I remember in my growing up years, we never called up anybody to show up at their homes. Neither did anyone call us to make special arrangements. Of course we had our activities and school homework but somehow a little surprise thrown in didn’t put our lives in disarray. In fact opening the door to a face whom you love on a boring regular weekday evening is amongst some of my fondest memories.
I actually had a special way of associating how they rang the doorbell with particular people. We like most homes during that time had the plain ding-dong doorbell. But it’s funny how each of us had our way of flicking that same switch yet generating a slightly different sound. Some would hold the switch a little longer than others and the bell would go dingggg-dongggg. Some would flick and release making a quick dingdong sound. Some had the habit of ringing the bell a mandatory 3 times. It was funny how certain times of the day and the signature ring informed who was at the door.
I still remember how once I had procrastinated doing a school assignment. It was due on a Monday and by the time I sat to do it, it was Sunday evening (Daughter better not read this ever). I was hardly into 15 mins of work, when I heard that special doorbell. It was that one time I wished I was wrong. But as luck would have it, it was my aunt and my most favorite cousins. I remember staying up all night and finishing the said assignment. I went to school the next day and everything was good. But these days people ( sadly that includes me) are so worried about messing the kids/their own schedules or if the house is in a mess, that we miss the little joys that life surprises us with if given an opportunity. I wonder while growing up if my home was always spic n span but I don’t recall my mum having a fit if people came in unannounced.
As weird as it sounds but among the many things that I miss here, one is the constant sound of the doorbell. I know it can get irritating especially if it’s on a weekend morning and you want to sleep in. But I miss the constant dings. But now even in India nobody comes unannounced. And people run on a crazy schedule. Nobody comes now for an impromptu tea and a bowl full of pakoda. These days people are more into an elaborate dinner.
Here the front door is rarely used. We always come in and out of the garage. It’s only when we have people over does the doorbell get a chance to announce their arrival. It’s only during the summer months, when Daughter’s friends pour in and out at all times of the day does the doorbell get a chance to work.
Having said all that I did, I must also admit that if and when guests do decide to come in unannounced then I most certainly get a panic attack. Yes I’ve become one of those miserable uptight people who needs everything in its rightful place when guests come. There should be fresh hand towels in the powder room. The fine cutlery needs to be laid. Cushions need to be just right. Even the upstairs bedrooms need to be perfect. Hubby often questions me if someone is coming for a couple of hours why do they need to use our bedrooms. Well let’s say I just like to be prepared just in case. And with kids you never know where their fancy takes them.
So while I loved the surprise and unexpected arrival of guests earlier but now I prefer if it’s planned. Even though I miss the sound of the doorbell and seeing the oh-so-familiar-face that will lead up to a lovely evening, I still want at least a two hour window where I can get everything to my liking. Yes I’m kind of weird !!