Tuesday, 4 December 2012

No Welcome Mat

You won't find one outside my front door.

Partly because my neighbour's cat has a wicked sense of humour, which resulted in my having to get rid of my dear woven Winnie The Pooh mat.

And partly because my new rubber mat stays on this side of my front door. Just because it's washable, doesn't mean I want to tend to that cat's daily outpourings of affection for me.

And partly because, instead of a Welcome mat, I prefer to greet my visitors with this outpouring of my own, perhaps not as welcoming but far more efficient, neatly taped to my front door:

Nazneen Tonse

While you stand staring at this closed door,
Ask yourself, “Should I have phoned* before?”
Should the door open to let you in,
Stop and think, “Where have my shoes been?”

Take off your shoes but don’t settle down,
Wash off your hands of the dirt of this town.
And before you reach out for a nice friendly hug,
Check first, “Have I got a cough, cold or bug?”

Even if your answer to that one is No,
There is one thing you may already know.
I hate hugs and though I’ll say it’s okay,
I’ll be dreading your next visit, hoping you’ll stay away.

Curiosity killed the cat – it’s a shame
It does nothing to people who must do the same.
So don’t read my whiteboard, don’t go through my flat,
You have no good reason for any of that.

If you’re sure that I’m in, but the door’s still not open
You now have the answer to that very first question.
“How rude is that?!” you will possibly ask.
Oh, maintaining boundaries’ a thankless task.

Boundaries matter and though mine may seem tough
They’re important to me and that should be enough.
If you break mine, you’ll see little of me.
If you can’t understand, try psychotherapy.

Or we could simply meet at a different place
Not the sanctum sanctorum that’s my personal space.
If you can put up with my little quirks
I’ll put up with yours, for a friendship that works!

* (my tel no)