I have noticed since moving to Fort Mill in 2009 that solicitation within communities is pretty high. We had the odd person out in Seattle, but nothing like this, and certainly not as many religious groups.
I’m the first to admit that I am a sucker for solicitation. My husband will tell you it’s one of my greatest faults, but I was raised to be nice and cannot shut the door on someone.
Last summer, in the span of a couple weeks, I was talked into buying educational software for my children and magazine subscriptions to help out a man trying to get back on his feet. The software is still unopened on my desk, and, in truth, I cannot recall if I’ve seen any of the magazines I paid for. I will buy Boy Scout popcorn, Girl Scout cookies, Entertainment books (that go unused), and will listen to your sales pitch about why I need to buy the meat from the back of your truck.
I do say no sometimes, but it’s never without listening to your sales pitch while my kids try to run out of the house or are screaming and acting like animals in the background. I will give you water for the road on a hot summer day, or even a snack. In short, I am a salesperson’s dream.
With that said, my favorite visitors are the religious groups. The Mormons come pretty regularly because my niece, who is Mormon, used to live with us and they are coming to check on her. She told me once that they are very helpful and if I needed them to do anything they probably would. I haven’t actually tried that out just yet, but there have been times when I’ve had water boiling and kids screaming and thought about it.
“Hey, could you just watch these crumbgrabbers for a moment while I put the pasta in?”
Could you imagine?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses come every few weeks. It’s always the same girl with one of her sisters or her husband and she looks to be about 15, but is in her 20s. Each time she comes she hands me a new booklet or two (“The Watchtower” or “Awake!”) and we talk about what they are about and she asks how the family is doing. Yes, she comes so often she knows all about the family.
Now, I was raised Catholic, and although I do not attend Mass regularly (OK, ever), I have no plans to convert to anything new. However, I will admit that I read the pamphlets she brings by. Today she came by while I was showering and my husband took them in for me. The “Awake!” issue is titled “Raising Considerate Children in a Me-First World” and I am looking forward to seeing what it says. Lord knows my kids could be more considerate.
Religion is not as actively talked about in the Northwest. People go to church and enjoy a relationship with God, but there are a lot of agnostics and atheists in the communities as well. To keep things PC, religion is never at the forefront of anything. When we moved here it was clear I was back in the Bible Belt when I was asked what church I went to at each new gathering. It was also clear when the religious representatives started showing up on my doorstep regularly. However, I don’t mind. I enjoy listening to people’s beliefs and in turn, finding that we are all in search of the same thing, something to believe in.
Now, if they came with their pamphlets selling boxes of doughnuts, then they would really have it made at my house!
Beth writes from her home in between diaper changes and snack requests. She lives with her husband and four small children. Read more of her writing at www.thellamasdrama.blogspot.com.