Thursday, March 29, 2007

One time I was nice to the Jesus People

My door bell rang while I was making lunch for the girls and that means one of two things: A package or the Jesus People. Unfortunately, it was the latter.

I knew I was in trouble before I even opened the door. An old lady was clutching a pamphlet in her hand while two other younger, but just as matronly women stood behind her on my porch.

I must be softening a bit because my first thought was not to shout obscenities and writhe on the floor. It might have had something to do with the fact that my children were standing right there, or it could have been they just caught me off guard.

"Hello (hands me the pamphlet), we're here from Danvers Baptist Church. We're just out in the neighborhood talking with nice folks like you about our congregation."

Huh? Nice folks like me? I wanted to tell her she had the wrong neighborhood, but she cut off my thoughts.

"What church do you go to?"

Then, as if she could read my mind, "...or do you go to any church?"

I told her we didn't go to church. She was a pro, that one. I only noticed a faint wrinkling of her brow. She went on.

"Well, the most important thing is that you know where you will be spending eternity."

I thought about that for a second between head nods and a cordial half-smile. I could have been a total bitch about it. I don't go to church for a reason. I don't believe in God, Jehovah, Yahweh, King of Kings....or whatever they're calling him these days.

There really isn't any need for them to get past the fact that I don't go to church. If I wanted to go to church, I have about a hundred to choose from in my community alone (seriously, why the fuck would I drive to Danvers? They don't even have a titty bar).

I didn't appreciate the interruption in my day, especially since we were already about an hour off schedule for a decent nap time. I don't hate religious people, but I don't like religious people who feel the need to come to my house (!) and try to guilt me into going to church.

But I didn't throw a tantrum because that would have only reinforced their preconceived idea of someone who doesn't go to church. The way I see it, why not put forth the truth?

I don't have to go to church to be a good person. I don't have believe in a divine being to live a good and decent (depending on your definition of "decent") life. I'm living proof.

I don't beat my kids (often). I don't lie, cheat or steal. I don't even remember the last time I broke a law, even a minor one. The only thing I'm guilty of is wanting to sleep in on Sunday mornings. Oh, and that whole not believing in God thing.

It's kind of like when I get funny looks from the other moms at the grocery store or the park because I have tattoos. Now that it's getting warmer, more of my ink shows. Sometimes I forget that I look different from most other parents, but then I get a scrunched up disapproving look tossed my way and I am reminded.

Sometimes I'd like to give them the finger, but I know that would only give them the self-satisfaction of knowing they were right about me. Instead, I let it slide. I'm 33 years old; too old to worry about what the "cool crowd" thinks about me. My children are well taken care of, happy and have manners that rival a lot of adults I know. Besides, I didn't get a bunch of tattoos for the sole purpose of pissing conservatives off. If that were the case, I'd think about getting "CUM DUMPSTER" across my chest...maybe in Olde English lettering, with a dolphin jumping over the top.

I don't have a freakout session in response to their disapproving looks and judgemental bitchitude. They'll have a hard time snarking on me to all their subdivision socialite friends if they see that the only difference between me and them is skin deep. If they want to make fun of me, they'll need to find something else to harp on...like my shitty car.

So instead of ranting at the churchies to get off my porch, I took the pamphlet and gently but firmly shut the door, all the while smiling and nodding like a crazy woman.

5 comments:

Phil said...

Nice.

I get similar looks being a stay-at-home dad. Whatever.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I just read that term (cum dumpster) earlier today in a Dan Savage column. I used to like screwing with the door-to-door Jesus sellers, but I wound up getting bored with it. They must be slacking off in Pittsburgh, though. It's been a few years since they've come around to save my soul.

Winter said...

Try being Jewish in the bible belt.

At least they'll forgive you for the tattoos!

Grant Miller said...

I love it when jesus people arrive at my door. Good times.

mamadawn said...

An older man with a bible walked up to my door yesterday. We were in the den, which faces onto the walkway, so we saw each other. As he knocked, I closed the blinds (so he couldn't wave at me) and waited for him to go away. He stuck a flyer in my door that had the creepiest jesus drawing I've seen in a while.

I'm done being nice to the jesus salesmen. I don't knock on their doors with science textbooks in hand.

And, finally, I have an idea for my first tattoo! Thanks!

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