09 March 2011
Who's that knockin' at my door?
Will someone please tell me why people in New England don't use their front doors? Like ever? Ever EVER? Front doors around here are like trompe l'oeil paintings. I bought this pretty birdie doorknocker for my front door to A) add yet a little more personality to my uptight house and B) to show people that we do, indeed, acknowledge our front door and validate her right to exist. For actual entering and exiting purposes. I expect that the colonial reproduction nazis are disgusted with me right now but I love love love my little birdie.
But, so far, my pretty birdie has been very lonely. I don't think this woodpecker (I'm assuming it's a woodpecker. which would make it a doorpecker) has pecked any wood since the day we met. It doesn't help that until this weekend our front door was blocked by 4 feet of snow. Every time I visualize people coming to our front door, I picture Pa Ingalls leading a team of horses in a blizzard.
My front hall is open and dramatic with a beautiful staircase. My back hall is narrow and cramped and does not have room for 2 people standing abreast. This means there is no physical space to actually invite people inside without doing an awkward getting-out-of-the-way dance and then giving my guest directions from afar. As in, "Hi! Come on in! I'm going to go over here - just a little - ha ha awkward laugh - if you want go that way toward the kitchen. Little bit more. Great. Thanks! Then I'll meet you over there and grab your coat and bring it back here to hang up in the closet!" It's not exactly welcoming.
Oh I get it now.
Maybe this is by design?
It took some trial and error, but I eventually figured out that New England front doors are for show only. You enter through side doors, back doors and even (god, I can't even say it) garage doors. I figured this out our first week in this new house when I was haunted by this phantom knock, knock, knocking. At first, I'd get all geeked out because it meant someone wanted to meet me (or maybe it was a guy from the water company threatening to shut off our water - that was disappointing).....so I'd run to the front door to welcome my new friend. Only to find no one there. That's just mean. So then I'd run to each and every door (hollering "I'm coming!" the whole time) scrambling to catch the new friend behind door number 3 before they gave up on me and left.
When we arrived this summer, Liam and I hit the pavement with the intention of knocking on doors and introducing ourselves. So we'd go to the front door where there would be no doorbell (never a doorbell. Paul Revere didn't need a doorbell so none of us should have doorbells) and often times there was no door knocker either. Or doorpecker. You might as well put a sign on the door that says "GO AWAY!" We'd just keep trying doors until some startled and uncomfortable person came to the door.
I admit now that I might have been a little too Midwestern in my tactics. But I thought nice was good. Nice is good, right? How can you go wrong with nice?
Tune in Friday for more about my front door drama. Yes, I'm serious, more about front doors!