Sarah R. Callender


In General on August 11, 2010 at 5:58 am

This, of course, is the continuation of Ding-dong.

Needless to say, there are many things for which I am grateful: a healthy family, wonderful friends, el Husbandio. Riesling. Vosges Bacon Chocolate.

I am also deeply grateful that Anne Frank didn’t have to live with my children in that attic. I love my children, but man, they would have blown it for the whole Frank family. Poor Anne’s Diary would have been no longer than seven pages.

My kids’ inability to be still and quiet during times of necessary stillness and quietude is truly astounding. I swear, the doorbell rings at that Solicitor Time of the evening, and even as I am hissing, “QUIET! AND DON’T MOVE! STAY AWAY FROM THE GLASS DOOR!” Buddy and Sweetie are bolting to the door as if the ringer of the doorbell can only be Ed McMahon with one of those huge fake checks. But the kid equivalent of Ed, of course. The ice cream man, maybe, holding a rucksack of ice cream. Or Santa Claus with a rucksack of ice cream. Or some teenage hipster who wants to take them to his house to play Wii (which wii do not have) for ten hours straight and snack on Oreos and Doritos and Capri Suns. As they bowl imaginarily.

So yes, my children have a loud and energetic and Pavlovian response to the doorbell which meshes not at all with my desire to pretend we are not home when solicitors knock and it’s dark and el Husbandio is traveling.

The problem? All the No Soliciting signs I found after what seemed like weeks and weeks of searching (but was likely more like four or five minutes on were either too big or too rude or too country kitsch.First of all, I need a sign that is smaller than 6×9 inches. I’m sorry, I just do.  Otherwise, I might as well surround my yard with barbed wire and a herd of Dobermans. Furthermore, as someone who burns at least 500 calories a day trying to teach her kids some manners, I want my sign to be polite. As in I’m Sure You’re a Perfectly Nice Person, but Please, No Soliciting. Everything else just seems too rude, and I don’t want my (former) friend to say, “You know Sarah? She’s the one who lives in the ghetto with that huge-arse rude sign on her front door?”

But there was nothing that fit my need for politeness and style. “Oh, snap!” I finally said after the sixth minute of sign searching.  And with that, I clicked Amazon’s one-click shopping to purchase the best of a poor selection, a sign that I hoped was neither too big nor too rude nor too country.

Now let me pause a moment to contemplate good friends: the roles they play, the needs they fulfill, the way they bring me a huge hunk of fresh salmon (thank you, Stephers) or a bag of chocolates when my kids have been sick for two weeks and I’m starting to talk a little fuzzy and laugh at things that aren’t conventionally funny. The way they suggest perfect, low-key science experiments (thank you, Schmidtie) for my children who are just re-entering the land of the normal-fevered. The way they give me permission to have a glass of Riesling at 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time (also Schmidtie; bless you).

That is, of course, why some friends are friends for life. My friend, Kasey, is another one of those friends. The chocolate-bringing kind of friend. Just yesterday for example, she sensed my desperation when I told her that yes, we’d be home sick again todaaaaaaay. An hour later, she was knocking on my door, a bag of peanut butter truffles in her hand.

But while Kasey might be a chocolate-bringer, she isn’t one of those nicey-nice friends who blows smoke up my tush. And I like that. Today for example, she took one look at my brand-new No Solicitors sign, smirked, and said, “Ooooo, Sarah. No, no, no. That sign’s totally Grandma.”

Grandma? Now that’s something I didn’t even consider.

“Grandma,”  I repeated, staring at the sign and nodding. “You’re right. It is grandma.”

Oh snap. The search for the perfect No Soliciting sign continues.

But I will say that I have had that dorky little grandma sign hanging on our door for three days now, and you know what? Not a single ding-dong that wasn’t a welcome guest.

It may look grandma, but it keeps the ding-dongs away. (And if that’s not already the title of a country song, it should be.)

  1. Such fun to hear your voice and follow a story longer than the facebook status limited word count. FB is way to confining for a sharp eye and keen wit like yours. So glad you’re in the blogosphere. 🙂

  2. I love it! By the way, can I borrow some of your friends? 😉

  3. Have you thought about creating your own sign? A few minutes in Microsoft Word and the laminator at Kinko’s might do the trick.

  4. if you send your grandma sign over to me, I’ll butch it up Capitol Hill style and send it back looking lean’n’mean kink. Also, elephant tranquilizers for the kids. Worked for me!

  5. No surprise that after such witty FB posts you’d have such an entertaining blog! Thank you!
    Other than the UPS guy, our spontaneous visitors seem to be solicitors/people casing our house. My neighbor claimed to only have 2-3 solicitors/yr. (compared to our 20) and credited the stats to their No Soliciting sign. I searched for a decent sign, found nothing, then acquiesced and purchased an obnoxious red plastic one. Always, mind you, with the intention of replacing it with That Perfect Sign one day. That was 2 years ago. But I’ll have you know that we’re now approaching stats equivalent to our neighbors’.

  6. I’m coming to see your sign!

  7. Bacon chocolate, rucksacks of ice cream, best country song title ever…this could be the ABSOLUTE PERFECT BLOG POST. Only you neglected to give us the wordage of the damn sign. Is it really THAT bad? And how can a sign be grandma–the wording? the graphics? the size of the font? And how have I failed to see said sign while delivering rucksacks of Riesling to your door?

  8. […] already have the Grandma No Soliciting sign; I don’t need the slumberwear to […]

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