Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thanks, But No Thanks

I don't have a problem with Mormons. I have never been a Mormon, or wanted to be one, but I have lived around them most of my life. I work with them, am friends with several of them, and even count some among my relatives. In fact, in my personal experience, I find that if you don't bother Mormons, they don't bother you. I mean, unless you were once a Mormon, but didn't follow the exact instructions to get on their "do not call" list. In that case? All bets are off.

For instance, this morning the Mormons came calling for my husband.

Yes, my husband, the man who thought it was a good idea to marry me, was once a Mormon. He hasn't been active for years, got married and baptized his child in the Episcopal church, and no longer considers himself Mormon, but he hasn't filled out the official request to be dropped from the church membership. That, coupled with the fact he still has very active Mormon grandparents who occasionally still ask if he will ever go on a "mission," and who know where we live, means occasionally the church comes looking for him. All the other times he has gotten the door, but today, he was busy with Meg. It was my turn.

The boys sent by the local ward (Mormon church) were probably 14 at the most. Puberty had obviously been kinder to one, leaving him looking like the older brother of the other. Both were wearing pink ties -- I don't know if that was required. When I opened the front door they both smiled.

"Hi, is Ryan ______, here?" They mispronounced his last name. I knew something fishy was up.
"Can I help you?" I still wasn't sure if they were Mormons. They could have be selling magazines.
"Well, we're just from the ward up the hill, and we have his name on this list." They both pointed to the list.
"Yeah, he's not a member. Hasn't been for years."
"Well, he's on the list," both pointed again, "so we thought we would check." They smiled bigger.
"Okay, well, thanks." I really wanted to be polite, but I was in the middle of the Times magazine article about abortion providers, and I really wanted to get back to it.
"Are you a member?" The bigger one looked down at his list, searching. He looked back up. I felt I could hear all of the ears of my Mormon friends prick up, waiting to hear what I would say to this young buck. I shook my head ever so slightly. He got the message.
"Would you be interested in community event information?" The little one finally spoke up. Nope, puberty hadn't hit him yet.
"We have friends." I responded.
"Okay. Have a nice day."
"You boys have a nice day too."

I watched them as they walked down the driveway and to the street. They checked the list again, and the little one pointed at a house down the street.

Now, I know some of you are thinking "what harm would it have done to get community event information?" That would have been "bothering" them. Expressing interest. Like if they had asked me about my blog. They never would have gotten away.

Wait! That would be a great way to increase readership!

Maybe next year. After all, as long as Ryan is in the house, and as long as his grandparents know where he is, I know they will be back.


Riot Kitty said...

Someone I know once answered the door in a tiny towel (just out of the shower) expecting a friend - and it was one of the Mormons. They never came back! I wish that worked with the people selling newspaper subscriptions, or the Jehovah's Witnesses...I'd do it in a nanosecond.

Amanda said...

Totally off the topic of your blog & Mormons - your daughter is a spitfire!! It was so much fun to play with her tonight.

Midwestern Mama Holly said...

The ward?? Makes it sound like an institution. I hate the bell ringers. Here we get the Jehovahs. But I must say, I haven't had them ring my bell since I chased the old lady witness down the road.

Anonymous said...

We never get bell ringers, except during Ramadan when everyone is ooking for a quick buck or three... normally I scare them away by simply opening the door ;0)

LL Cool Joe said...

I never answer the door to anyone, with or without a tiny towel. Fortunately we don't get many visitors, or maybe that's because I don't answer the door.

Princess Stupidhead said...

Anyone who goes door-to-door is creepy. That's my motto and I live by it.

Badass Geek said...

Mormons are like cockroaches. No matter what you do to try to get rid of them, they still keep coming back.

Kelly said...

Not too many Mormons where we live but, we get many a Jehovah's Witness that come a knocking.

I have a few clients that each and every time they come to see me end up leaving me the same "magazine" leaflet. I am starting to get a complex. I must look like I live a life of fire and brimstone.

The last time I got it, I actually thought for a few minutes about reading it. Then after I put it in my circluar filing device, worried that I would go to hell.

I guess hell it is.

Megan said...

Man, you had that opportunity, and were oh-so-close to an explosion of Mormon readership.


Summer said...

I always feel bad for the little Mormon boys. That's what I call them. The little Mormon boys. Dressed up when it's 105 outside on their little bikes. They are not nearly as pushy and irritating as the JDubs (what we call Jevhovah Witnesses). I was doing yard work one day, and the little Mormon boys stopped to offer help. It was tempting, but I didn't accept. I didn't think I could remain completely appropriate for an extended period of time.

word verification: scones

Yes, please.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend who would invite them in. He was pagan. I can't remember whether this particular group was mormon or JW, but there was one time they came calling and he invited them in. Then he told them "today we are going to talk about Hinduism". They said they didn't know anything about that. He sent them away to learn about it and invited them back the next week. When they came back, he invited them in and said they were going to talk about Buddhism. Same thing happened. This went on for quite awhile. Meanwhile, the people coming by learned about many world religions.

Mandy said...

I wish it was called a "hive."

Allison said...

I'm always nice to the kids.

Who I am not nice to, however, are the guys from some group that has started selling children's books door to door. Now THAT'S some creepy shit. I'm not sure they're legit, but was so taken aback by the opening question: "So, I take it you're the mom of the house?" that I stammered "uh, no" and slammed the door in his face without getting any information.

Leslie said...

I don't answer the door when the mormons or religious people in general ring the bell. Jeff never understood why (his family kinda lives in a rednecky area so they never came calling around his family) He answered the door ONE TIME and was friendly and talked to them and stuff... They came back every weekend for three weeks. He now understands my approach.."Whose at the door?" They are in ties and carrying bibles? Get to the back of the house!"

for a different kind of girl said...

I wish we could find a way to convince these nice folks if they could combine their powers so I'd only have to answer the phone once a weekend instead of 20. The missionaries can pray for me while also praying I'll buy a Kirby vacuum that they're going to show me how to use while I read the magazines they want to sell me.

She Said said...

A sure fire way to make them speechless is to tell them you are an atheist. They really don't know how to handle it.

That's what I do, and then when I shut the door I giggle as I watch them through the peep hole.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Sounds like the people from Columbia Records in the 80s. They always know where you are. Also, I love how you said, "We have friends." Very simple, and made them go away. I like it. Maybe I will try that the next time the Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door.

Waiting Lisa said...

I recently had my very first mormons at the door experience!

Our neighbors across the street are mormom. I didn't discover that until we had become friends. I started to notice small things and then at a party we had they said something to one of our friends.

The other day, one of them came over with a pamphlet and invited us to go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

We didn't go so I am hoping that is the end of it. We would like to still be friends with them, but we are not at all interested in joining their religion. If they only knew what sinners we are....

Kim said...

Never make direct eye contact with Mormons.

If approached, you can extend your arms upward to make yourself appear larger and make loud bellowing noises, or bang some pots and pans together.

Do not wear bright colors when in the vicinity of Mormons.