Note to readers: I should have called this Ding-dong, Part One, except I’ve gotten in the habit of writing one-word blog titles, and I’m gonna go with that for as long as I can. I don’t, however, want to give you a cliffhanger ending without warning. That does not foster trust between blogger and reader. So clip on those caribiners, people. I’ve got a two-part story to tell.
I should also say that when I sat down to write this post, I thought I’d write about my 20-year high school reunion. But as that took place just last night, and as I have at least seventeen different emotions about what actually was a lovely night, I need a bit more time to ponder and process the dynamics of The High School Reunion.
After that dead end, I thought I’d perhaps gravitate to the story of how, just today, my daughter projectile vomited in the car on the way to pick me up at the airport after my aforementioned (out of state) reunion. But because I SO detest vomit and because I am a super-smeller and will be heretofore reminded of puke each time I drive carpool AND because Jake, seven-year-old son of my dear, compulsive car cleaning friend is going to gripe ad nauseum about the gross smell when I drive him to soccer camp this week, I feel too sad to write about minivan vomit.
So instead, I’m going to talk about door-to-door solicitors (Part One). And how it’s hard to find a No Soliciting sign that is polite yet firm yet understanding (Part Two). After all, as we hover on the edge of the double-dip economic disaster, I do understand that people gotta do what they gotta do to make a dollar, whether it be by selling Hershey bars or End Times post-apocalyptic land parcels. I am understanding; I just don’t want them knocking on my door.
Let’s set the scene: our front door is glass, not clear glass, but kind of a pattern thing. I love this door. It’s unique and practical, largely because if, say, a child likes to lick glassy surfaces, and if that child’s mother isn’t really the best of house cleaners, the saliva rivulets aren’t obvious to the casual observer.
The glass pattern also provides what I call JEO, Just Enough Obscurity. So, if I am dancing in my living room, right in front of the door, a solicitor coming to sell me candy or land parcels will know someone is dancing inside, but he will not be able to ascertain the identity of the dancer, nor will he likely be able to ascertain the genre of dance, especially if the dancer has been known to dance (as her son once stated), “Like you are just skiing really fast.” That’s the kind of glass front door I have. I hope that helps.
Of course, if you live in Seattle you know why it’s helpful to have a glass front door, especially on those mid-December days when the run rises at 9:53 a.m. and sets at 4:02 p.m. and there’s drizzle round the clock. Happy Light? check. Zoloft? check. Glass door to add just a touch of natural light while still maintaining JCO? check.
The problem of course, is that this door does not allow me and my children to hide from solicitors when we are playing Yahtzee! or dancing or reading books on the other side of that door.
Now, let me pause to explain that there is a circumstance when I will open the door to a solicitor and that is when on the other side of the door stands a woman who appears to be a lesbian. Yes, this is judgmental and certainly involves a lot of stereotyping. But I just know that I have never met a lesbian who is unkind or who wanted to rape me or steal my laptop. Second, many women who come knocking support a cause I also support: women’s rights or marriage for everyone rights or nature or short, sassy haircuts. So yes I judge. And I stereotype. And if I judge that there’s a nice, like-minded woman on the other side? Bingo.
I also have been known to open the door to shiny young men whom I believe to be Mormons. That’s because even though I have no intention of dropping my Presbyterian faith, I like talking about religion. Especially with the Very Fervent and Determined. And really, the icing on the cake is that Mormon boys tend to call me ma’am. And I like that. I like it very much. I have no desire to be southern, but for that little yes, ma’am, no ma’am tradition.
There is, however, a third reason I have been known to open the door to apparent Mormons: legend has it, sometimes, if you listen very carefully to the young men’s spiel and are really polite and respectful as you decline further information, they will say, “All right. We’ll just leave these materials for you.” And then if you’re very lucky, they just might ask, “Is there anything else we can do for you?”
And if you say, “Well, yes as a matter of fact. You can haul that pile of beauty bark from the front yard to the back.” they will say, “Great. We’ll be back tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in our work clothes.”
And they will be back at 9:00. On the dot! (Someone I Know has been known to do this. I am not lying.)
For everyone else though, I generally opt to not answer the door. And that’s because I do that emotional flooding thing which means I have been known to do (very stupid) things like follow two bad-arse (one male, one female) solicitors back down the path and out to the front walk asking, in my tough girl voice, “WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?” even though I heard them, very clearly, call me some string of words that ended with “white bitch.”
Because I’m sorry. I try very hard not to be a anything on the bitch spectrum, certainly to people I don’t know who are just doing the best they can in this double-dip economy. It’s my right to politely decline, even to not answer the door, if I don’t feel like I need a Hershey bar or a subscription to Shape or The Atlantic or White Seattle Bitch magazine.
Yes solicitors, that is my right.
End of Part One.