July 11 13

Today is a banner day. It’s 9:47am. I’m on a mom strike—due to my children not understanding that I can’t be their mom and their maid. I’m on a wife strike—due to my husband not understanding that saying, “It’s early, don’t yell” is the wrong thing to say to the mom who is about to go on strike, due to her children not understanding that I can’t be their mom and their maid.

Josh left for camp with out his swim stuff. OF COURSE HE DID. I’m resisting the urge to drive to camp and drop off his towel and suit. But I’m not going to do it, because I’m on strike. Because maybe while he’s sitting by the pool and watching everyone else swim, watching everyone else get that much-needed refreshing respite from the hot, hot baseball camp non-shaded heat, he’ll remember to bring his stuff tomorrow.


At 9:35 the doorbell rang. It was FedEx. Thankfully, FedEx comes and drops stuff off at my door without forcing me to make conversation and sign anything. This was mostly a bonus for him, since I’m covered in yesterday’s eye makeup, in the initial stages of dry shampooing my bangs (spray is in, but not yet brushed out), I’m un-brassiered, un-made-up, and I’m still in my mismatched pajamas. I pretty much look like a zombie vampire right now. And not in a good way. I grabbed the package and closed the door. The package was…wet. So, I threw it down on the counter and went back upstairs to tend to my dry shampoo situation.

And then the doorbell rang again.

What does FedEx want now, to apologize for the wet package?


Oh no. It was my lovely friend, just out for a walk with another friend, smiles on their faces and Starbucks in their hands.

“HI!” she says, she’s so sweet.

“Uh, hi, what’s up, oh my god.”

“Is everything okay? We were just out for a nice walk and thought we’d stop by and say hi.”


“I don’t care! It’s me!”

“I’M NOT WEARING PANTS. You have to leave now.”

And I basically shut the door.

That’s what any zombie vampire would do, right?

And now I feel badly because she’s such a good friend and I really adore her and I love that she didn’t care that I wasn’t wearing a bra and that she stopped by to say hi because sometimes work-at-home moms are lonely and she knows that and she really, really only meant well.


She dropped by unannounced.

And that got me thinking. Are there rules here? Like, say, don’t drop by before noon or after 9pm without texting, emailing, or calling first? Do you drop by announced? Are you okay when other people drop by unannounced? Are you always company-ready?

(Maybe I’m just crazy.)

If I’m being honest, I’m a person who likes everyone to think that she has her shit together.

(Doesn’t everyone?)

I don’t want you to think that I yell at my kids in the morning. I don’t want you to think that I argue with my husband when he tells me not to yell at my kids in the morning. I don’t want you to think that my son’s swim stuff is sitting on my dining room table, forgotten (STOP ME).

I do get dressed every day. But sometimes it’s not before 10:30am.

I do put makeup on every day. But sometimes it’s not until noon.

I do have a clean house. But sometimes it’s not until after lunch, when there’s a lull in my work day and I can shift focus from my first job to my other job—cleaning lady.

I have my shit together, most of the time.

Just not always when you want to drop by unannounced.




  1. I’ve never had a problem with people dropping by unannounced but they will have to take me as I am – whether it’s in pajamas or not. Yet, on the other hand, I have never dropped by unannounced, I have always felt I should phone first. Go figure.


    Comment by AlwaysARedhead on July 11, 2013
  2. I have mixed feelings about dropping by unannounced… while it is great to see friends they will have to take me and my house as it is – and frankly I am not sure I am ready for that. I don’t get dressed first thing, I sometimes don’t brush my hair and my house often looks like a bomb when off!


    Comment by Christy Laverty on July 11, 2013
  3. I don’t like it. In this day and age where you can send a text to be like “I’m in the neighborhood, can I stop by?” it seems weird that it still happens.

    Buuuut, it is nice! I don’t get people that do that to me at my house. Although I kind of wish I did, because my house is a pigsty and really, the prospect of someone ever coming over unannounced would make me actually keep my house clean.


    Comment by Kristabella on July 11, 2013
  4. Nope. Nuh-uh. Never. If you are my friend, you can at least do me the courtesy to call or text and give me a 10-minute heads up that you’re stopping by, so I can scramble to try to make myself and my house look somewhat presentable. Hell, my parents live 2 miles away and even THEY don’t come over without letting me know in advance. This seems like a very basic etiquette rule to me.


    Comment by cindy w on July 11, 2013
  5. I generally don’t mind. It depends who it is though. If it’s a good friend, they don’t need to announce, and I’ll just pop upstairs to put a bra on. ;) But once my cousin brought a friend over unannounced and I was not happy about it. My house was a mess and I was a disaster with a newborn. I really try to make everyone believe that I have my shit together but I really don’t, and as I get older I give a shit less everyday about what people think of me or the state of my house. I guess if they don’t like it they can leave. ;)


    ali replied on

    I think it’s a ME problem. I know people likely don’t care and aren’t really judging, because my house really isn’t THAT bad—it’s CLEAN, it’s just not always super tidy, if that makes sense.

    I just like to have a few minutes of a heads up to get mentally (and physically) prepared for guests.


    Comment by Sandy on July 11, 2013
  6. Dropping by was a normal thing to do in my country life back in the late 70s/early 80s. Even now, our tiny cul de sac neighbours stroll over to each other’s back yards, garages, and sun rooms without notice.

    The only thing I would ask is a 15-minute lead time text or call so that I might give the washroom a once-over. Not too much to ask, is it?


    Kelly replied on

    (Not to imply that our neighbours are small, only the cul de sac on which we live. Heh. (and I call myself a proofreader…)


    Comment by Kelly on July 11, 2013
  7. Ugh, I wouldn’t even answer the door. There’s no excuse for the Pop By.


    Comment by Alex on July 11, 2013
  8. I agree with pretty much everyone else. I hate, hate, HATE surprises (and even cried when my parents threw me a surprise party at McDonald’s at the ripe age of six), so someone randomly stopping by would definitely throw me out of my element/comfort zone. I need time to prepare myself, and not just physically. Plus, you know, it’s not very polite to just “drop by” in my opinion.


    ali replied on

    It’s funny because so many of my friends think I’m crazy for feeling this way. They are totally cool with it. I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one.


    Comment by alyinponderland on July 11, 2013
  9. It’s rare that anyone drops by unannounced out here in the sticks, but when they do, it’s always that ONE day that I’m in a tank top with no bra, and wearing tattered shorts. Sigh.


    ali replied on

    Of course, right? And you want to say…why weren’t you here yesterday when I looked cute?


    Comment by Angella on July 11, 2013
  10. My house is pop by central. If we’re lucky we get a courtesy knock before they come in. You gotta take me how I am once you get here though. I live by the mantra, those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.


    Comment by Shan on July 11, 2013
  11. I do not like people dropping by unannounced. Ever. Even my parents. They know, so they call.


    Comment by Heather on July 12, 2013
  12. I don’t mind it but no one knows the secret to my not minding: dependence. My not minding is dependent on my current state: dressed/not dressed; clean house/unclean house; asleep/awake, etc. What I tend to do is just dissuade anyone from trying. My father will come by and sit out front in his car, then call. YOU ARE STILL UNANNOUNCED because now I have to rush around and put on something that is not just a t-shirt that I probably slept in the night before. Those who know my schedule tend to come by weekday evenings after work (but this does not mean I may not already be t-shirtted for the evening).


    Comment by Arnebya on July 12, 2013
  13. Oh god, I can relate. A friend once stopped by unannounced at about 8 am and seeing me in my pajamas, asked if I was sick. I was tempted to slam the door into her judgmental face.

    I don’t rescue kids. They each got one lunch delivery at middle school per year. After that, no rescues, even for school projects. This is how they learn. They all lived.


    Comment by threeundertwo on July 12, 2013

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