Saturday, September 14, 2013

I Think We Understand Each Other Now

Dear Missionary/Proselytizing People,

Coming to my house and banging on the door repeatedly for 5-10 minutes at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday is not a good idea.  It's not a good idea ever, to be fair, but particularly on a Saturday morning.

Anyone who actually knows me will tell you that it is never a good idea to try contacting me before 11 am on a Saturday morning -- I'm either already gone to work, or it is probably my one day off that week and I would like to sleep in a bit.

The vigor and duration of your knocking this morning woke me up.  Why you didn't try ringing the doorbell is beyond me, so I assumed it must be a panicked person who had overlooked it.   The thoughts going through my head as I grappled blindly on the nightstand for my glasses were:

--There must be some sort of emergency!  Maybe a neighbor is trying to get my attention because my house is on fire, or my car has been stolen.
--Maybe someone else's house is on fire, or they need the phone to call 911 from a car accident
--What if it is my parents and something happened and one of them is in the hospital?

Notice that none of those possibilities were happy thoughts because no one who knows me would be knocking on my door at 9:30 unless something awful happened!  That is the kind of thing that wakes you up and immediately puts on on alert.  You don't get to wake up and stretch, kind of lazily wander on out to make coffee.  Your heart starts racing, and you brace yourself to deal with whatever shit-storm is about to come your way.

I rushed to the door to see what was going on; glasses askew, bed head in full effect, still rocking my pajamas.  I passed my two cats, who were freaking out and running in the opposite direction, away from the Stranger Danger at the front door.

Imagine my surprise when I open the front door to find two guys in suits, their gold minivan parked in front of my house.  Their little name tags made it clear they were not police detectives, but from a church.

I bet at that moment you knew it was not a good idea to have been so zealous in getting someone to come to the door.  That fleeting look of "Mistake!" crossed one of your faces.  Did it stop you from starting your rehearsed spiel?  Of course not.

And don't say it isn't a rehearsed speech.  Spare me.  I don't know what I have done to convince your church that I am the Spawn of Satan, but my house seems to be on a list of "must-see stops" on your little missionary quests.  I have previously spoken to your people 3 times and told them that I am not at all interested.  I have found your pamphlets stuck under my door, or in my mailbox (which is illegal, just so you know), or under the handle of my front porch door on 8 different occasions.  That is 11 visits in the 3 years since I bought this house.  I don't think your representatives have come to my parents' house that many times in 30 years!

One of the latest pamphlets.  It had been pushed under my front door with such force that it went under my throw rug.  I found it last night when I was vacuuming.

I tried to be polite at first.  I really did.  I said Good Morning.  I let you you make your warm-up small talk.  (On a previous visit one lady asked if my parents were home.  I assured her they probably were, at their own house, but that I owned this one.)  No, I did not invite you in off of the front porch.  I did let you make your invitation to come to church and check it out.  I declined and said I wasn't interested.  

 If you had just accepted my answer and stopped at that point we would probably have been much better off.  You couldn't just let it go though, could you?    

You started the hard sell. You seemed to want a theological debate with a woman in her pajamas that you had clearly just woken up, as apparently telling you I was raised Roman Catholic was not a good answer.  Even your coworker (co-missionary?  proselytizing partner? church companion?  god-squad friend?) seemed uncomfortable.

And that would be when I ran out of "Nice".  I work with the public all day, every day.  I have to be "nice" to a lot of people when they are being total assholes.  My reserves of "nice" are pretty low when you wake me up, don't take a polite no for an answer, and then want to debate.

I didn't even get into the religious debate with you.  I've seen my father try that and get stuck in a half-hour conversation.

No.  Nice had gone bye-bye.

I made it very clear that you had woken me up.  That I did not, in any way, appreciate you pounding on my front door, startling me and scaring the bejesus out of my cats.  That I had, in fact, worked the last 11 days straight and this was my one day off -- my one day to sleep in, relax and drink my coffee at my leisure, get my housework done -- before I had to work another 7 days in a row.  

And then I asked you never to darken my doorstep again.  I informed you that repeatedly leaving unsolicited pamphlets, and repeatedly bothering me at home, was not going to make me want to attend your church.  It was, in fact, having the exact opposite affect.

Do I think it will make a difference?  Not at all.  

Maybe those two particular guys will not come back.  Probably they took this as a sign that I really am the Spawn of Satan, and they will redouble their efforts to save me.

Is there a "Do Not Call" list for missionaries?

1 comment:

  1. No do not call list, unfortunately..but..if you do something really crazy and boderline illegal...they may just take you off of their list :)