Strange things sometimes happen when I work from home.
It’s not about the job — without the commute, I actually get more done and feel very smug and productive in my house slippers.
Nope, it’s the outside world that causes the strangeness.
Most days, it’s just me and the work, sailing along neatly, clickety-clack, down the to-do list.
But sometimes, stuff happens.
I’ve had neighbors stop by for milk or cleaning supplies, or help with sick or injured children.
Catherine will try to capitalize on the availability of a ride somewhere.
I’ve had cable TV salesmen and religious folks stop by trying to convert me.
There have been furnace installers, electricians, carpenters, painters, rug installers, couch delivery men — you name it.
And there was the time last year when a woman waltzed in through the front door while I was in another room for a moment, demanding to see “Nancy.” She put her purse on the back of my couch, started to remove her jacket, would not take “no Nancy” for an answer.
And she didn’t apologize for the interruption either after it became clear she was in the wrong house.
That one rattled me a bit.
Today, a woman knocked on the door who appeared to be right out of “backcountry Greenwich” central casting: Boiled wool black jacket over a hot-pink turtleneck, sensible slacks and shoes. Pearls. Discretely dyed hair, styled in a bob and clipped to one side with a tortoise-shell barrette.
She wanted to know if my house is for sale.
A friend told her it was — either ours or the one across the street, that is. She lived here many years ago and is looking to buy a house in the neighborhood again. It’s just she and her husband now.
I assured her the house is not for sale, all the while thinking “you can’t make this stuff up” and “Is this a scam?” After cluck-clucking about how times change while assessing the new construction up the block, Wool Jacket took her leave.
I went back to work, but mentioned it when Basil came home.
“So?” he asked, looking pointedly at me.
“What?” I replied.
“Have I taught you nothing? How much will she give us?”
“You just passed up an opportunity!” he said, only half-kidding. “Why didn’t you tell her we were asking $1 million?”