03 June 2009

Did You See My Pajamas? That's Because I LIVE HERE.

One of the perils of city living is that I occasionally frequently have to kick people off of our stoop. Usually it's some drunk or drugged up homeless person who is yelling at passersby or has passed out on our stoop so suddenly that they bang the doorway on their way down. Part of me has intense yuppie guilt about asking them to move it, then telling them to move it, then telling them that I'm phoning the police. The majority of my other parts have a short fuse, though, and would like to be able to step onto our threshold without also having to step on a vagrant person, so I end up calling the police about 70% of the time (I call often enough that I am heeded from time to time by the regulars). Occasionally, though, it's not a homeless person. Sometimes it's people in business suits. Or small families with noisy children. And for some stupid reason, it takes me longer to deal with them than it takes me to deal with the homeless people.

Tonight, as I was sitting at my desk trying to think of a good blog entry, I was debating whether or not to ask a woman who was having a cell phone conversation on our stoop to move it along.

Tonight, I finally reasoned that I kick bums off my stoop without a second thought, so why not someone who is clearly on the phone with work or their family, who might be on their way to a nice dinner, or a warm home? They have equally no right to loiter on the property I rent and bother me. Maybe there are quiet persons chilling out there more often than I know, and to them I say chill away - I only use my door a handful of times during the day, anyway, so rock on, because you're not bothering me at all.

This woman, however, was bothering me. So why was I sitting at my desk trying to enjoy a glass of wine instead of kicking her off my stoop so I could actually enjoy it? She was breaking both of the rules I use to determine whether to call the freakin' cops about the homeless people (being noisy and being relentless about being noisy), so why on earth wasn't I telling her to leave?

And now I segue to honestly ask: what the hell is wrong with people? I don't go and stand on her front porch and have loud, chatty conversations. There is nothing really so different about an urban stoop. I don't know how to describe why it's not okay to people not in this situation, except to tell you that it's private property (and that there are noise ordinances). I get that for some inane reason it probably seems okay to you, to stand "innocently" on my stoop and talk loudly (I'm sorry, at your natural volume? Really?), I really do. However, as a first floor urban apartment dweller I am here to tell you, world - it is not okay. It is not okay for you to be on someone else's stoop doing anything. Ever. Especially if you're doing it loudly!

In the end, I didn't even kick her off my stoop because she was that annoying - I did it because of the principle of the matter. These poor homeless people have nowhere to go, but they drive me bonkers, so I ask the police to help me deal with them. This woman was wearing her "I'm an entitled cunt" business suit and having a chatty cell phone conversation on my front porch even though the weather outside is beautiful (i.e. no rain or snow she was taking shelter from). Let's take a moment to reflect on that. Poor homeless person. Noisy entitled asshole.

The only question I still have for myself is why did it take me so long to open my door and stare at her with a deadpan face, holding a glass of wine in my pajamas, until she got the hint?

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