7 o’clock. Postman arrives. I know because Bertie, the insatiably excitable hound, scrambles over my threshold to the front of the house. He jumps up in a wild fever, scratching and pawing at the front door. Claw marks adorn the panels underneath the letterbox from this daily charade. It’s the one time I feel smug about my role as a mere inside door.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel jealous of my front door brother. He’s something of an attention seeker and frequently has guests and passersby gushing at his marvellous appearance. He’s vibrant, colourful and unique, while I am plain, inoffensive and utterly unmemorable. He’s often the topic of conversation and, in recent times, has become something of a celebrity as obsessive Instagram influencers, wearing bold blue scarves to match his turquoise tones, travel across town to get the perfect snap.
‘Fronty’ (a nickname I’d never dare say in earshot of his hinges), is also adorned with lavish features. A cast-iron knocker in the shape of a lion; personally, I think it’s outdated and jars with the rest of the house, but for some reason everyone loves it. A smooth iron door knob; whose spherical shape is far more appealing than my more practical handle.
Even on the inside, he’s a showboat. Unlike me: A plain Jane; nothing to write home about. Damaged, in fact. Not only is he more garish than I am, he’s also cleaner than me, since he doesn’t have grubby children’s fingers swinging him open and shut all day.
As for touch, Fronty regularly gets a tender caress with a gentle knock and occasionally, a more exciting frisk with a smart rap. I, on the other hand, am simply pushed around, all day long. My idiotic owners roam from room to room, swinging me open and shoving me never-quite-shut. My hinges groan and creak from overuse and I end everyday weary with the endless exercise.
You might say, I have the upper-hand when it comes to arguments. I come into my own when there’s fury in the house and my reverberating slam leaves everything trembling. But Fronty takes the glory here too: a slam of the front door has a mighty finality that I could never achieve.
But don’t worry – I don’t spend all my days skulking in the shadow of showy Fronty. This weekend I had the star treatment – a real pampering. My owners have been mulling over redecorating for years and after many years of let downs, I could be forgiven for thinking this time was just like all the rest. But to my sheer delight, it really happened. I was given a gorgeous new creamy sheen, or a ‘lick of paint’ as they kept saying. Not one new coat, but two! And on top of my luscious thick new paint, I finally got some piece this weekend as all the kids were banned from touching me and I was left ajar, facing away from Fronty, able to enjoy my long-overdue time in the spotlight.