I am going to let you all in on a little secret – I do not like surprises, unless they are of the Oroton, kid-free, hotel stay, overseas trip, diamond variety.
So, when you rock up at my house, uninvited, I am not going to jump with joy.
It’s not like you have to rely on carrier pigeon or telegram to inform someone of your intention to visit. Nor do you have to get your quill out and write a formal request to attend afternoon tea. You don’t even have to pick up the heavy handle of an old-fashioned phone, pulling your finger around to each number and slowly waiting for the dial to rotate before proceeding to the next number.
You just pick up your mobile phone and send a text asking if the person you wish to visit is at home and are free for you to pop over.
There are no excuses for not contacting the person before just lobbing on their doorstep.
And here’s another tip. If you do decide to rudely interrupt someone’s quiet afternoon at least bring a cake or something. Your smug smile is simply not enough.
You can’t just arrive unannounced and then expect your ambushed host to drop everything and scurry around, often in their worst tracksuit pants and unwashed hair, in their dirty kitchen, trying to find something to offer, other than Arrowroot biscuits, and using up the last of their milk for you.
Perhaps if you’d given them a quick call at least 20 minutes before they would have had a chance to brush their teeth, get the kids dressed and pile all the dirty pans into the oven.
And don’t you dare say: “Oh, I don’t care if your house is a mess” or “Don’t be silly you look great”. I do care that my bra is on the couch where I took it off the night before while eating popcorn (which incidentally my youngest child is now happily eating off the kitchen floor).
I do care and I take great pleasure in cleaning my house before visitors and baking something for them to eat (or at least popping down to the bakery).
I also really like to have washed myself and put on clothes that better reflect my personality, rather than these stained, baggy leggings with holes in the crotch.
I care and if you cared you wouldn’t saunter up to my front door and stand there with a goofy smile expecting me to put on a welcoming party for you.
This is amplified by one thousand if the person you are visiting has a newborn baby.
I had one of these unannounced visits when I had just given birth to our first child. At the time, we lived in a house in the hills that had a living area with large glass windows on most walls. I was new to breastfeeding so was sitting on the couch with no top on desperately trying to get my newborn to feed.
I was in pain, I was exhausted and I was covered in milk. It was not my finest hour.
Then I noticed someone walking past the window heading for my back door and it wasn’t the electricity man. I was horrified and quickly made a run for it to my bedroom to put on my bra and top. I was then forced to sit there and pretend I was excited to see my guests, while my hungry baby wriggled in my arms and milk leaked from my breasts.
And then there’s the story of the guy whose family thought they’d surprise him for his birthday only to be confronted by him nude, standing to attention (if you get my drift). I’m not sure if that really happened or if it’s an urban myth, but if catching someone you know masturbating doesn’t prove my point I’m not sure what will.
So, next time you have an urge to do an unannounced drop-in, don’t.
I am all for unscheduled visits if I’m given a bit of notice. That way I can opt out if it’s not convenient. You see my family or I could be unwell, we could already have visitors, we may be on our way out or perhaps we simply do not feel like having people over. Next time, don’t assume, just pick up your phone and send a text or give us a quick call to see if we’re free.
Then, if we’re up for it, swing by the shops and get a cake, any cake will do.
MORE ARTICLES BY BIANCA WORDLEY
*Bianca Wordley is an Adelaide-based blogger and writer who is the publisher of bigwords. She has worked for The Advertiser, The Sunday Mail, Independent Weekly, The Times, Australian Associated Press, Adelaide Hills Magazine and read the news for ABC Radio. You can find her on twitter @bigwordsblog