i just can't get our brief interchange off my mind. on the other hand, it's probably completely slipped yours by now, so let me refresh your memory:
scene: outside the building which houses our daughters' choir rehearsal space. this building is a few blocks away from the house in which my family and i reside. it is evening, just getting dark, and unseasonably warm.
me: oh, the door's locked.
you: well, it's probably a good idea for them to keep the door locked. with all those girls in there.
you: and this is such a sketchy neighborhood.
me: uh...you think so?
you: oh, yes. it gives me the creeps.
almost as if i were moving through the stages of grief, i went through many phases of my reaction to this interaction. first, shock and the speechlessness that accompanies shock. sketchy? i thought? creeps? i thought? huh?
second, confusion. why would you assume that no one whose daughter attended such an elite organization-for-poised-young-ladies could possibly live in this particular neighborhood? do you always speak so rashly, without considering that you know nothing about the person to whom you're speaking, including where that person lives? and what, exactly, do you find "sketchy" about this verging-on-suburban area of lovely portland, maine?
next came anger, of course, because for god's sake, i LIVE in this neighborhood, stupid lady! and i can envision with such precise detail where YOU live (although i know nothing about you, either): on a charming street, in a doll house, probably with a water view and a perfect green lawn and a lexus suv parked in your perfect driveway.
now i believe i've arrived at the final stage of coming to terms with our exchange: pity . i can see now that you've lived a very sheltered, safe, limited kind of life. your 40-something years haven't brought you out of your own tidy neighborhood, or other neighborhoods like it, unless you were driving through a "sketchy" area with your windows rolled up and your doors locked tight (i say this as a person who grew up in suburbia, who has also led a blessedly safe life, but whose world view has thankfully grown as i have). poor you!
my friend mama d wants to take you on a field trip to camden, new jersey. what do you say??