I’ve lived in my neighborhood long enough to expect the Saturday morning doorbell entreaties. You should let us inspect your roof! You should buy this magazine! You should donate to this cause! Nope, nope, and nope. Given that those who press my doorbell button usually follow up with more doorbell button pressing if I don’t answer, I try to catch folks on the first ring.
Putting up a “No Soliciting” sign helped somewhat. It gives me something to point to when I politely tell those on my doorstep not to bother. But it hasn’t stopped everyone.
Kids, I get. I don’t expect junior high students selling candy to raise funds for extracurricular trips to know what “soliciting” is, much less that they’re trying to solicit donations.
I’m far less polite to “home inspectors.” Really, if you don’t notice the “no soliciting” sign less than two inches from the doorbell button you just mashed a half-dozen times, I don’t trust your ability to inspect much of anything. Also, you’re a scammer, so go away.
Most of the time, I get religious solicitations. Usually, I just smile and nod and say I’m not interested. Thou shalt not lie, right? But this morning, I’ve been stewing on the religious encroachment on our purported freedoms, both in Texas and across the US. And not just light refreshing vegetable stew. Heavy, greasy, meaty stewing. The anti-abortion march. The abortion felony bill recently filed here in Texas. The DeVos nomination and prayer in schools. I could go on. Bad, bad, overcooked stew.
So when a couple elderly women rang my doorbell this morning, I wasn’t in a mood to deal with more religious encroachment. I opened the door and explained that my family had just sat down for lunch. No apologies, just one of the women opening with, “Well, we’d like to share God’s word with you.”
I inhaled and stopped myself. These women were not the cause of the issues I was nearly boiling over about. I cut her off and said, “We’re not religious. And we have a ‘no soliciting’ sign that says no religious soliciting. Thank you.” They left.
Hours later, I’m left wondering if I should have had some canned response ready. These visits come regularly, but not often enough for me to have a response in mind whenever they do come. Dealing with religious solicitations, for me, compounds activism fatigue. I’m tired. Many of us are tired, exhausted by contending with what keeps getting heaped up on our plates.
So I’m not answering the door anymore. Perhaps it’s not the best solution, or even a good one. But it’s what I have to do for now.