So earlier today I was out in the back yard, picking up dog poop, when suddenly I saw an unfamiliar SUV driving up our driveway.
My first thought was that someone was lost. I stopped what I was doing to watch them pull up to the house.
I should point out that I live about 15 minutes outside town, on a dead end road that is on another dead end road, and my driveway doubles almost backwards off another driveway. When we first moved in, even I had trouble finding my own house and would drive right by. The driveway itself winds up a fairly steep hill. So what I’m saying is that it’s not like we’re exactly easy to find.
Someone actually did end up lost up here a few days ago, and I scared the poor lady by glaring suspiciously down at her from my deck, so this time I was trying to look friendly and helpful – at first. But then I saw that the SUV was full of older people that were all smiling at me out the windows like they were my new best friends. ‘Bloody hell – you’ve got to be kidding me’ I thought. I braced myself.
One smiling white haired lady got out and approached: apparently they were sending a scout ahead to test the waters.
“May I help you?” I said neutrally, in case I’d guessed wrong. She ignored the question and instead exclaimed what a beautiful day it was for me to be out gardening.
I agreed that it was a nice day, ignoring the gardening part of the comment (I had a poop-rake in one hand and a half-full scooper in the other… Gardening? Sure, I was tending to my turd flowers) and repeated my question.
She gave me a bright, saccharine smile and said that they’d just stopped by to chat with me about ‘the Bible and the troubling times ahead.’ Yep, that’s what I was afraid of. I replied curtly that I was very uninterested in having that conversation.
Her smile faltered briefly and then she caught herself and pasted it back on. “May I ask why?” she asked; even I could read a bit of frostiness in her voice now.
“Because I’m Pagan and my girlfriend is an Atheist, so there really isn’t any point to having that conversation” I stated bluntly, not trying to be mean, but making it clear I wasn’t interested in debating.
Actually my partner is more agnostic than atheist, but I didn’t want to leave any impression that there was any opportunity for conversion; I’ve made the mistake before of being too polite when people have shown up at my door to proselytize and then not been able to extricate myself from the unwanted discussion for way too long. Thankfully, the woman didn’t push the matter.
She wished me a nice day, probably not meaning it, I wished her one back, definitely not meaning it, and they drove back down the hill to go annoy someone else.
This probably sounds very bitchy, but my home is my only safe haven against unwanted social interaction, and I resent the hell out of anyone invading that sanctuary uninvited, especially when they are trying to push their religion on me. I believe everyone has the right to their beliefs, so long as they don’t infringe on someone else’s freedom to do the same, and showing up uninvited on my doorstep is definitely infringing.
I’d feel the same way no matter what the religion was, but you know what? No one has ever knocked on my door wanting to talk to me about Ganesh or the Morrigan or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.