January 31, 2011

  • Creepy

    We hosted our weekly rotating playdate this morning, and shortly after all the kids and moms left (a little after noon), our doorbell rang. I looked through the pane of glass on our door and saw that it was a normal-looking woman in her 40s, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and holding her car keys. I didn’t recognize her, but I thought maybe she lived on our street and had some of our mail misdelivered to her or something. So, I opened the door a crack and said, “Can I help you?”

    She replied, “I’m sorry, but can I use your bathroom?” No explanation as to why, and less than two blocks away, there’s a Volvo dealership, and next to it, an El Pollo Loco — both places with public restrooms. Plus, she had a car — couldn’t she drive to any of the dozens of shopping centers within a few minutes of us? I felt a little bad, but I smiled and said, “No, you cannot. Sorry! There are public restrooms in a restaurant one block down to your left.” As I was closing the door, I heard her say, “I can’t?” But I didn’t wait to hear more, I closed the door, locked it and bolted it.

    We live in a nice neighborhood — I’m not aware of any crimes here in the recent past, and I also grew up around here and don’t remember any theft or crimes. We don’t get random people at our door — the closest to that are real estate agents or people from fast food restaurants coming to deposit advertisements near the front door. I’m sure chances are that she just really needed to go right then, but she really caught me off-guard. No explanation as to why she needed a bathroom so urgently that she had to knock on a stranger’s door, plus she was looking around behind me (thank goodness we have a long entry hallway, so she couldn’t see inside to where the boys were). I’m not a paranoid person, but I am home alone with two little kids (and a dog, but Atari, despite sounding fierce when he barks, wouldn’t hurt a flea), and who knows if she was scoping out houses so she (or someone she works for) could come back and rob us later? Or worse.

    Perhaps I’ll go out of my way to do a good deed later this afternoon to make up for the fact that I possibly denied someone who genuinely needed help. That ought to restore the karmic balance!

Comments (13)

  • What the heck?  I’d never ask someone at their house to use their toilet.  That’s just weird.  If I was in the neighborhood of a friend I might do that if there weren’t any public places to go to.  I would have called the police and gotten the woman’s license plate too!  Uhg and you don’t know what kind of weirdos are out there anymore!!!  I agree with you on doing a good deed but this is just WEIRD!

  • I agree with you, that’s creepy. I think you made the right choice in erring on the side of caution. Weird.

  • Beverly, I would’ve done exactly what you did! In this day and age, you can trust nobody, especially if you’re home alone w/ 2 little ones. There are soooo many crazy people out there! I’m always paranoid and never open my door, especially if its a stranger since I live alone and like Atari, Sophie would not hurt a flea. I always look at my peep hole. One time an older couple rang my door bell and I didn’t answer it. I figured they could knock on someone else’s door. I also watch too much tv and hear so many stories, so I’m all about being cautious. Heck, I even have a can of pink pepper spray on my key chain. One time I had a knock on my door really late..I was so paranoid that I called the police and the did a neighborhood watch/check, just to make sure it was nobody dangerous lurking around. Anyways, you did the right thing and that lady could easily drive down the road to use the restroom. Better to be safe than sorry. :o )

  • I think you made the right decision, I absolutely think that’s creepy. I don’t know any adults that would so desperately need to use a bathroom that they’d knock on a strangers door instead of driving a block to a public bathroom. That’s tototally weird.

  • Very creepy. Make sure you call your neighbors and warn them.

  • You absolutely did the right thing.  Something just doesn’t sound right about her situation.  There was actually something going on in this area where a woman would do something similar, but would ask to use a phone.  There was a guy right behind her and they’d both force their way in if you opened the door.  They know there are a lot of stay at home mom’s in this area, so i NEVER open my door during the day anymore.  It freaks me out when Ryan’s not here and i feel pretty defenseless during the day.  I’m glad you did what you did.  I wouldn’t feel bad at all!!

  • No good karma needed!! That’s creepy. You definitely did the right thing. I wouldn’t have even wanted to open the door. We have this stupid front door with a glass pane so I feel like I have to open it bc they know I’m there, but yikes!

  • Thanks for the validation, ladies! Johnny, who’s normally so supportive and sensitive, thought I was a bit paranoid for thinking that the woman had evil schemes brewing in her mind. When I texted him about what happened, he replied that it was weird, but that if she’d been 70 or something, he would have let her in (I suppose seeing an elderly person in need would be more compelling, but I don’t think I would have let her in even if she were old). Then when he got home just now and realized that the front door was bolted, he said, “Seriously? Is that why you bolted it?” and looked like he was trying not to laugh. I was like, YES, that’s why I bolted it! Some strange woman comes knocking on the door to ask if she can use the bathroom, and you think I’m only going to apply one lock? I told him that it could be someone working for a burglar, or maybe even someone working for a serial killer or something, which prompted him to point out that serial killers rarely employ people (I beg to differ. I’m actually a little addicted to true crime stories and documentaries, and PLENTY of serial killers work with seemingly normal people). OK, so perhaps the serial killer theory is paranoid of me, but I was all huffy that he didn’t take the incident seriously! Finally I got him to see the ridiculousness of coming to a stranger’s home to ask to use the bathroom.

  • I agree with your decision Beverly.  Although I must say that while in Hawaii, we were about to go on a hike and my friends Amy and David and I were desperately trying to find a bathroom (none in sight or nearby).  We saw a girl sweeping her front yard and I didn’t want to ask but David asked her if we could use her bathroom and she said yes.  It felt a bit awkward and intrusive but I was so happy she let us use it hahaha.  Maybe we looked more innocent?

  • You did the right thing, could have been looking your house over for a robbery

  • You did the right thing. I would have never opened the door to someone I didn’t know. Even if they know I was home. lol. But that’s just me. I won’t even open the door for my neighbor. 

  • Good for you for saying no! So many of us would just let a stranger in, despite the hackles standing up on the back of our necks! That’s weird and odd. If you have to go, you go to a gas station or McDonald’s or something!

  • Thats totally strange and I would had done the same exact thing.  God knows your heart Beverly AND knows that you were just protecting your family…your intuition must have told you to be leery and all women should listen to that…of course I watch too many episodes of Dateline so I am a little paranoid myself ;)

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