Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The warm weather brings them out
No, not bugs. Not leaves on the trees or buds on the roses nor blooms on the tulips. The warm weather brings out door to door solicitors. People selling lawn treatments, security systems, offering to check and see if your ducts need cleaning or your water is too hard (too soft, full of lead, whatever). Kids selling frozen cookie dough for sports teams or raising pledges for school events. Charities are out in force, begging door to door for donations. Heck, today I had a child I have never seen before knock on the door and ask if she could play with "that dog in your yard". I had a surreal moment where I thought I woke up in a peanuts cartoon. Three different religious groups have been by, in as many days. I guess zealots don't get the holidays off. We have been offered restaurant discount cards, oil change deals when buying in bulk, and inspirational message books. Frankly, I am worn out. Between the constant ringing of the doorbell and the telemarketing calls I need a nap. I hate the phone calls where nobody answers my "hello" for a few seconds (you know, while the computer that dialed me switches over to a telemarketer upon hearing a voice at my end) . Then when the person does reach the line, it takes every ounce of concentration I have to figure out a word they are saying. With or without an accent, they can turn a rehearsed script into something bearing no resemblance to actual language from sheer force of repetition. I always pleasantly say "No thank you!" and end the call, but more often than not I don't know if I am refusing a new cell phone, a lower interest rate on my credit card, or a maintenance program for the furnace. Ruby could care less about the phone calls (unless I have to move to get the phone, in which case I have to disturb the pile of snoring pug on my lap) but she isn't sure what to think about these intruders. She wants to kill the ones that ring the doorbell, and desires to seriously maim the ones that knock. Of course, she would never tell them that to their face. She prefers to spit and snot and snort, hackles raised, and bark her fool head off at them from behind my legs. Funny how she knows the difference between a "visitor" and these people. Once or twice she has sat stone still in front of the door and emitted a low growl. On those occasions I did NOT open the door. I have only heard Ruby growl a handful of times, and when she does it means business. Who am I to question pug-tuition? It amazes me the number of people that come to the door, even if no cars are in the driveway. It makes me wonder, when I was working outside the house - how often were people ringing my doorbell while I was away? How many fingers have pressed that doorbell unanswered? How many knuckles have rapped at the front door, paused, then rapped again. Did they wait a while before walking away? Did they shade their eyes and try to look through the little window on the door? When they left, did they walk back down the driveway to the road, or did they cut across the lawn to the next yard? Were they disappointed that nobody was home, or were they secretly relieved? (Yes. I do wonder these things. I never said my brain was normal.) I can imagine how tiring it would be to have a job that requires you to walk house to house all day, in the hot sun or rain or cold wind. Knowing full well of the doors that open, most will reject you - and many not very nicely. Trying to make small chat with strangers tapping their feet impatiently, being distrusted and speaking to an eyeball seen through a crack in the door. Not that I like what they are doing, and yes I do find it an intrusion and a disruption and in this day and age of home invasions and what not it's a bit ballsy to go door to door. But we all have to eat, right? That doesn't mean I have to buy what they are selling. But the least I can do is be polite and pleasant and smile while I say "No thank you". On very hot days I have been known to offer a bottle of water, and more than once I have handed out gloves and hats to somebody obviously unprepared for a sudden weather change. Let's see how long my smile holds out this year.