Friday, September 28, 2012

Embarrassing Memories

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

The rain was making it hard to see out the car windows as we arrived in my parents’ neighborhood for a long-overdue visit. We crawled along in the downpour, looking for the house, until I cried, “There it is!”

Mom had told us that if we arrived after 11:00, she and Dad would have gone to bed already, and she would leave the key under the doormat. So while the rest of the family was seeing to the luggage, I retrieved the key from under the mat and unlocked the door.

Even in the dark hallway, I could see the furniture was unfamiliar. “Odd,” I thought. “They didn’t mention they’d gotten all new furniture.” Later, I would have a closer look; just now there was no need to bother turning on the lights; I knew my way around.

In the family room, I could hear the television, so that’s where I headed. On the sofa (new sofa, too!) lay a young woman under a blanket, watching a news special about the latest string of murders in the area. Barbara was home from college; what a wonderful surprise!

I ran toward her and had my arms outspread to give her a big hug when she screamed.

Not Barbara. Not even my parents’ house. They lived in one of those developments (estates, if you’re British) where all the houses are built to one of only about 5 or 6 plans. This was a look-alike to our house.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, hastily. “I was looking for the Joneses.” Joneses, sure. A person would say that, or else Smiths.

“There are some Joneses two blocks down,” she squeaked through trembling lips.

“I know. I’m their daughter…”

I could hear her parents getting out of bed upstairs, and my family noisily arriving at the front door, with luggage.

I fled, shouting, “Sorry!” over my shoulder as I hustled my family back into the car. We pulled away just about, by my calculations, when the parents must have gotten downstairs.

Ten minutes after we had arrived at the right house, my parents were awakened by the phone. “It’s the Murphys,” called Mom. “They want to know, do I have a daughter with long, blonde hair and was she there just now?”

Unexpected Visitors

Another embarrassing memory I have of my parents’ house is the night Demetrios and I, exhausted from a long journey and driving back toward Richmond, decided we could go no further. So around midnight, we stopped at their house. My parents were away in Florida for the week, so it wouldn’t inconvenience them, and this time we had a key.

We were awakened around two o’clock in the morning by somebody coming in the front door – which we had locked. There were footsteps on the stairs, and then, in the dark, someone came into our room.

You can imagine the kerfuffle and fright all around before everything became clear. It turned out to be our friend Charlotte and her daughter, passing through from out of town. They had been given a key and (unlike us) permission to spend that night at the house.


Anam Cara said...

How funny! While reading I thought the first story was another dream! this is why you leave YOUR key under a NIEGHBOR's mat! (with their permission, of course)

And the story of Charlotte is priceless, too.

We once came back from a trip to find friends staying at our house. We arrived early having decided to drive straight through from Stockholm to Stuttgart. We were exhausted, ready to drop, and there they were - sound asleep in our bed, rather like Goldilocks in baby bear's bed. Not so good at the time, but a wonderful memory now.

Matushka Anna said...

Oh my!!! Those are hilarious stories!!