Tuesday, July 28, 2009
No Loitering Please
As I sprinted from King Kullen to my car with the morning’s milk, I was accosted by a middle-aged blonde woman with glasses.
“I don’t want to keep you for long,” she said as I opened my car door, “It looks like you’re doing double time.”
She held out two brochures. I read the headlines “Depression” and “Bible Stories” and knew she was a Jehovah’s Witness. I usually can spot these a mile away and am able to escape them by simply not answering the door.
I said simply, “No thanks. I’m Catholic.”
“That’s okay, but…”
“I’m sorry, but I’m really in a hurry,” I said in a cordial but firm tone, now in my car with my keys in the ignition, “I really have to go now.”
I started up the car and drove away.
My Dad used to have a sign in his window that said, “No Trespassing”. I suppose the proper sign would have been “No Loitering” as what he was trying to prevent was door-to-door sales. Whenever someone came to our door trying to get us to buy or sign something, he would said abruptly, “Can you read?”
They would stop and give him a confused look. They’d say “What?” or “Excuse me?” and he would repeat himself (“broken record” was one of his mottos).
“Can you read?” he would say again, pointing to the sign.
“Oh,” they would usually say, and walk away.
I definitely inherit my Dad’s ability to say “No” but am a little kinder and gentler about it. When God told us to love our neighbor, I don’t think He meant for us to let them trespass on every facet of our lives.