I’m going to assume you don’t know me and tell you that among people who do know me I’m considered something of an obsessively neurotic housekeeper. I concede that things are rarely disheveled in my home, at least the places that visitors can see, and I won’t try and defend myself by saying there are baseboards behind furniture that have not been dusted since the last presidential election. Declarations such as this would sound self-serving in my own defense against insanity so I won’t bother. All I’m saying is now you’re prepared.
I will also tell you that there is a Target almost within walking distance of my neighborhood, but it’s a hateful place. The employees are lazy, the shoppers rude and the displays a mess, so this is why I happened to be forty minutes away at another Target when I got the phone call. I was just loading my precious cargo of Bounty Select-a-Size paper towels, All Free and Clear in the handy forty gallon drum, etc. onto the checkout belt when my cell phone sounded. The voice on the other end was a lady from ADT Home Security telling me my burglar alarm had been activated.
OSV: What does that mean, activated?
ADT: The alarm is sounding in your home.
OSV: (panicking) You mean someone broke a window or pushed in the front door?
ADT: No, not points of entry. The motion detector is indicating movement inside your home.
OSV: (truly idiotic now) What does that mean?
ADT: Would you like me to send the police to your address?
OSV: No, I’m leaving now. Wait. Yes, send the police. I’m not sure what to do, this has never happened before. Yes, send the police and I’ll be there in half an hour.
ADT: I’m notifying the police to go to your address and you will meet them there in thirty minutes.
OSV: Well, maybe forty. No, I can make it in thirty if I really step on it. But don’t tell them I said that. No, tell them whatever you want. I’m sorry, I have to go.
Which was hilarious in a way because it’s not like she called to shoot the shit and I had to apologize for cutting off our little chat. OF COURSE I HAD TO GO. I had to make a forty minute ride in half an hour with the cops waiting at my door holding a radar gun to ticket me for speeding while all my eBay costume jewelry was being dissed inside by professional thieves.
I told the checkout person I had to go because my house alarm had gone off and she and the customers behind me said, “Go! We’ll put everything back in your cart and hold it for later,” which was a huge difference from the scenario that would have taken place at my local Target where they would have all rolled their eyes and said something like, “Bitch, you think you’re better than us having a house alarm? You think you have something worth stealing? Shit.” I swear that is one mean store.
I arrived at my house in twenty-seven minutes and I’ll deny that if it ever comes up. The two police officers were just pulling out of my street but I waved them to come back. There was no way I was going into my crime-ridden habitat alone.
OSV: Hey, where are you guys going?
COPS: We walked all around the outside of your house and no entries have been disturbed so it’s probably a false alarm.
OSV: Well, that may be, but can you come inside with me while I look?
I don’t know if I had this image of them crouching room to room with their weapons drawn yelling, “Clear!” but I asked them anyway. They said sure.
I unlocked the door and we all walked in and they threw their hands up at the same time and started laughing. One of them said, “Well, you’d sure be able to tell if something was out of place in here!” and the other one said, “Wow, this is like in a showroom!” and they both walked around respectfully nodding their heads and paying me more compliments on how insanely neat the house was and I was mortified. I wanted to say, hey, maybe you should have my back while I check upstairs, but they were convinced no one was in the house besides the three of us. They were right. On their way out, my cell phone rang and it was the neighbor across the street calling to say he saw the guys from the gutter cleaning service on my roof before the alarm went off.
COP#1: That explains it then. The vibrations set off the inside motion detectors.
COP#2: We could tell this was a false alarm. Nobody robs a house and leaves it looking better than when they broke in.
OSV: I’m sorry you had to make the trip.
COP#1: Are you kidding? You made our day. Most of the time the house we’re called to is in such a state we assume it’s been ransacked and then the residents say, “No, this is how it always looks.” You get the Good Housekeeping Award, ma’am. Have a great day.
I can’t even explain it, but after they left I felt the urge to vacuum.
Daughter’s Fotos go City To Country with nothing but color