Tuesday, November 07, 2023

What do you think you're doing?

I went to mutual with the girls this evening. Miriam made an arrangement of O Little Town of Bethlehem and the young women agreed to sing it for her (Miriam will be playing the piano), but there are are few girls (four tonight) that Miriam decided it would be best if mothers (and aunts, in one case) sang with the young women. We ended up with, as I said, four girls (only three singing), two mothers, an aunt, and three young women leaders. And...we did okay! I think we'll feel pretty confident by Christmas.

On the way home from mutual we made a stop to grab some material that was offered on the Buy Nothing Group. I told the giver that we'd be coming in the evening after our church youth group; she told me she'd leave the porch light on, and that we could just go through and take what we'd like.

And so, there we were, on a dark—but mild—November evening, hunched over a laundry basket full of material on a stranger's front porch. We rifled through the stash at this questionable hour, oohing and ahhing over what was available, when a man walking two dogs rapidly approached us. 

"Hey! What do you think you're doing?!" he said in a tone that was...not gruff, precisely, but certainly accusatory. 

"Oh!" I squeaked out, a little bit nervous about what was going to go down (we live in America, after all, and I'm afraid of guns...and neighbourhood vigilantes). "We're just part of this Buy Nothing Group on Facebook and the woman who lives here..."

"Oh!" he stammered, suddenly very embarassed. "Oh, no! Oh, what have I done?! I'm so sorry! I thought you were my kids!! I didn't put my glasses on before I left to take the dogs out and I...I thought you were my kids! I'm Don. I live here. And I knew my wife left some fabric out for someone. I just forgot...and I yelled at you.... That's so embarrassing...I just..."

"It's alright," I assured him. "We were just about to leave anyway."

"Take your time," he said.

He went inside and told his wife, who rapidly messaged me her apologies. I hope they laughed about it for as long as we did. 

When Miriam and I got back in the car, Rachel—who had heard the whole thing—was laughing, too.

"Poor Don!" she giggled. "What do you think you're doing? I was over here fumbling for the lock button."

"You were going to lock us out of the van?!" I asked. 

"No..." she said innocently. "I was trying to lock myself in!"

"That's the same thing!"

"But less bad?"

"I dunno, man," I said. "Sounds like you were leaving Miriam and I to the wolves."

"He turned out to be nice," Rachel shrugged. 

Good thing I didn't send Miriam up to the door by herself! I often do send the kids up to doorways to fetch things (not at night, typically), but since I knew she'd be spending some time going through the fabric, I turned off the car and went up with her because there's not a whole lot that's more awkward than squatting on a (stranger) neighbour's front porch, rifling through a box of stuff... I mean, there's nothing more awkward than that until you're yelled at by man out walking his dogs while you're on his front porch rifling through stuff...

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