Maybe it has a mundane explanation. Actually, I'm sure it does, but it's still very weird, and if this type of thing were to continue, I suppose I would start questioning the mundaneness. It has to do with a man in uniform and flashlight at my door at 9:45 pm last night, 'delivering' my mail into my hands. This is actually the second weird visit I've had in a few months. The first happened in August.
I had received a phone call, kind of a telemarketer kind of sound to it, and the woman identified her group or whatever, and asked if I would like to take part in a survey and earn $30. Duh, of course I would. She said a representative would be by within a few weeks, and I would be receiving some info via the mail. I probably did receive that, but it certainly got recycled without opening--I don't even give anything that remotely looks like junk mail a second glance.
The day before my son and I were to leave driving our friends' car to New York for them, the doorbell rings, and it's a round little Latina lady with a clipboard. She's here to do the survey. Her accent is extremely thick, and I can barely understand her--so I ask her if we (or she...I can understand far better than speak. Actually, I can barely speak at all, what is that about?) can speak in Spanish, and she says she cannot.
The entire thing turned out to be one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced. The woman was very strange--that is such an understatement. I'm not sure if I can propery convey the weirdness. She asked for a glass of water, that's fine. Then she starts complaining about how many houses she has already been to today, and shows me some paper showing me she is supposed to go to a couple more. She wants my opinion on whether she has done enough. I think back to an lab/experimental psych class in college, and this felt like some kind of test or something. I just told her she was going to have to make that decision, that I know nothing about her job requirements or description. She did not let up--she must have asked me 40 times suring the visit for my advice.
She then asked if she could take her shoes off, and without waiting for an answer, took them off along with her knee high L'eggs, and kicked everything *way* under my big coffee table. Looking closely at her, I actually wondered if she was born female. Her hairline was receding like a male's, and there was something about her brow that was very masculine. Her eyebrows were shaved and redrawn on, and her bright red lipstick was all messy, and all over her mouth and chin. There was just something very non-female about her face. But her voice was extrememly high and feminine, no possible way she could be a man with that voice.
It was determined by whatever information she fed into her laptop that my son was going to be the one to take the survey. She was so apologetic, saying she was hoping we could both do it, and explained the math like 500 times, of how that then would have been $60 for us, instead of $30. Yes, lady, I get it, and I don't care at all. Look around, do I look poor? It was the weirdest thing. I felt like I was 'supposed' to act upset. Then, she said she would try to see if she could bend the rules, and she pressed one button on her cell phone, and immediately started talking, saying, "I have a lady here who would like very much please to take the survey, can we...no? well, okay..."
What the? I just told her we needed to get busy with the survey because we're packing, etc. "Oh, where are you going?" "what's the weather like in new york?" "where's new york, do you have a map?" The she starts telling me she's going to have to move somewhere because she can't take the heat of Salt Lake City and that there's something 'wrong with the air.' I asked if she meant the inversion, and she jumped on it and said "the WHAT!?"
It made me think she had just moved here, because everyone living here knows what the inversion is. I asked her how long she's been living here, and she says : 10 years. No way. There is no way she has never heard of it. Anyone living here can back me up with that. She was amazed, and even had me spell the word so she could get more information later. That did it, she's moving to New York! At this point, my son is sulking in his chair, with a weird look on his face that doesn;t come on very often. He doesn't like this person, I can tell.
All moms think their kids are brilliant angels I know, but really, I can independently verify my son's abilities in character perception. This is a kid who is magnetic and attractive by his nature--unknown babies in strollers reach for him as he passes, little 5 year old girls we don't know will absentmindedly start braiding his hair while we're standing in line--we walk through a crowded pub downtown, and old people that I've never met call out his name; they've met him somewhere along the way. He's the kind of person that wild birds would land on. It sounds like I'm bragging, but my point is my child rarely has a beef with any creature, and when he does, I know there's something wrong somewhere.
So anyway, the woman gave the survey to Tierney--a PDA with 100 or so questions. She told me technically, I could not look at it, because it would influence the outcome. But I insisted on seeing what he was reading. It was all about drugs!
After he was done, I had to seal all these envelopes she used, because she wasn't supposed to 'know my address.' I explained that there's no way that could be right, since she had to know my address to come here in the first place, but she said she couldn't 'officially' know it. Then there was a whole fiasco about the $30. She gave me $40 and asked for change! I told her I didn't have any change, and she was visibly upset. She said she was supposed to have the exact amount to give me, and begged me not to tell on her.
I told her I would be happy to keep one of the 20s, while she walk across the street to the gas station around the corner to get change for the other one. She said her feet hurt, and she could not walk anymore. I told her she could come back tomorrow for the change. That wouldn;t work. This went on and on, and I finally told her we needed to get back to our lives. My son volunteered to take the 20 and get change. She was nervous the entire time. Like this is *our* scam or something, like we are grifters. We finally got her out of there. A couple months later, we got a phone call that sounded like a recording, asking for my son. It wasn't a recording though, because it responded. It was this place, wanting feedback. I found the papers they sent--it's the triangle research group. This is the place that grows the marijuana crops for the people who have legal prescriptions in the US.
What in the world is going on? I'll write about the weird 'mailman' in part 2.