General Question

gimmedat's avatar

What do you do when your doorbell rings at 10:21 at night?

Asked by gimmedat (3943points) July 26th, 2008

So my hubby and I are sans kids for the night. It’s just the two of us spending some much needed alone time home. The doorbell rings at 10:21. Now, let me tell you that anyone who knows us knows not to ring out bell, because Max the killer attack dog (he’s a big German shepherd who really wouldn’t hurt anyone) will lose his mind. So the bell rings, Max starts to freak and I decide to answer the door. Max comes with me, and when we look outside, it’s two boys looking for my 15-year-old daughter. I asked who they were and why they were at my house at 10:21 (after Max stopped with his very intimidating bark). They said they were looking for my daughter. Then my husband comes out and says, very straight forward (with Max settled down), “Do me a favor and don’t come looking for (child’s name) here again. Call her or text her, hit her up on MySpace, but don’t come here again.”
I don’t know what scared them worse, the dog or the man.
It was effective, but I guess what I’m wondering is how would you deal with this situation?

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32 Answers

crunchaweezy's avatar

It wasn’t right for them to come at 10:21 at night. You should’ve asked them what they wanted.

Was your daughter home? They must’ve been playing jokes because they could’ve hit her up on myspace or on the cell.

ebenezer's avatar

sounds like you did what I would expect if I rang someone doorbell at 10:21pm.

gailcalled's avatar

I would never have opened the door, in spite of large, scary Max, but yelled from an upstairs window. And have you discussed this with your daughter?

Dog's avatar

That would have irritated us- badly.

Especially on a “date night” there are not enough of those when you have kids. I think the boys got off easy- but if your 15 year old is like my 15 year old she will be mortified which is of course not important but is rather entertaining.

This is just our parenting style but we have a no-calls no-texts no-computer after 10:00pm rule in our house for our teen. That is for incoming and outgoing weekends or weekdays.

I like your Husbands approach.

trumi's avatar

Get names if that ever happens again.

crunchaweezy's avatar

By the way, where was your daughter at 10:21? Friends house?

gimmedat's avatar

Said daughter is at grandma’s house for the night. A relative rarity at this age, since she has become waaaayyy too cool to hang with family. These answers are really making me wonder. I think I might be that permissive parent who lets her 15-year-old have a little too much freedom.

tinyfaery's avatar

Take it from someone who was quite the rebellious teen—these boys could not have very good intentions. They were brave to go to the door though; in my day my friends would have knocked on my bedroom window. Chances are they were intoxicated in some way.

If the door bell rang late at night when I was 15, my dad would have answered the door with a gun. Not that you should do that. My dad is kind of an ass, well, not kind of.

klaas4's avatar

I visit my grandma sometimes. And I love when they come. Not such a rarity.

gimmedat's avatar

So, for all of those who continue to read this thread, I have another question: would you let your 15-year-old play “Fugitive?” It’s a game where a group of kids starts at a high school and they have to make it to a predetermined destination without being caught by two “hunters” (hunters are in vehicles). The kids run through neighborhoods and such trying to elude the hunters. Nothing happens if they’re caught, they hitch a ride to the spot instead. Even as I type this I cannot believe how ridiculous it sounds. More than that, as I have already said, I am home, sans kids with the hubby and I’m stressed over being that permissive parent. Man, I need to give it a rest!

crunchaweezy's avatar


That sounds like fun, lol. I’m also 15 though… Haha

tinyfaery's avatar

Sounds like a teen version of hide and go seek. No big deal.

Dog's avatar

@tinyfaery Yeah- he gun might be what would happen here too. However we do not have a Max- which would be actually more intimidating than brandishing a firearm.

@gimmedat is this at night?

My opinion of the night hours and the boys intentions is the same as tinyfaery.

Regarding the game-
If it is daytime as long as they are not running through private property or over busy streets it does not sound like a big deal.

Dog's avatar

I just read the last part of your post-

You are alone with your husband and you are worrying about
this and adding more concerns about your daughter?
This is your time. You can stress over the kids any time.

Forget about the boys- enjoy your night alone.

You can address and process this stuff tomorrow after a great evening
and a good nights sleep.

Seesul's avatar

The “hunter” game sounds like a good way for someone (or some animal), (if daytime, a little kid) to get run over by inexperienced drivers. Games with a car? Think about it.

poofandmook's avatar

@gimmedat: I can tell you that when I was in high school, mostly after I got my license, my dad and my grandmother (we lived with her to help her out after my grandpa died) didn’t really have rules for me. If I was going somewhere I had to call, if I went somewhere else aside from maybe the store I had to call again, etc. It all revolved around them simply knowing where I was. The more freedom they gave me, the less they had to ask of me. I knew that the tiny price of my freedom was making that phone call and not betraying their trust. Of course, that’s because I’d never exhibited the rebellious behavior some kids do… no drinking, no smoking, no experimenting, not even really any boys. So they felt better about being so permissive. Now if you don’t TRULY trust that your daughter isn’t being destructive (which in my book means more than trying a cigarette here or a puff of MJ there or a shot here), then by all means, maybe you’d like to re-think your approach.

JH's avatar

not knowing who it is. I would of took a gun

Lovelocke's avatar

Sexually active, she is. I… would know. A 15 year old girl in this era probably sees the boys as “just friends”, but the boys are competing for her…

And the best part? The daughter’s the one putting out the signals… giving out home addresses, initiating contact with the boys: They didn’t go door to door looking, they knew where to go beforehand: Remember that…

Of course, you could get lucky and they could be going out, getting drunk or high: they’ve got rehab foe that,

shrubbery's avatar

Or possibly they were just there to talk to her. Maybe she’s their go to girl – not for anything bad but maybe they’re really good friends and she’s someone that these boys can talk to and they had something on their mind that couldn’t wait for another day or couldn’t be said over the phone or internet.

Or maybe she’s been upset about something and they were worried about her and had been debating whether to go see her or not that’s why it was so late- they finally decided to go and talk to her in person once again rather than using the internet.
Maybe she hasn’t been talking to them and they were worried, which would be why they didn’t know she was at her grandma’s.

I’m a 16 year old girl and when I’m upset I don’t talk to my parents. I either don’t talk at all or I talk to my friends. And quite often, I talk to my guy friends before I talk to my girl friends. I have a couple that would be willing to meet up with me at 10 o’clock at night if I needed to talk, because I don’t often open up so if I needed to talk it would be serious and they would come running as soon as I needed them. If I don’t talk to them but they know something is up, either they wait til I’m ready to talk or they weazel it out of me because as much as I resist they know I’ll feel better after I’ve talked about it. These friends of mine would come over to talk to me if they thought that I needed to get it out of my system.

I am not a parent and I can’t comprehend what goes through a parents mind in a situation like that, but I would like to think that I would have asked calmly and sincerely why they wanted to see my daughter. If they had said to talk but did not say why (understandably from my point of view I suppose) I would say that my daughter is not here and please don’t ring her because it’s late but I’ll tell her to call you tomorrow. If my daughter was home I would go and ask her if she wanted to talk to these boys, not go anywhere, just talk, and would tell her to invite them in.

This view might change as I get older and if I become a parent, but maybe you could talk to your daughter and ask her if she knows why those boys would have wanted to see her at that time of night.
(sorry for the long answer)

poofandmook's avatar

@Shrubbery: I was with you until the part where you said to calmly ask them what they’re doing there. At 15, you should be pretty familiar with what is and isn’t socially acceptable, and ringing a doorbell at 10:21pm is far from socially acceptable. I can see if the girl called them and asked them to come, then that’s one thing. But she obviously didn’t because she wasn’t there.

shrubbery's avatar

I guess you’re right, but I’m just thinking from the point of view if either the boys or the daughter was upset and needed to talk, which the parents wouldn’t know so I suppose they wouldn’t be calm. But yeah, I suppose they should have just texted her and told her to sneak outside if she was home so they didn’t wake the rents up :P and then they would have found out that she wasn’t home. So I’m not sure what’s up with that!

SuperMouse's avatar

@poof, you described exactly what gimmedat does with her daughter. She checks in with her parents every time she changes location and has never missed a curfew. Good kid she is.

@Lovelocke, sexually active she is not. I know this kid and I can say that with 100% certainty. Small town, everyone knows everyone, she didn’t have to give out any information for the boys to know where she lives. Your comment about her putting out signals reeks of sexism to me.

Those things being said, I don’t really think the boy’s motives matter at this point (stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this), because I know the man and the dog and those boys will not be back. I would ask said daughter who these boys were and what on earth they were doing at your door at 10:21. Any youngsters who think it is a good idea to visit a girl at her home without notice at 10:21 at night are probably not the brightest fellows and are not boys I would want my kid hanging out with.

Fugitive? I don’t like it, but hey that’s just me.

Lovelocke's avatar

Sexist or not, there’s two reasons why they would be there/know where to go. 1) They were invited and guided, 2) They followed her home and just showed up.

The point is, they’re gone now… And there’s only one other person that would know about who and why, and that’s the little lady. Also, the boys will be back: They just know not to knock first.

syz's avatar

When I lived at home, I was not allowed to recieve phone calls after 10 p.m. Calling that late was considered rude. Had anyone (much less a boy!) shown up at the door at that time, their parents would have been called.

It was inappropriate on their part and you seriously need to have a talk with your daughter.

gimmedat's avatar

@Lovelocke: your answer is bizarre, and totally not what I asked. You went off on my kid with such little information, and it’s kind of scary.

gimmedat's avatar

And you phrase things like Yoda, which is creepy.

cecildooderbop's avatar

I’m the daughter and I’ll let you know for facts.
I do not drink.
I do not smoke.
I am not sexually active.
And I never have done any of those, not even to “try it out”.
I’m a track runner and could get in serious trouble. During the off season too.

I let my mom know before hand my plans. I tell her who’s going, where I’m going, how I’m getting there, and how I’m getting home, well who’s taking. Never do I lie because really there isn’t reason to and if I got caught I wouldn’t be allowed to go out. I can only go to friends’ houses when the parents are home, same with boys. MIND YOU gimmedat checks up on me about 5 times, calling or texting me.

I give my parents my phone at midnight, not always, during the summer. And at 9 during the school year(always) otherwise it’s taken away.

During fugitive I never ride with the people driving, although given the opportunity I choose to run. There’s no alcohol or drugs, a lot of the people that play I run track with, and aren’t really into those things, and if they are, they don’t bring them.

I wasn’t friends with the guys that showed up at my house, gimmedat didn’t really specify that. They live in the neighborhood so they know where I live, it’s not like I’m giving out where I live or my phone number.

I have a lot of guy friends but these guys were not one of them. I think if they would have been I would have had a problem with what my dad said to them.

poofandmook's avatar

@cecil: Kudos to you for coming here and defending yourself against the assumptions placed on you.

gailcalled's avatar

And congrats to the whole family – you sound loving and healthy,, ...(except for those complicated user names…Max I like,)

Lovelocke's avatar

…why are you all huddled around a PC trying to impress strangers on the Internet? You want a medal for doing what you SHOULD be doing, or do you want to ask your parents why they feel they should turn to said strangers on the Internet because they don’t know how to handle the difficult issue of BEING YOUR PARENTS AND RAISING YOU THEMSELVES?

What business is of mine if you’re in track or what you do with your cell phone? Are you gonna give us your name, social security number and password to your email next… just so we can see for ourselves all of the trouble you’re not getting into?

I think it’s crazy to think that the way your family handles it’s problems is to join a website, ask the world for their opinion and then get upset about it when the result comes back with “why ask us? You be the parent?”

I don’t know what else to say besides you guys have communication issues. Sit and talk about it, don’t blog about it, and for God’s sake, stop with the flimsy “all for one” disguise against this community and take it to family counseling. You may not be broken, but this could be just a spot of trouble you could need some light shed upon.

cecildooderbop's avatar

@lovelocke I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m letting you know how things are because you of all people misunderstood me and took things to a whole other level saying I was sexually active, so of course I’m going to defend myself, and let you know how things are point blank.

@gailcalled&poofandmook- thanks, I love my family, they’re great.

poofandmook's avatar

@cecildooderbop: Ignore Lovelocke. He just likes to start trouble and provoke people!

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