around selling things we actually need like mini bottles of alcohol or coupons to clean my gutters or the cat’s shit box.

That I might pay for.

The point is that while I have no problem telling them I’m not interested, I don’t want to have to hear about how someone from their church needs a kidney that she’ll only receive if I buy six tubs of cookie dough and donate the kidney myself.

Plus, if you actually know me, you’ll come to the back door first. This means whoever is at my front door is a semi-stranger I’ll be forced to yell through the glass at because I secretly fear they’re casing the joint—even if they are 5 years old.

Spoiler alert: Unless you want drawers of rubber bands and incense, you should probably loot down the street. You’ll be much more satisfied there.

So I feel like sprinting across the living room and diving into the kitchen to hide out of view is actually a quite reasonable response, despite the eye rolls the cat throws my way. While I realize I could be missing out on a hot UPS guy or millions of dollars each time, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for not having to pay $14 for fudge.

And I still think the wreath’s a nice touch.

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31 responses to “Stop, Drop and Roll

  1. Running from Hell with El

    I hide too. Usually. But my kids give me away dang it.

    But the most exemplary person in terms of hiding was my mom. She hated being bothered in the middle of her soap operas. And yet, she also couldn’t help answering it. So one day when the phone rang in the middle of As the World Turns or The Young and the Restless, she ran to answer it and then when she heard someone on the other line, she screeched, “No one is home! Stop calling me!”

  2. HA! I totally, completely get this!

    I have a kid in 1st grade, and she is sent home with that stupid wrapping paper catalog to hawk to the neighbors. And you know what I did this year? I wrote a check to the PTA instead of asking my neighbors to buy useless, overpriced, crap they can buy at CVS for half the price if they really, really want it.

    And of course, when the doorbell rings at this time of the year, I hide. But if the kids catch me at the door? I buy the stuff. Purely to protect my house from Halloween egging.

  3. I would like to hide, too, but now it’s my grandkids peddling this stuff! How do I say no and break their little hears?

  4. I can’t believe you’d turn down cookie dough that shows up AT YOUR DOOR.

  5. My mom might buy a few things when we were kids, but that was about it. We never tried to get the prizes because it was too expensive. She bought what she could afford, and we accepted it. 🙂 No door-to-door for us!

  6. I always hide. Always. I never answer the door.

    Kristin, on the other hand, always answers the door. Which often leaves me, huddled up and hiding behind the trash can in the kitchen, on full view to the guy at the front door, selling his stupid brochure of tat.


  7. I don’t like to buy what my own kids have to sell for fundraising. And I won’t send them to a strangers door to sell it cause that’s just plain creepy. So, that’s 4 less ringing your doorbell. You’re welcome.

  8. I hate that I have glass in my front door for this exact reason. BUT I do have a wrought iron gate around my house that sounds like haunted sounds of death. Usually I can hear someone WAY before they get to the door, turn off the tv, and run in to the kitchen before they are any the wiser.

  9. I’m afraid to answer the door, too. I fear it’s the creepy meat man again, shilling his pork chops.

  10. Ha! I was JUST about to write a very similar post. When there’s a door knock here the dog starts barking and Mike and I both dive to the floor or stand pressed flat against a wall and peek through the blinds. Working from home is bra optional.

    • Well, once the weather gets cold enough and we can wear layers, bras are also optional if you don’t work from home. And when I lived at home with the dog, hiding was made all that much difficult. The barking! Oh, the barking!

  11. Abby,

    When I saw our Facebook status update regarding: hiding behind the sofa to avoid buying $14.00 a roll wrapping paper, from the neighbors kids, I cracked up.

    But this whole post has me ROLLING with laughter!

  12. I am the exact same way. We live in a neighborhood full of old people (i.e., easy bait), so we’ve seen more door-to-door action here than I had in my previous 20+ years of existence. We even went so far as to put up a “No Solicitors” plaque on our door, like the cranks that we are.

    But the truly messed-up bit? In all of my various ‘hoods growing up, the common Halloween etiquette was always that if the front/side door light was off, it meant the person was not giving away candy. Obviously. If they meant to greet you with treats, they wouldn’t want you standing in the dark.

    In the crazy semi-ghetto I live in now? Having ANY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE on means you are fair game. We learned this the hard way after a night spent listening to our dogs go berserk as group after group of kids stood in our pitch-black driveway and continued to ring our hard-to-see bell.

    So this year? The husband and I are going to sneak into the bedroom, turn of all the lights, and watch TV with the curtains drawn, praying that the faint flickering light of the TV won’t be bright enough to still announce to the world that we’d like to give kids candy.

    So who’s the antisocial one NOW? 😀

  13. I also hide, partly because I have no interest in human interaction but also because I’m a giant sucker. Tom answered the door last year and bought some popcorn from a kid and I made fun of him for caving. Then, that kid came by with the popcorn (the cheapest option), and I had to answer the door, and he was so cute I almost threw more money at him. Which, I know, wouldn’t really help the situation.

  14. I hide. I shush the children. When several minutes have passed, I creeeeep to the window and try to see who it was without breathing for fear the curtains will move and give me away.

    I got the envelope for my kids’ fundraiser today. Hey, want to buy some gourmet fruit butters? Hello? Anyone home?

  15. Laurna Beitler McDanold

    Just post a QUARANTINE ALERT for an “unknown disease”…

    OR Post a note that you are too busy having hot SEX with Frank – in – stein to come to the door to view their costumes… ha ha ha

    I so love your blog, we share many of the same perspectives… I also have no children, got married in my later years… … maybe it is a Michigan thing?

  16. First of all, $14 for fudge is totally reasonable if you’re out of chocolate in the house. And I smell like garlic hummus too! We could totally have a great conversation which each other and not be doing it while shielding ourselves behind a wall!

  17. I find that if you have a super long driveway, people are too lazy to walk up it. We don’t even get trick-or-treaters.

  18. this is impossible to do at our house.

    1) the girls will yell “get the door” or “someone’s at the door”
    2) our house is very loud and noticeably so. we are incapable of being quiet

    go tigers

  19. The UPS guy at my last job was HOT! If you like “lift a car off a trapped victim” muscles that is. The UPS guys to the house never stay long enough to allow for a proper once over so work is your best bet anyway. I say keep hiding behind the couch. It’s never worth it to answer the door. For instance, the one time in six months I answer the door it’s a neighbor girl holding a handmade sign and asking for money to help starving children in Africa. She asked me for “not more than five dollars”. Except her sign was about mermaids and asked for one dollar. What to do?? I compromised and gave her two bucks. It was a bad move. A half hour later she rings the bell again and the Pete and I did what we should have done the first time which was hide. I figure either her mom was making her return her ill gotten money to the stupid neighbor or I was her new mark and she was asking for more. As I type this it occurs to me this is a good story and I should totally blog about this. On a completely unrelated note because I am too lazy to look up your GPS post to leave a comment there, I’d like to say that I think James Earl Jones should be the GPS voice. How awesome would that be?

  20. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    I have never lived in a city where people come to the door…because I’ve never lived in a city at all… Well I suppose some of my apartments were in town but no one knocks on random apartment doors because that’s a sure way to have something horrible happen to you..

  21. I can be found behind the sofa on these ocasions. Getting sucked into conversations with people you don’t know about subjecs that don’t interest you is well down my list of cheap thrills. someday, in another life it would be great to meet up and be grumpy together.

  22. i dont know what l enjoyed most: the post of the comments!

  23. This tactic has often been my mode of operation. It’s harder when there’s a dog involved and she wants to rip the door down to see who is on the other side, though. Hard…but not impossible.

  24. I’ve been known to say goodbye and close the door after my children open it and say hello…but I really want that giant cardboard (perhaps it’s foamcore) check and balloons!

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