Sunday started out in typical fashion in our house. Greg set about improving his physique with a cycling session followed by some free weights, while I frantically cleaned the house and put away laundry. I was in the midst of steam mopping the floors while holding the baby and trying to prevent the other children from receiving third-degree steam burns to their faces. Greg, having finished the workout I’ve been dreaming of having for years, was headed into the bathroom with towel in hand when he casually called out, “Just say no.”
The bathroom door swung closed. The shower turned on.
Just say no to what? Drugs? Sex? Rock ‘n’ Roll? All are in woefully short supply in our house. While I pondered the meaning of these words, my thoughts were interrupted by the most awful, most feared, most dreaded noise any home-owning person can hear on a Sunday.
I approached the front door in the same way the female lead in a horror film does, slowly and filled with fear for she knows the forces that exist on the other side of that door are certain to take her life. My fears were confirmed as I pulled the door open to reveal a couple with Bible in hands and smiles on faces.
“Good morning! We’d just like to ask you how you’re feeling about the future in these terribly uncertain times?”
Allow me an aside. I am not criticizing the foot soldiers of God, for God, Himself, knows they’re doing more productive things than I’m doing with weekend time. I truly believe everyone is entitled to their beliefs and the respect of those around them. My problem is with me, and the fact that I am absolutely and unerringly incapable of ending the sales pitch for fear of hurting the feelings of the person who has knocked upon my door. Beyond the discomfort it causes me, it brings about a mayhem in my house unseen anywhere else. Dog barking. Baby crying. Older children escaping for the road. Let’s just say that the FedEx guy has learned it’s best to chuck the package from the truck and honk the horn.
As my new friends showed me passage after passage — somehow immune to the chaos that surely must have been giving them a preview to the End of Days they were discussing — the still sane portion of my mind began to detach, hover, and then soar over to a fabricated imaginary place that includes stretches of beach and unending sun. Mental beach vacations are the millennial coping mechanism for the stay-at-home parent.
After 10 minutes of monologue about the Archangel and the chosen ones who will be saved from eternal annihilation and reside forever in Paradise, the wife part of the duo gave her husband a quick jab to the ribs to wrap it up and hand me the book, and they promised to return at a more convenient time. I considered telling them that a time in my life with convenience will arrive after that eternal annihilation they mentioned.
I closed the front door and registered a cackling from the bathroom as Greg emerged freshly scrubbed.
“I told you to just say no.”
“You knew they were coming?”
He grinned, “I saw them through the window on my way to the bathroom. You gotta learn to just say ‘not interested’ and shut the door. That’s what I do.”
As he sauntered away, I hoped for the start of that eternal annihilation.
Erin Donovan moved with her family to the Midcoast where she constantly is told she says the word “scallops” incorrectly. She performs live and produces Web sketches derived from her popular humor blog “I’m Gonna Kill Him.” Follow her misadventures at imgonnakillhim.bangordailynews.com and on Twitter @gonnakillhim.