There's Smart and Then There's Wise

One thing that really annoys me about my apartment building is that sometimes other residents too lazy to let people in (or too lazy to take their keys with them when they do something supposedly quick like take out the trash) will take one of the large rocks from the nicely-tended garden of the neighbor next to the entrance and use said rock to prop open the back door to the building. If I come home late at night (like I often used to from working at the bookstore) and see the door open, I move the rock and allow the door to shut and lock. My security should not be compromised for the convenience of someone else (who probably does not live alone and/or doesn't read the "police blotter" in the local paper. Or thinks it's 1949).

Tonight, I took a quick ride to the video store to return my almost-late movies and pick up a couple new ones. When I came back, it had just started getting dark. I started walking to the steps leading to the back entrance when I noticed the door was propped open. I didn't see anyone else outside, but just as I started thinking nasty things about the person who propped the door open while I got closer to the steps, a voice called out, "Leave the door open."

I looked left, and there was an old dude standing there talking to an older-ish woman with faded, frizzy blond hair who looked about to get into the car parked right across from the steps to the back entrance. The old dude was looking right at me, with an expression on his face as crabby as the sound of his words.

I quickly ducked out of his gaze and shrugged as I said "O.K.," maintaining my speed towards the door.

Still holding the keys I'd had prepped in my fingers to unlock and open the propped door, I slipped inside.

The whole time I was walking to my apartment, I was wishing I'd had the guts to yell, "Next time say please, you jerk!" as I kicked the rock to the side and let the door slam shut.
Wishing sometimes the trigger on my smart mouth would work right, for once.

That was about an hour and a half ago, and having cooled off a bit, I am reconsidering my wish.

Maybe it was providential that my smart mouth was off in its timing and I avoided provoking a neighbor who already had proven himself a jerk.

And maybe I should savor having made a wise move instead of having let my smart mouth run.

(Still wish I could afford a house away from all this, though.)


Lizzie said…
Oooooh. There have been so many times when I wish I'd let my tongue loose on people. But you're right - it gets tricky with neighbors. It's not like you'll never see them again.
Annie Coe said…
You do have to be careful...
Cullen said…
I wouldn't have left the door open. I might have been polite, but I would have been straight with the guy that I wasn't going to compromise my security for his convenience.

And you know, escaping problems at one place will be replaced by a new set of problems at a new place. Though I'd trade security issues for noisy neighbors (or something like that) any day.
Amy Giglio said…
It's always better to keep your mouth shut in those situations. Nothing good can come of shooting from the lip.
ccr in MA said…
I would have been too nervous of the guy to say anything, either, but I would have steamed about it after. I hate when people do that kind of thing!
Renee said…
Kate I have the most difficult time with rude or even worse ungrateful people.

Renee xoxo
Kate P said…
Lizzie--yeah, very true. Really wouldn't want to get on the bad side of people who more or less know where I live and see me on a regular basis.

Annie--you said it.

Cullen--I would've felt more unsafe had it been later at night, but on principle you're right. Even indicating to onlookers (especially onlookers looking for a way in) that people do this on a regular basis is not something to which I wish to contribute.

Amy--"shooting from the lip." Heh. I'll have to remember that.

ccr--you too, huh? It totally startled me and made me clam up.

Renee--hey, thanks for stopping by! You got it--the rudeness catches me off guard. Every time.

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