I swear that I am the planet’s A-Number-One Magnet for Jehovah’s Witnesses. They knock on my door within one week of my moving into a new house. They find me in the mall, in a crowd, pretending to be talking on my phone, only I’m holding my keys to my ear, and call me out while thrusting pamphlets into my hands. If I’m in the office on a weekend or late, *I* am the one to open the door for the seemingly lost little old ladies handing out Watchtowers.
It’s enough to make me never move or change jobs again.
See, I know from Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve read more Watchtowers than I’d like to admit. I was once married to a Jehovah’s Witness. There. You have it. Everything you need to stop reading. I may as well add that I was born in Ohio, wore a brown and grey plaid school uniform, had Farrah hair, and was married twice by the age of 24. Go on. Find a new home. I’ll just close up shop.
I’m a tolerant gal. I read up because I wanted to know what it was all about so that I could understand my husband and his family, and to a lesser degree, his friends. Most of his friends were lapsed or disfellowshipped, which means they didn’t want to play by all the rules. This usually meant that they didn’t want to save themselves for marriage, but once married, were cleared to come back to the fold.
After all, that’s what my wasband did. He was thrown out for sleeping with a girlfriend, and didn’t go back or appear interested in going back, until we were married. Hey, what’s the point? You’re now free to have sex and move about the cabin. That’s when I started hearing about a husband’s “Biblical right” to sex, which is a whole other bag of beans we don’t even want to locate, let along peek into.
Anywho, I had a foolproof way of getting out of conversations to those out Witnessing. I have a hard time just cutting people off, but I now pack a repertoire of hard and fast expressions to get people off my doorstep and down the walk.
If a JW comes by, I shake my head sadly, apologize, and explain that I have been disfellowshipped. Then, they can’t talk to you! Only an Elder can, and then only if you’re making your way back on hands and knees. Once, though, I got an extra-friendly fellow who wanted to coach me back into the fold. I said that I was too bitter and heartbroken and just not ready. *closes door firmly*
If a salesman or “Communications major” comes by, I tell them that I have just lost my job and that all purchases/donations are on hold. If they say, well, what about your husband? I pull my children closer, look at my feet, and say, I don’t have a husband. That usually gets them scooting.
It’s harder when people are soliciting donations or selling things for school. Occasionally, I’ll say that I’d already donated to my own child’s campaign (which is usually true, with three of them). If they persist with the but-you-are-still-fortunate-look-at-your-house bit, I’ll inform them that I work in philanthropic compliance and would need to see a copy of their tax determination letter stating that the organization they are soliciting for is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and that they are not a private foundation as described in IRC Section 509(a)(1). I feel a little bad about that one sometimes, especially if they look crestfallen. Then I explain that I make (or used to make) grants all day long for a living, and used the avenues available to me there. Not to mention that I consider the thirteen years I spent working in the non-profit sector something of a charitable donation.
Anyway, I was the only one in the office this week when the sweet little old ladies came by. They were very soft-spoken and did not ask to come in or engage in conversation. I just smiled, thanked them for the pamphlets, assured them that I would give them to the owners as soon as they arrived, and locked the door.
I haven’t looked at the titles yet, because I’m sure I’ll start reading everything. I’m pretty sure, however, that it’s not the one my ex-mother-in-law used to leave on her coffee table, entitled, “Should I Yoke Myself To An Unbeliever?”