Shouting, “Hey, Sexy!” into the phone, to test out the newly installed video doorbell system is a risky move—even if the man on the other side of the door is your husband. Apparently, the intercom system is really loud and, at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, neighbors might post to the neighborhood Facebook page comments such as the following:
“Is anyone else hearing crass comments coming through what sounds like an intercom system? It’s really loud and annoying.”
“Yeah, I hear it too. It’s coming from the ___ house on____drive.”
“Oh, is that the one where the woman who lives there sometimes Prancercises? I’ve passed by there once or twice when the windows were open and, wow!”
So, after installing the Ring Video Doorbell system, there is no need to shout. Normal, indoor voices work perfectly fine and installation is pretty straightforward. Here’s what we did:
1) We bought the $99 Ring Video Doorbell (basic model) at Best Buy because I work from home and, when the doorbell rings, I don’t necessarily open the door, especially if I’m not expecting anyone. This technique has served me well for many years and may have even saved my life at one time, when I came home from college during the summer when my brother and sister were in the eighth grade. Mom and Dad went on a vacation together and I volunteered to help drive my brother and sister to their activities and stay in the house, since my parents lived on several acres in the country. (This setting, especially at night, could be very spooky.) Long after my parents left for their flight, my brother and sister and I got up to have breakfast and the doorbell rang. We didn’t recognize who was on the other side, so we didn’t open the door. The man who rang the bell continued to bang on the door and shout something that sounded like, “Call the police.” So, I called 911. An hour or two later, he was still banging on our door. The police finally came and said he wasn’t asking for the police. He was saying, “Water please!” Apparently, he was quite thirsty because he had escaped from a mental institution the night before and had wandered around the woods in humid, hot August weather. The sheriff’s deputy said I was smart to not open the door because he had done, “some bad things. Some very, very, very bad things. Bad, bad things.” Lesson learned. Don’t open the door. And I haven’t for over 20 years. However, Nate and I just attended a neighborhood watch where the sheriff’s deputy running the meeting said that people should open their doors because if they don’t, criminals will think no one is home, enter the building, and then kill whoever is inside if they become startled or “surprised.” So, now, I’m cautiously opening the door again and I’m annoyed when I have to hear a sales pitch. I don’t mind helping children retrieve a wayward soccer ball from the yard, but I don’t want to buy anything. Eventually, I’ll get around to making a scary “No Soliciting” sign, but for now, I just want the video doorbell. Baby steps.
2) The device has to be charged first. It probably wouldn’t have taken much longer than a half hour/hour to charge, but we decided to attend the nearby high school Hunchback of Notre Dame musical first—just in case. It was an excellent production and we enjoyed ourselves, but when we got home at 10 p.m., we didn’t feel like installing the video doorbell system, so we went to bed and started fresh at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
3) The “Ring” app had to be installed next on my phone. The app walked me through several steps and then Nate and I could begin the actual installation of the doorbell.
4) First, we removed the original doorbell from the side of our house, which was not too difficult. There are only two wires that wrap around the heads of two screws inside the doorbell plastic case. These wires are red and black and for some reason, they look like they could cause a major explosion if Nate and I snipped or connected the wrong wire. This fear probably stems from watching too many movies where actors scream, “I can’t remember! Help me remember! Is it red or black?”
5) We used the drill again to put holes into the side of our house, but I had difficulty with the drill this time. It was nothing like drilling into the drywall for the chin-up bar. Nate taught me a “trick” for leaning into the drill with your entire body, in order to hold it steady. This trick works perfectly fine for a 6-foot male, but if you’re a five-foot three female, your boobs will get crushed and the drill will slip anyway.
6) Fortunately, the kit came with all of the devices and screws we’d need for installation and we could connect the red and black wires to whichever screw on the device we wanted, so we did. Thankfully, no explosions followed.
The only thing I regret about my purchase is having unintentionally made a somewhat embarrassing video featuring my husband and me at our front door. It’s probably out there somewhere on the internet, even though I’ve deleted it and so has Nate. Someone that Ring has hired saves these videos somewhere and, if we want them to continue to save our videos for more than 30 days, we can pay a monthly charge. ( We do not want this.) The somewhat embarrassing video would have been hilarious to post to this blog, so I’m kind of feeling like I should have saved it, but fortunately, I do have the script. Enjoy:
(Exterior: Nate is on the front porch of the house, ringing the doorbell.)
Cecilia: (Answering the phone—her voice can be heard on the intercom outside): HEY, SEXY!
Nate: Shhh. You’re loud. Everyone can hear you.
(Cecilia laughs uncontrollably and loudly for about a minute.)
Nate: Shh . . . the . . shhh. . . Neighbors . . .
Cecilia: WHAT? YOU’RE FADING IN AND OUT!
Nate: You can’t see me?
Cecilia: No, I can see you just fine. YOU HAVE TO SPEAK CLEARLY. YOUR VOICE IS FADING IN AND OUT.
Nate: I’m talking this way because the entire neighborhood can hear us. Can you see me now? (Nate sticks his face into the camera.)
Cecilia: Ugh! Now I can see up your nose. Stop it.
Nate: Okay, just . . . just . . . please just hang up now.
(Scene abruptly ends.)
Your Turn: How do you deal with solicitors who come to your front door?