Monday, March 25, 2013


When we first moved into "the Truman Show" almost nine years ago, we were bombarded with solicitors.  Foreign kids selling "their artwork".  People wanting to maintain our grass, our water, our lives.  Spiritual beings bringing us messages of salvation.  Individuals who thought we needed magazines, peepholes in our doors, and windshields replaced on the front drive.  Even though we had a huge no soliciting sign on our front door, there were days, always in the summer, where we'd have three or four of these types in a day.  It got to be exhausting making small talk, listening to the smooth talked message, and then declining the service.  Because of the soliciting, we just quit answering the door and kept the blinds closed a lot.  There is always so much confrontation with solicitors, when they know the "no" is coming and it makes me uncomfortable.  Gives me a stomach ache.  Stresses me out.

In the new house, I can't block us off from the world.  The front door is all windows and glass.  And whats worse?  My children are like little dogs...when they hear a knock or a doorbell ring, they race to the door because it's got to be something awesome waiting for them.  Now, most of the time it's a neighbor or the UPS man, but  a lot of the time it isn't.

Last fall, as I walked out to get the mail, I counted four different solicitors making their way around my street.  I raced into the house, headed upstairs and grabbed a piece of paper.  In all CAPITAL LETTERS I wrote a quick note, "NO SOLICITING.  Thank you!" and taped it to the window right by the door bell.

For the most part, it works.  People either read the sign and leave us alone, we aren't home, or I'm able to yell at the dogs stop the boys before they open the door and let the strangers in for a drink and some cookies.  Please know that this is an issue we work on daily - the whole door thing.  They are getting better and haven't actually opened the door for someone for a long time.  They do though, still rush the door to see who it is and then if they don't know, they run away, thus, requiring me to answer the door and see what someone wants to sell.

Anyway, flash forward to this afternoon.  We had just had a UPS delivery - new shoes for Disneyland - and were watching Star Wars Clone Wars.  The boys were a little pumped up.  Just as I walked into the bathroom to use the facilities the doorbell rang.  I heard the rush of their little, new shoe wearing, light saber wielding feet rush to the door.  I yelled at them from the bathroom "DON"T ANSWER THE DOOR" and finished what I was doing.

I suppose I could have just ignored the fact that the doorbell rang.  I'm not sure which is more rude.  Ignoring the door after my boys have made it obvious that we are home or saying "no thank you" several times, some forcefully to the solicitor.

Today our friendly neighborhood door knocker was Carl.  He was large and in charge and a smooth talker.  He talked a lot about "pay it forward" so much so that I thought that was the organization he was representing.  He started off nice enough, asking me about my life and stuff....the usual.  The he pulled out a giant bill-fold of little packets.  The first one he wanted me to write my name and that he was courteous.  Sure, I could do that but there was a catch.  If I signed, I had to buy magazines.  Now, the magazines were for me and would be sent to the homeless shelter and the Ronald McDonald house.  Um...okay.  I continued to listen and then told him that I wasn't interested in giving him $60 for magazines that I didn't want or need.

The next billfold came out to tell me that for a smaller donation, I could send magazines to charities and not get any for myself.  I declined.

Then the next billfold came out for me to give him a cash donation.  Here's the thing.  My husband and I donate 10 percent of our income to our church and that money is used all over the world to help people in need.  I give money to St. Jude's children's hospital and the disabled American veterans regularly because they send me address labels and cute little notebooks with teddy bears on them.  I donate to food drives whenever I know of one.  I tip generously every where I go.  I do my best to be charitable and generous.

Ross bought magazines from a lady last November because he thought she was nice.  We've never ever received one of those magazines.

I was not going to buy magazines from Carl.  When I told him this, he got a little angry and challenged me, asking if I believed in giving people an opportunity, in "Pay int forward", and why was I making him go back to his hotel room to tell his son he didn't make any money today.

Holy guilt trip batman.

It didn't work.

I didn't buy.

He yelled "God Bless" as he stomped off my porch.

My sign told him not to ring the bell.

1 comment:

Bing Math said...

Sorry, Carl.


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