In my old age, I'm getting quite paranoid about having strangers in the house. If I'm forewarned that they'll be there – like when my Mom has a meeting for her miniature club, for example – it's not so bad. I can handle that. I can mentally prepare for it. But when I get home from school or work and someone I've never met is in the house, I just freeze up. I can't relax. My irritation and resentment at having my routine disrupted boils beneath the surface until the person leaves.
For this reason, I have always heartily disliked it when people stop by without warning. I have been known to shut the door in the face of friends if they show up unannounced. This extends to even people I've known for years. Sorry, folks. I need a little warning. It's like I need to have an emotional shield up when non-family is in the house if I'm going to unwind.
I bring this up because I came home last night after class – a little early because we had a midterm, so around 8:30 or 9:00pm – and my brother's got some blonde chick sitting on the couch next to him as I walk in the door. First of all, I'm really surprised my brother isn't down in the room he rents by his school. Second, who is this unknown girl, and why is she in my house?
Turns out she's Kenny's new girlfriend. Huh. I didn't see that coming. I smile (no doubt grimly) and say hi, but bail on the requisite small talk so I can hide in my room. This is about twenty-five percent because Kenny's previous relationships have all terminated within a few weeks, so I see no reason to get attached. But it's seventy-five percent because there's a stranger in my house, and I didn't know about it, and OMG THERE'S A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE POISONING MY AURA. STEALING MY PSYCHIC ENERGY. OR SOMETHING EQUALLY DRAINING.