Friday, April 17, 2009

The downside to working from home...

Is that you're home all day. Which means you're home when the doorbell rings. I've had two solicitation visits this week from people selling weird "natural cleaning products" (they really need to do that door to door?), one from a sketchy guy selling "magazines" (I saw that one coming and told him I didn't know how to read), and this afternoon, one from two Mormons on bicycles who wanted to know if I'd be interested in discussing the fact that there is a prophet on earth.

Nothing against Mormons - I actually know a few progressive Mormons and they're nice folks - but I don't like home visits from religious types, especially if they're part of a religion that almost singlehandedly helped raise the most money to support Prop 8 and defeat legal same-sex marriage in California.

So when the LDS boys showed up on my doorstep, I didn't invite them in. I let them begin their spiel earnestly before I held up my hand to interrupt. "Nothing personal, guys. I'm sure you're very nice people. But your religion isn't inclusive. In fact, your church donates millions of dollars to make sure gay people will never have the same rights as everyone else. Therefore, I don't want to hear what you have to say."

They both just stared at me. "Unless that's something you're willing to discuss before you leave me with a bunch of pamphlets about LDS?"

I got a mumbled "thanks ma'am" from one of them before they backed down the steps.

Honestly, if I hadn't been in the middle of a project that required my full concentration and if it hadn't been the 4th time this week I'd been interrupted by people ringing my doorbell, I might have invited them in if they'd been willing to discuss why their church hates gay people. I might have told them that some of my very best friends are gay, that my sister is gay, and that I think there is something very wrong with a religious organization putting a great deal of money into a campaign against equality (particularly in this economy - aren't there other things the Mormon church could have done with all of that money instead of taking out hateful anti-gay ads?). Also, my gaydar works with almost 100 percent accuracy and I think I picked up some vibes from one of those LDS guys, so it might have been an interesting discussion. I actually enjoy debating theological issues.

If I worked in an office, they never would have made an assumption that I had the time to listen to their story of a prophet that walks the earth, of the Book of Mormon, or read their pamphlets. But because I work from home, they probably think I'm a shut-in, a housewife with some time on my hands, or independently wealthy and extremely bored.

Maybe I was a little mean about it. I hadn't realized how much pent-up hostility I've been carrying about the issue. And I still don't understand how same-sex marriages is going to "lessen the validity" of heterosexual marriages, more than 50 percent of which end in divorce anyway. In fact, I believe I just heard that notorious religious zealot and bigot Mel Gibson and his wife are divorcing. Even though his church "doesn't believe in divorce." Are there any religious groups left on the planet that aren't comprised of stunningly ignorant hypocrites?

To sum up, I'm going to ignore the doorbell during the day unless Fedex or UPS truck is outside. Because I don't want to be responsible to marring the psyches of a couple of young, earnest, naive LDS "messengers."

Also: I know I have a good thing going. I get to work for myself in my pajamas most days, come and go as I please, pick and choose the projects I work on. And I'm happy. But don't think that means I'm going to stop bitching about day-to-day bullsh*t. Because I am fairly certain I will always do that. A Zen mind is a lifetime pursuit, yes?


  1. Oh, what fun you missed. I haven't gotten Mormons in a while, but I get a lot of Jehovah Witnesses and one of those evangelicals who felt called by God to ring my doorbell because he was worried about a bumper sticker he saw on the truck. (Co-exist, written in all the symbols of all faiths).

    That one, I shined on, pretending that I was a talking in tongues, bathed in the blood believer and it was my son's bumper sticker (you know, those college age kids, they get all sorts of funny notions, can we pray for him now?).

    Another time, I was sitting, working where the man could see me from the window. But I just kept on working while he rang the doorbell, then finally turned the volume up on my Pandora station when he began knocking.

    A friend once suggested a spray painted "chalk" outline of a body on the sidewalk with religious literature spread across the lawn.

    But, of course, you are working for money and I'm usually only goofing off.

  2. Miranda from Georgia4:03 PM, April 19, 2009

    Try a "sleeping baby" sign. Sure, you mean Lou, but why should her rest be any less important than any other sleeping baby?

    Personally, I turn our Mormons away with a simple "I'm Catholic, thanks." For some reason this is a token answer that never requires any other explanation and sends them scurrying from my porch...

    And God I wish I had your focus. The procrastination bug has bitten and I cannot get my work done this week. Something about spring and sitting still that doesn't mix.

  3. To have been a fly on the wall...

    I couldn't agree more and I say "bravo" to the way you handled the situation. Honestly, knowing what you know about Prop 8 (I didn't before reading this), if it were me, I probably wouldn't have answered the door at all. Maybe stared out the window and waved...

    The hatred that gets carved out from religious beliefs just dumbfounds me. As I get older I realize the only people I'm quick t0 judge are those who judge first.


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