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The Oatmeal has already well-documented how a website goes from fine to great to abomination in a few quick, easy steps. (If you don’t have a dog named Miffles and you’ve never tortured a designer with your mom’s opinions about color schemes, go read it for a good laugh.)  What he fails to mention is that if you do this sort of thing freelance or while moonlighting from a well-paying day job, it’s hard to avoid clients knowing where you live.

The upside, you don’t have to go anywhere for their meeting and you can finish scarfing the dinner your wife picked up while listening to them tell you why dismantling a $2000 webpage (page, not site) is a great idea because you moved a couple of throw pillows and the people who were there today have seen it already.  The upside is that your wife can act as the librarian-bun executive assistant who takes the “execute” roots of her title a bit seriously if the hour runs too late.

The downside is that these people are in your house.  They’re looking to drink your liquor, eat the food your wife picked up; they’re rubbing their butts on your couch, wasting your precious TV-and-butt-scratching hours, and (in some cases) casing the joint for easy points of entry and expensive easily-pawnable items.  They feel it’s okay to “pop by” unannounced at ten-o’clock at night if you fail to answer your phone that afternoon.  They think nothing of rolling up on your lawn in their Chester Molester vans fresh from anger management or having their baby mamas stop by to pick up the child support while they meet with you.  They bring their friends and their girlfriends to “offer a second opinion” if their mother-in-law or dog isn’t available.  They feel this “personal connection” to you because they’re in your house that makes them think you care as much about their idiotic project as they do: that you really do think their movie idea is a winner, that you really do think their song about AK’s spraying is awesomeness, that you really believe in their rain-forest-saving toaster tacos.

And somehow it doesn’t seem to matter if you don’t put your address on your cards.  It doesn’t seem to matter if you live on a darkened street at the end of a dirt path thirty miles outside of Nowhere or if you live in one of those cookie-cutter mini-McMansion ‘hoods where even the residents get lost if the spouse hasn’t left a trail of digital Lego-based breadcrumbs or the GPS device needs batteries.  They’ll find you.  It doesn’t matter if they had trouble finding their own high school on graduation day.  It doesn’t matter if their grandmother lived in the same house on the same street for seventy years and they had to circle the block three times to find her.  They’ll find you.

And when they find you, they’re going to have ideas and enthusiasm.  They’re going to be confused you didn’t take their call while you were in a meeting with your boss discussing a project you’re getting paid a lot of money to do.  They’re going to be hurt if you didn’t return their call because you were busy having emergency surgery.  They’re going to be irate if you didn’t text them back because your phone was stolen by your other client, the one who was casing the house while telling you about toaster tacos.  And they’re going to yell and besmirch your name in all their circles of friends who also have more ideas than money and enjoy sucking time the way a greedy infant enjoys sucking a nipple.

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