Recommended wine for today’s entry: Try a glass of DeLoach 2006 Russian River Valleychardonnay. I had this not too long ago, and found it to be a good step into fall … I’m ready to move away from the ultra-light, fruitier wines that I enjoy in the summer. As the evenings cool down, I prefer a drier, oakier chardonnay. From Wine Enthusiast: “There’s lots of acidity in this young wine, which gives it a slightly minty, prickly feeling that actually adds to its food-friendliness. With pineapple, green apple, spice and smoky oak flavors, it finishes thoroughly dry.” They gave it an 88 rating. Personally, I missed the prickly feeling, but that’s OK, as that’s not one of the things I generally look for in a beverage. I think it was in the $15 range.
A few Mondays ago, I put a “catch up day” on my agenda. I’m not sure what I was catching up from or moving toward, but it sounds very professional and my husband, who is gainfully employed, has “catch up” days, so I do too. In his case, he doesn’t have meetings and uses the day to go through his inbox, return e-mails, etc. In my case, I don’t bathe and I use the day to tear recipes out of the magazines in my inbox, read my mom’s forwards, etc.
At about ten in the morning, I was totally engrossed, finishing a short story for a contest that required entries by noon. I was camped in the dining room, breakfasting on cold pizza and milk, stunning in my boxer-short pajamas with my unbrushed hair pulled into a spout on top of my head (a look somewhere between a preschooler and Katherine Hepburn).
Oh, and I had on my reallyattractive supp-hose – you know, those super thick knee-high socks that prevent varicose veins. Mine look even better in summer, when the top half of my legs are really tanned and the socks, because they are designed for 90-year-olds in nursing homes, come in the creamy beige color of International Coffees’ French Vanilla Cafe.
When the doorbell rang, I must have looked like a startled deer. My head whipped around as I searched for somewhere to hide. But this lady with an oversized head and an even bigger coiffure was peering in the glass part of the door. She was obviously someone who is used to having homeowners hide. My brain worked furiously – yes, I definitely paid the mortgage this month. I think.
Caught, I grabbed my piece of pizza because if I left it on the table, Brownie the cat would drag it off to a corner somewhere and devour it before I got back. I opened the door, just a crack, pinning two barking dogs with my knees, keeping a cat from escaping with an elbow, pizza now stuck in my teeth and hanging out of my mouth. The breeze from the door opening caused a chill across my upper lip, alerting me to the fact that I had a large milk mustache adding to the whole ensemble.
“Is this a bad time?” the lady with the giant head asked.
I considered pretending to be a housesitter, even an intruder, just to get rid of her. But I couldn’t speak until I took the pizza out of my mouth. Then I saw that she had a partner. And the partner was holding those little pamphlets that always ring the doorbell really early on Saturday morning and then wedge themselves into your door jamb.
Uh-oh. Not a repo lady. A church lady. With reinforcements.
I sacrificed my last piece of Papa Johns, throwing it behind me to distract the dogs for just a second, forcing them to pull back from the door so that I could close it even farther. Now, through a slit in the door, I stuck my lips out and said, “Sorry. These dogs look nice, but I can’t trust them not to bite you.” Meanwhile, the larger of the two dogs was wagging his tail so hard he almost knocked me over. I gave the woman cowering in the back my best haggard look. “I just can’t control them,” I said, shaking my head slowly.
“Well, we won’t keep you then,” the large-head one said. She caught me staring at a baldish spot she’d covered with teased hair. “But are you familiar with the Lord’s Prayer?”
Like a dolt, I engaged, letting them know that yes, of course I was familiar with it, in fact, at MY church yesterday, we discussed some of the tenets put forth in it. (I tried to slip them up by using backward-forward wording like lawyers do.)
Anyway, then I stood there listening to her favorite part of the Lord’s Prayer, elbowing cats away, pinning dogs between my supp-hose-clad legs and thinking evil thoughts.
Suddenly the phone started ringing and I held a finger up. “I really need to take that,” I said, interrupting her just as she was about to read to me from the pamphlet. “It might be my doctor. I’m off my meds. Maybe you can tell.”
That didn’t even work. Finally I released my knee-grip on the black Lab, sending her wiggling forward, smiling and wagging.
“OHMYGOD—IMEANGOSH!” I hollered, grabbing the ferocious beast by the collar. “I’ve got to get these dogs calmed down. And I have to grab the phone!” I shut the door unceremoniously but quite firmly. Then I hid behind the kitchen counter and watched as they conferred for a moment, probably praying for my unbathed body and crazy-cat-lady soul. Then they tucked their little handbags under their arms and left, probably feeling all superior in their clean, daytime clothes and coiffed hair.
When I went to lock the door a few minutes later, one of those stupid pamphlets had wedged itself in my door jamb.
Even that googly-eyed pile of money I could be saving with Geico isn’t as sneaky as those stupid pamphlets.