I was pacing around the house as I often do while talking on the phone.
We were discussing the Cleveland Browns’ options in the upcoming NFL Draft in April.
And that’s when I noticed them next door.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses.
They usually catch me when I’m outside mowing the grass, it seems. I’m always polite. I always try to be respectful and listen to what they have to say.
No matter what you believe, you have to admire people who are willing to risk rejection, mockery, rudeness, and much more for the sole purpose of trying to help you find peace. Salvation.
I admire it so much because I don’t think you would ever catch me doing something like that. I didn’t even like calling people for interviews when I was a newspaper reporter.
This morning was different, though. I was on the phone. I have a bunch of things to do. And it’s literally 12 degrees outside. In the sunshine. That’s Fahrenheit. That’s cold as shit. Icy shit. Shitcicles.
“Great. J-Dubs,” I muttered.
“What?” my friend on the phone asked.
“Door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness evangelists are out on the sidewalk. I haven’t shoveled my driveway or walk, so it will be interesting to see whether they brave it. I’m going to go hide in the back of the house until they go away,” I said.
My friend laughed.
“It’s got to be really cold just standing there on the porch, so I’m sure they won’t stay long,” I said.
I continued my phone conversation, pacing around my home office and down the hall to the guest bedroom and back again, out of the view of anyone outside the front of my house.
Wow. That’s a lot of dedication from the J-Dubs to be out on such a cold day sharing their messages of hope and goodwill. I really should have invited them in for coffee or hot chocolate, I thought, as my friend and I continued to kick around possible Cleveland Browns draft pick or trade options.
After several minutes, I wandered thoughtlessly into my kitchen to a place with a direct line of sight to right outside my front door where two ladies were standing.
They were frozen, because it’s literally an icebox out there.
She looked up.
Our eyes locked.
She had a furry, insulated hood pulled around her head. But she still looked cold.
I looked like a bum in old jeans, a fleece, and my hat gangsta’d to the side.
She stared in. Please come to the door. I need to tell you about Jesus.
I stared back. Oh shit. This is awkward.
“The Jehovah’s Witness lady just saw me,” I said into the phone.
“She did? What did you do?” he said.
“We made eye contact, then I just turned around and hid in the back of the house some more.”
“They looked really cold.”
And now I have to go outside and shovel my driveway because I can’t get my snowblower to start.
I feel certain the Jehovah’s Witnesses will find me out there.
I’ll be swearing, muttering horribleness under my breath as I glance over at my lifeless machine.
They’ll hand me pamphlets. An invitation. Promise prayers.
And I’ll remember a mostly unknown Gym Class Heroes song I like:
“Maybe I would be a fool to think
“That somewhere in the sky’s a place for me.
“What good would it be to pray for me?
“You won’t save me. Don’t pray for me.”
But I won’t really mean that.
I have faith.
Even when my wife leaves.
Even when my face is frozen.
Even when the Cleveland Browns always lose.
Even when my snowblower won’t start and I have to shovel mountains of snow.
“Sorry God. I didn’t mean to be crappy to the J-Dubs. But honestly? I just want to get this bullshit shoveled so I can go make chili.”
13 thoughts on “How to Fail at Ignoring Jehovah’s Witnesses”
My grandfather used to invite them in, listen to the speech, and then when they were ready to get up and leave he would say “Wait– I listened to you, now it’s my turn!” At which point he would sit them down and tell them everything he could think of to say about his own (Catholic) faith, while my grandmother hid in embarrassment in the next room 🙂
That’s a funny story.
Did they ever stay and listen?
I was serious when I wrote that I respect people with enough courage and faith to share their beliefs with others, especially if it’s done in a kind, non-judgmental way. And in my experience, most of them are just that way.
I am never rude to them, unless you count that one time when I made eye contact with one standing on my porch for a full three seconds, then turn around and walked to the back of my house without acknowledging her.
I’m sure they did stay– my Grandpa could be pretty persuasive 🙂
I’ve got you beat here, Matt. If there is, in fact, a hell (specifically a Mormon one) I’ve got a VIP pass…because one day when I wasn’t feeling well I was taking a nap with my dog and there was a knock at the front door. So, instantly my dog began her usual barking frenzy and ran to one of the living room windows. I tiptoed down the stairs, trying not to make a sound because I wanted to see who was at the door before I made my presence known. I could see two Mormon missionaries, but fortunately they couldn’t see me. I was just going to tiptoe back up the stairs when I happened to look over and saw the back/kitchen door standing wide open. I must have drawn in my breath because my dog turned to look at me and then saw the open door herself. I remember thinking Oh no-no-no and tried to get there before she did but she’s way faster than I am. She tore around the house to the front yard and chased the poor terrified guys down the driveway. Oh, God, to this day I feel horrible. I’m sure they think I set my dog on them. Oh God, those poor kids. =(Not that Blossom would have bit them, but she goes into border collie mode and…
I’m going to hell- Hufflepuff Hell, apparently.
I brought up the whole Which Hogwarts house would I belong to? today at work and at one point I said “I don’t care what Matt says, there is no WAY I’d be in Hufflepuff.” Then there was a pause and other Kristin said. “Um…..You are totally a Hufflepuff.”
1. Your door was just open while you were resting upstairs? I feel like that’s not an ideal way to keep your doors. Am I overstepping by saying so? 🙂
2. Did I call you a Hufflepuff!? I’m so flattered you were having this conversation and thought about me. Thank you!
1. It was during the summer and I think my son was out playing and he had left it open. Yeah. Let me just blame my son.:)
2. I believe your words were Hufflepuff Lady. Not that I’m bitter about it, because that would be a Slytherin trait and as everyone knows, I’m a @$!#/^& Hufflepuff.
Once when I answered the door, I just told them I was Catholic. They almost ran down the stairs and I was like “was it something I said”? It was so weird. Usually I’m polite and sometimes I hide but that day was a first 🙂
Hiding is only smart if you don’t make eye contact with them. 🙂
I know they shouldn’t, but those people scare me. I live in the sticks and think that maybe they are just trying to get me to think they are Jehovah’s and really they are there trying to kidnap me and rob my house. However, I probably don’t need to REALLY think that when it’s a little old lady getting out of her car and my huge, scary looking German Shepard (that would never hurt a fly) runs up to her barking. She runs back to her car terrified and screaming. She asked if the dog would hurt her and I let her know that the dog doesn’t appreciate strangers running up to the house. She threw her pamphlet out the window at me and left. You can never be too careful 🙂
I have a hard time being rude to them too so I listen then when they ask if they can stop back by I say “sure.” Why I do that I don’t know. Luckily the window on my door is high up so unless I answer the door they don’t know I’m on the other side trying to ignore them.
I like to be nice to people. I don’t regret that I’m that way.
But, yeah. On the flip side, that was pretty bad yesterday when I made eye contact and just walked away.
But it makes me laugh when I think about it.
I don’t know what that means. Probably that I need to exercise my kindness muscles a little harder.
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