Thursday, June 19, 2008

They come on bicycles

On Sat. morning at 10:00 am there's a loud knock on my door. Or rather a pang on the pane since my front door is sliding glass. My blinds are drawn across so I don't get stares by the looky loo neighbors. I hate when I get these types of knocks and I have no idea who it is. Is it my OCD neighbor (who wears nothing but bright white t shirts) or my building manager? It could be important. But I resent that people don't call. It's too early for pizza, so it can't be the misdirected Domino pizza delivery person (seriously, can't they hire people who can read the rather bold numbers on the apartment building to know where they are?). I've gotten over the uber-friendly, how can I help you persona when answering my door/sliding glass window. If you have no business being at my apt., don't knock. But then again, it could be important so I open the shade and I see a woman, a small child, and a man with a stroller. There could be other people there but I'm blinded by what the woman is holding in her hand. It's a rolled up Watch Tower.

I should have known. 2 of them rode down the street the day before on bicyles wearing the traditional white button down sleeveless shirts and ties. The Mormons have come oh wait, they are the Jehovah Witnesses. What I'm getting double the evangelical fun in my hood? And here they are at my door. And what good strategy bringing the whole brood? Seeing the bored four year old girl twirl around as I nastily told the woman who knocked that there are no solicitors allowed at the building prevented me from swearing at her. She gave the standard reply that they aren't soliciting. "No thank you!," I said, steamily. Then I spent the next few minutes ruminating over the things I should have said like, if you are spreading literature then you are soliciting - soliciting my time and wasted attention. But then I thought of the children. It's not their fault their parents are schleping them around on this pointless exercise rather than enjoying being children and playing. Yes, good strategy to bring them and elicit my sympathy.

I cannot get over the sheer chutzpah of knocking on people's front doors, invading their privacy, and not respecting their space to spread your agenda. I'm speaking of the tactics of the Jehovah's (or Mormons) of course. I hate the sidewalk preacher too but you can walk away from this person. It's invading the home that affronts me the most. In my most irrational thoughts, I want to track down one of their home addresses and camp out and spread 'My word'. But to what end? They're following their Order's orders. And they think they are acting "rightously." So what about other people's rights to exercise their own religious beliefs? Can they really understand that concept? And then I think, not a new thought, but a new plan. Can I just hold my cool the next time one of them comes a knockin' and say, "Oh good, you're here. Please wait a moment while I get you something." Then I'll pass them something from the Zen center. "Since we're just sharing information, here's something on peace, compassion, and accepting people who they are without converting them." Then slam the door.

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