It’s been kind of a weird week around here.
First, I haven’t been feeling completely up to par. Nothing serious, I think, just a combination of lingering allergies, the change in the weather, and my internal clock trying to catch up to the time change.
Maybe the weirdest thing that happened during the week was having the Mormon missionaries come knocking on my door at 7:30 (pretty much on the dot) the other night. First of all, what are they doing knocking on people’s doors after dark? Where I come from, that’s kind of rude. And then they seemed to be bothered by the fact that I didn’t just open the door wide at their knock, but left it closed and asked who was there. I don’t live in the worst neighborhood in town, but it isn’t exactly the best, either.
When they answered that it was the missionaries. Not, I might add, what kind of missionaries, just “The Missionaries”. I don’t live in the Corridor (that would be the Mormon Corridor of Utah, Idaho and parts of Arizona, for my non-Mormon readers), and so I thought that more of an explanation might have been in order.
Of course, when I answered (still before opening the door) that I wasn’t interested, that didn’t stop them for even a second. The conversation through the door continued and I said I wasn’t interested several more time before they revealed that they had my name. Yes, folks, they had tracked me down. I moved house in February and didn’t let anyone Mormon know where I was going, hoping they’d just leave me alone. But I received a letter from Salt Lake City a couple of months ago asking me if I was who I am, so that they could direct my records accordingly.
I didn’t answer the letter, hoping they’d take that hint. But they apparently sent my records along to the ward (congregation) that goes along with the address they had for me. Because, you know, Mormons can’t just go to any Mormon church they’d like to. They must attend the one they are assigned based on their residence.
Anyway, when I heard that they had my name, I did open the door. Just a crack. Just so they could see my face when I told them, once again, that I wasn’t interested. I expanded that to explain that I had long ago asked for no contact from the church, that I was no longer a member. Not exactly true, from their point of view, since I haven’t ever sent a letter in asking for my name to be removed from the church’s membership rolls. But it’s close enough, since I don’t believe that I have to ask them for their permission to quit. I quit, I’m out, and they don’t have anything to say about it. That is the way most Christian religious organizations work, anyway.
Well, they explained, the bishop (leader of the ward) had sent them out to check to see if I really didn’t want to be contacted. Which made me roll my eyes, because by that time I was wondering what part of “no contact” they didn’t understand. I assured them that I did not want any contact from the church, at which point they asked me if I was “all right” and if there was anything they could do for me. I was very polite and didn’t scream “Yes. Leave me the hell alone.” I said, no, I was fine, that I didn’t need anything, and that I really, really, really mean by “no contact” that I don’t want any contact from the church.
I guess I kind of made the missionary closest to the door angry at me when I would not shake his hand as they were leaving. Which kind of almost made me feel bad for them. They were actually quite polite, and I don’t blame them, really, for coming to my door. They were just doing what they were told to do. But still, no contact means no contact. It doesn’t mean, keep asking every few months if I really mean it. If I were ever to change my mind, which will happen only when pigs grow wings and fly off into the sunset and when the sun rises in the west and sets in the north, I know how to find a church.
I guess I’m going to have to finish that letter and send it off to Salt Lake after all. Just to make the bean counters happy.
The good news about all of this is that, when the next weird thing happened, it didn’t seem so very weird at all. That was when my roommate and I were going out the door on Friday night to take some DVDs back to the Red Box and make a Taco Bell run, only to discover that the gentleman who lives in the front apartment, along with his son, were putting up their Christmas lights. The first hint I had, as I was out the door last, was hearing my roommate say something about, “…because Santa Claus hasn’t gone by Macy’s yet.” When I got out there, the lights were mostly up and already on, in all their glory.
They’re pretty lights, really. But it isn’t Thanksgiving yet. I don’t do Christmas until the Thanksgiving turkey is consumed and there is no more pumpkin pie and whipped topping left.
Which begs the question: Why, at our SCA Barony’s pre-Thanksgiving feast last night (which was very, very good, by the way, and did not involve turkey at all), I didn’t mind when the host and hostess’s little boy started asking for Christmas songs, and some of us sang a few.