walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

"Are you soliciting?"

On Friday afternoon, I got my daughter all dressed up in her snow gear and let her play outside, because she asked to do so and we had a few minutes before her brother was due home, at which point we were all going to go to the pool for swimming lessons. As is typical these days, A. went to the neighbor's house and played in their back yard (I believe the rope swing is the current primary appeal). The neighbor kids were not yet home. I called my neighbor, to check in on my daughter and also to chat, because J. and I have not had a few minutes to chat in a while. J. said A. wasn't there, so I walked over and we continued our chat face to face. She was inside her front door in sock feet and I was outside all geared up in snow. A., meanwhile, was in the side yard on the far side of J.'s house, hence tricky for J. to spot.

I didn't want to go in (because my son was due home at any minute). J. didn't want to come out (in sock feet, no jacket, etc.) so we just wasted J.'s heat for a few minutes while we discussed our lives (which are good, but have had some changes that we hadn't caught up on). A cop drives slowly past my house, then past J.'s house, then reverses and drives into J.'s driveway. We watch as the cop rolls his window and asks, "Are you soliciting?" We look at him blankly, because, wha - ? "Are you a solicitor?" Ah! I get it. He thinks I'm trying to sell something to J., and I am supposed to pay for a license or whatever for that from Town Hall and probably someone has called in because someone else has been seen (or, who knows! Maybe a particularly oblivious neighbor thought I was soliciting from J.? Unlikely! Because at this point, I know all the neighbors and they all know me) and the cop is looking for that person.

So I go over and lean down and tell the cop that I live in that house over there (think about reaching into my coat pocket to pull out my phone to show him my driver's license; conclude that that is just way too complicated and I don't want to freak him out) and J. and I are neighbors and my daughter is playing in the snow and I am waiting for my son to get home and that's why we are talking on the porch. I can see his eyes glaze over in that way that middle aged men's eyes glaze over when a wife or wife-type-peer is really just going on and on and on and decide I can terminate the story at any time now and just let him go on about his business. J. and I wait until he is a few houses down the road and then start cracking jokes about the _other_ possible interpretation of solicitation.

Because, funny.
Tags: daily activities
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