I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but our new home is UNPROTECTED.
The previous owners had an advanced monitoring system with keypads all over the house (except, strangely, near the front door), and a closed-circuit TV camera in the driveway, and really ugly lawn ornaments to scare away intruders. They took the camera and the ornaments with them, but left the keypads as constant reminders that we are UNPROTECTED.
To further hammer home this point, we get persistent direct mail from ADT, who technically owns the keypads, but who has shown no inclination to come pick them up, which demonstrates to us just how valuable those keypads are. These mailers offer to protect us from thieves who want our belongings, from invisible gases that want to suffocate us, from fires that want to consume us, and from medical emergencies that want to kill us.
None of that scares us enough to overcome our primary reason for not wanting 24/7 monitoring of our home: the pressure to key in the appropriate code fast enough to turn off the alarm every time we enter the house. Plus, we know ourselves well enough to realize that, after a couple of weeks, we’d be too lazy to set the alarm in the first place (Barb: “Should we set the alarm?” Me: “Nah, we’re just going away for the weekend.”), and we’d end up paying for guys to sit in a room somewhere waiting for us to tell them when to watch our house.
Besides, the literature from ADT does not offer to protect us from what appears to be–at least so far–the real neighborhood menace: perky teenaged girls coming to our door seeking contributions and/or signatures for one environmental organization or another. Now, I have nothing against the environment, and I’m all for perky teenaged girls, but having people drive around door-to-door getting signatures and donations doesn’t seem to be the most environmentally-efficient way to get things done, even if you’re driving around in a Prius. And I have trouble giving money to people whose only ID is a clipboard with a Xeroxed petition, no matter how teenaged or perky they may be, and no matter how effusively they fawn over my dog, which they all do, even if he is standing there barking at them.
We’d also like protection from the deer that eat our flowers (see Entry 53). ADT does offer motion detectors, but if a deer sets one off, what are they going to do about it? Send the cops?
Another thing I’m worried about is a tree falling on our house. We have a lot of trees around our house, and they are very tall. If one falls, even if there’s no one around, it would make a BIG sound, possibly one that could be heard in the next state. But what’s ADT going to do to protect me from that? All they can really do is call me after the fact to inform me that an intruder has invaded my home via the roof and one or more walls. But then, I probably won’t be able to answer the phone, what with the tree on top of me and all.
So, as I said, our home is UNPROTECTED. But we feel somewhat secure in knowing that no crook in his right mind would want to come up a driveway that’s so steep, we don’t even want to go up it. And besides, given the types of crime Stamford is accustomed to (see last post), any intruders would likely only do something like “third degree creating a ruckus.”
However, if you do break into our house, please help yourself to any of the unopened boxes in the basement. There are some real treasures in those boxes, but we certainly don’t need them, and we’ll probably never open them, and we’ll definitely never know they’re missing.
See you soon.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Barb. I love you so much!