Last night I got home from work, had a smackerel for dinner, and really, really wanted to stay inside where it was warm and my new/old couch was comfy, to catch up on Call the Midwife, as if I haven’t watched 700 episodes of it this week already. I can’t believe they killed off Barbara.
Instead, I got on my hatty and coaty and grabbed a bottle of Prosecco-y (or as I now call it, a bottle of migraine) and headed to the home of the neighbor I had never met, as she was having an open house.
As you know, because I never hush about it, I live in an old mill neighborhood that’s on the National Register of Historic Places (so is my vadge). All the houses are exactly the same—except for one stretch we call Snob Hill, with TWO-story millhouses. Fancy TWO-story ones.
Anyway my neighbor on the next block bought her house in January of this year and she started an Instagram called MyMillhouse. Someone here found it, ya buncha stalkers, and said to me, “Isn’t this your neighborhood?” Naturally I started following MyMillhouse myself, and she’s done things like knock down walls to expose the other fireplaces (there are three. Only one of mine is exposed). (Let’s have a knock-down party!!)
She started announcing on Instagram that she was having an open house, and I decided I should go, as I’ve been dying to meet her and didn’t want to seem insane by just, you know, knocking on her door and asking if I could have a piece of pizza.
I can’t believe I mentioned that yesterday and no one said anything about it in the comments.
As I pulled up to her house (yes, I drove. It’s a block away. Look, it was COLD. Who are you, Tenzing Norgay, over there? You’d have driven, too.), this young couple was also pulling up, and I say young but they are probably in their 30s, which at this point is young and oh very young why did you leave June this time?
“We wondered if we should bring something,” the wife said, eyeing my Prosecco.
“We’ll all go in together and say we brought it as a group,” I assured them, their old maiden aunt in sensible oxfords.
Anyway, it turns out I love that couple, and we are all best friends now, and I plan to move in with them and be their Alice in nude hose and Keds. Except I won’t clean.
The other news is that I love the owner of the millhouse, who showed me all around her exactly-like-mine-but-not house, and oh my god let’s talk about her front door.
She and I both have our original front doors. And see this thing on mine?
See the box? It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Bah.
See how there’s an outline on the front of my door, an outline of what was once a beautiful Art Deco doorbell ringer? It goes with the box on the back of my door.
THE MY MILLHOUSE WOMAN STILL HAS HER FRONT DOORBELL PART.
All I can think of is the day whoever lived here said, “Ima just rip this beautiful ringer off the door.” WHY. Where was I when this happened? Was I 9 and feeling a sudden cold chill of revulsion while reading Little House books in Saginaw?
Naturally, because I’m an asshole, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, I rang the neighbor’s said intact doorbell with the couple I made best friends with. Also, sorry, Chris and Lilly, for cheating on you with another couple but y’all are in Disney World and this is what happens.
Oh, it made the most lovely, chingy noise!! I want the lovely, chingy noise at my door! Come and ching on my door! We’ve been waitin’ for youuuuu.
But here’s the thing: The reason this was an open house was it was an open house for members and people interested in the Greensboro Historic Preservation something-or-other (chairwoman: my vagina), or some name like that, and everyone at that thing was into old houses, and if you think there weren’t 700 ideas for where I could get my old front of my doorbell back…
Oh my god it was great! I heard about everyone’s old houses, and old-house renovations, and there were other neighbors there too (one couple from Snob Hill, with their elbow-length gloves and monocles) (they have my favorite house in my hood, actually, other than mine).
So now I have a new goal. FIND THAT DOORBELL FRONT.
The hostess of the party and I exchanged digits, and I was told about the next meeting of the preservation society which I am so going to, and right now I kind of feel like George Bailey.
“I’ve been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society.”
I guess what I am saying to you is I am glad I got off the couch and traveled one block to my neighbor’s open house, and now I am on the hunt for my doorbell and stay tuned for many excruciating posts about finding feeling fingering and forgetting that doorbell and