I’ve always had a knack for remembering phone numbers...I suppose it began in kindergarten when Mrs. Geany taught us to memorize the local police phone number: 631.1212. (pre 911). I filed it away in my brain in the ‘important things I should probably remember’ folder, knowing it could come in handy.
A couple days later having just moved into a new house, I wanted to a) meet my neighbors and b) make a few bucks. I went straight to work creating works of art (crayon on construction paper, naturally) and as I was headed out the door, I shouted to my mother: MOM! I’ll be back...gonna go meet neighbors!
Off I went knocking on doors and ringing bells. I can’t imagine what people were thinking when they opened their door, looked out, saw nothing, then looked down to find me. Hi! I said. I’m Margaret. I just moved to 12 Locust Street with my mom Adrienne, my father Colin and my sister Hannah. Wanna buy a work of art? Despite their confused expressions, I pushed forward, explaining my desire to know the neighborhood hence why I was going door to door introducing myself. My neighbors must have thought I had a mental disorder. That, or wondering if they should call DSS on my parents.
No house went unsolicited--I got 'em all. Content with the .26 cents I had made and impressed with my keen business acumen, I trekked home.
Upon entering our new house, I shrieked to my mom: I’m home! I met our neighbors! (silence...) Mom?? (more silence) MOOOOOMMM. Silence. Crickets. Beginning to panic, I began checking closets, running up and down the stairs but she was no where to be found. I felt trapped, abandoned, scared. What was I going to do without my mother?!
Suddenly, the numbers 631-1212 magically appeared in my vision and knew what had to be done. Call the cops. Yup. How could I not? I'd never been home alone before, and for all anyone knew, my mother was dead.
Hello, Marblehead Police, how can I help you? Hi...um, I’m home alone--I don’t know where my mom is...I think she left. Ok. We’ll send someone right over--where do you live? I told the operator everything and waited out in the drive way, nervously pacing when I saw the police officer come around the corner. He started asking me questions when, not 60 seconds later, my mom’s gold Ford Sable came screaming around the corner. Almost levitating out of the car before it was parked, she started screaming and crying probably wondering what the fuck a cop was doing in front of her house with her kid.
Turns out my mother didn’t hear my little pipsqueak voice as I left the house. After calling for me, threatening time-outs she frantically got in her car to try and find me.
What did I do when I was a kid? Not much. Just called the cops on my mom.