Where's the village?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Social Dilemma.

We have painters working on the side of our house this week. Or at least we have painters storing ladders and tarps in our garage. It's been raining so much that that's all they've been able to do so far. Anyway, they're actually here today. I don't know what they're doing, because I have all the blinds on that side of the house closed and I haven't gone outside except to get the mail. I'm feeling a little invaded at the moment. I've never had a problem before with contractors coming. But there's something different about strange men on ladders outside my window.

Anyway. Here's my social dilemma. I have this mental image of me going out there, chatting amiably with them, maybe taking them some cookies or beer or something. Sort of the Happy Homemaker thing to do. Problem is, this mental image never comes with a script that I can follow when I'm actually talking to them. I'm shy and awkward around strangers, particularly men. I still feel like a little girl sometimes, and even though the contractors who have come to the house are often younger than me, I feel like they're the grownups - probably because they're the "experts" or something and I know slightly more than nothing about home improvement.

It's dumb, to the point where I don't know if I should go out of my way to make eye contact and say "hello" when I go outside, or if I should go round back and say hello to acknowledge their presence, or offer them water, or if I should just leave them alone, or what. Is there a Miss Manners' Guide to Interacting With the Hired Help?



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