Yesterday, our wonderful folks from the heating and air company we use sent a guy to come take care of the wintertime maintenance. I had received a heads up call from the company that he would be arriving in about an hour, could I go home and let him in?
I got home and he arrived shortly thereafter. We introduced ourselves to each other and I walked him to the crawlspace around the side of the house. He said something I didn’t catch the first time and I asked him to repeat it.
He said, “You still live next to the tin shack.” He was referencing our next-door-neighbor’s house, which, I’ll give it to him, does appear to be rather tinnish and shackish.
Again, I asked him to repeat himself. What did he mean? It was like we had been interrupted in a conversation we had never had.
I nodded my head, not sure what else to say. I unlocked the door and flipped on the light.
“They don’t even have gas,” he noted.
“Okay,” I said. As in, nice observation, but I don’t know what to do with that statement. “We don’t talk to them very often, but they seem nice.” I was defending my neighbors, as if they had asked me to. What was up with this guy? I thought it was pretty rude of him to say these things, not even 4 feet from their house – which they are in all the time as they never leave.
I went inside and made lunch for myself. I spent the time thinking about the weird conversation. Why would this random dude talk about how I still live next to the tin shack and mention that they don’t even have gas. What’s up with that?
Then I got to thinking. Maybe he’d been to our house before to do the maintenance. No biggie. But I’d never met him.
He knocked on the door a little while later to change the filter in the attic.
“Oh, I forgot you had a corgi!” he said, as he knelt down to shower Hunter with affection.
I cut to the chase: “Was my husband here the last time you came by?”
“No, it’s always been your mother-in-law.”
Ah-HA. So he was at least aware that he’d never met me before! Phew.
We went upstairs so I could show him where the access to the attic was. The Already Knowing All About Me ensued.
“I was so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law’s corgi passing away.” He was talking about Midnight, Josef’s family’s corgi. That was well over a year ago, maybe even two years ago.
“Uh huh,” I agreed. I mean, what else could I say?
“And your attic is a lot easier to get into than your mother-in-law’s”
I know this guy had good intentions, and that he clearly takes in interest in the clients of the company. But it was a little creepy how he assumed familiarity with me. I think I felt a little bit like a celebrity does, maybe not a major celebrity, but all the same, because I bet complete strangers demonstrate familiarity with them all the time. “Oh, I love dogs, too!” “I remember when you were in that car accident.” Etc. I bet that’s weird!
I would have felt better if, initially, he had simply said, “Hey, I’m _____, and I’ve worked on your house before and your mother-in-law’s house.” That’s all it would have taken. Everything just seemed out of context otherwise! Not a big deal, but I wanted to write about it because it was an odd feeling to experience this scenario. I probably haven’t experienced it in a long time – not since I was a child, if I think about the last time someone I didn’t know seemed to know stuff about me.
Yeah, I am fine with not being famous!