Some Jehovah’s Witnesses have recently entered my life. This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, but these are the first Witnesses I’ve seen with the same regularity as my hairdresser. It’s been an interesting few months.
In February a gentleman knocked on my door. Of course the dogs put their best paw forward in welcoming both men to our home. (Except not. Apparently Gracie and Phoebe are not impressed by neighborhood children, UPS delivery men, OR those with strong religious beliefs.)
After briefly struggling with the dogs at the door, I managed to get onto the porch to greet them. One of the men stepped back down to the sidewalk — I think the large, angry hounds jumping at the window alarmed him — but the other spoke with me at length about evil in the world today.
Shortly after he left I texted BrightSide to explain that we’d be meeting with the gentleman and his wife the following Saturday. Did I feel particularly drawn to become a Jehovah’s Witness? Nope. But this man was seriously persistent about bringing his wife to meet us, and I quickly realized that there was no way I’d be getting off that porch without agreeing to a good time to meet.
Fast forward to that Saturday. Like a good girl I’d read the booklet he’d left, so I felt ready to participate in an intelligent discussion. BrightSide and I had about a hundred things to do but we weren’t exactly sure when the couple planned to drop by so we were pretty much tied to the house. I figured they’d probably come after lunch. Early afternoon passed, then late afternoon, and then it was 6:00pm and we’d “wasted” (read: lazed about) the entire day, waiting to talk to a couple about a religion we have no intention of joining. Not so much with the good feelings that evening.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this part now, though it made perfect sense at the time. I mean, what respectable Jehovah’s Witness would arrange a get together and then simply NOT SHOW? I started thinking all kinds of squirrelly thoughts: it seemed kind of strange how only one guy did the talking while the other one stepped back and turned away slightly. Plus there was a car in the driveway with one or two more men in it, and all the Jehovah’s Witnesses I’d encountered parked and walked from door to door. And they always worked in pairs, so the extra men seemed out of place. Then when the man didn’t even show up with his wife…well, I started to think maybe they were door knocking to check if people were home. But not for the good/Godly reason they gave me.
Anyway, two months later, a woman shows up with her friend explaining that she’s married to the man I’d met back in February. She said she’d dropped by a couple of times to talk but kept missing me (because I’m in and out like a loon during the week!). And then, bless her heart, the woman asked if there was a good time when we could sit down and talk.
I have to admit that I snapped just a little.
I explained that we had arranged a time to sit down and talk, back in February, and that my husband and I had spent the day waiting for them to show up. So thank you for coming by, but no, I don’t think we need to arrange another get-together.
Now, there must be some kind of rule that says a JW can’t leave the doorstep without at least talking a bit of bible/evil/Jehovah God and whatnot. So she and her friend talked a little about said subjects; I talked about how we had found a “good church home” — if you’re not from down south, this is a term I learned once we moved here that roughly translates into “I’m in a house of worship that fulfills my needs so I’m cool, thanks for checking” — and we’re raising our kids with strong values, and I figured that’s that.
Not so much.
Enter this week, which has been one long excruciating sinus headache compounded by a stress level you would not believe. On Tuesday I was sitting on my couch, trying to keep my head from exploding by literally squeezing my temples between my hands, when I heard a knock on the door. It’s usually neighborhood kids coming to play/interrupt homework time after school, but when I looked up I saw the gentleman. From February. On my porch.
Sweet mother of God.
I dragged my snuffly, congested, head-pounding butt to the door (because again, giant window panes make it awkward to pull an afghan over my head and hide), thankful that at least the dogs were in the backyard. And we started our dance once again, though this time his wife was indeed coming up the walk to join us.
There were many, many apologies for the scheduling confusion in the winter and I’m thinking hey, dude, I totally get scheduling issues. I won’t hold it against you if you won’t hold the fact that I thought you were some kind of burglary ring scout against me. Agreed? I’m standing in my doorway (screw the porch, I’ve already done this twice), without makeup and no doubt looking like hell, explaining that I’d shake their hands but I have no idea what germs are running rampant in my body.
Despite all that, this man (where do they FIND people with this level of persistence?!) is STILL looking to schedule a sit-down with me and BrightSide. I end up taking his phone number and, when he extended his hand to shake, politely fist bump these Jehovah’s Witnesses off my porch.
T-man was doing homework in the kitchen. Since I stood in the open doorway the entire time, he heard our whole conversation. He had a lot of questions about the strangers knocking on our door to talk about someone named Jehovah. Questions like Why would they do that? and Isn’t it kind of annoying? (Well, son, when my sinus headache medicine is wearing off then yes, their timing isn’t great and it’s a little annoying. But so it goes.)
Now, these seem like lovely people, and I have respect for the fact that they’re willing to knock on strangers’ doors to talk about their faith. But they’ve knocked on mine (and I’ve answered!) three times now — I’m gonna need them to move on to another house. Apparently the “good church home” and “strong values” comments weren’t enough to convince them that frankly, I’m not up for recruitment.
BrightSide explained exactly what I’ll need to say the next time they come by. (And let’s not kid ourselves…there will be a next time.) Apparently I haven’t been hitting the key phrases that will knock me off their radar. Bluntly put, I’m gonna have to crack open a can of Baptist whoop-ass if I want to free my porch from its JW occupation.
(Dammit, there’s that lightning again.)