Last year I put a big NO SOLICITING sign on the window near our front door.  I thought it would help me.  I am the worst when it comes to saying no to a sales pitch.  My poor husband has had to be so patient with me. 

“You bought which three magazines?”

“Our home is going to be sprayed for pests when?

“Have we even heard of that charity?”

I’m a total wimp when it comes to solicitations.  Even when I find the courage to say no I quickly offer the person a drink of water or a sandwich because I have an enormous case of the guilts after turning them down.  In my mind I picture their starving family–and it is all my fault because I wouldn’t buy their product.  It has got to be such a hard way to earn money.  But, I don’t really need any more magazine subscriptions.  My lawn has already been aerated.   That box of oranges does look good, but will we eat them all before they go bad?

So, I put up the NO SOLICITING sign hoping it would stop door to door solicitations.  It hasn’t.  Do these people not read?  Are they just ignoring it?  It is in plain sight, I don’t believe they don’t see it.  My home has probably been marked as a place they can at least get a sandwich.  Or worse, they know a sucker lives here.

Earlier this week a very nice college student from some Eastern European country came to the door selling some sort of curriculum based books and software.  She asked if there was a comfortable place we could sit so she could show me her product.  I motioned to the front porch (a baby step for me–don’t let them in the house).  As we settled ourselves on the porch stairs I glanced at her back pack and saw a bottle of water and an apple in the front pocket.  Okay, she has food and water.  She doesn’t need any from me.  As this nice college student from some Eastern European country started pulling books and software from her backpack a conversation was happening inside my house that I couldn’t hear.

Mack to Huh:  “That’s the same lady that came here last year.”

“It is?”

“Yeah, don’t you remember?  She was selling books and stuff and Mom made us sit on the couch and listen to her talk about them forever.”

“Well, Mom didn’t buy any.”

“No, but it took forever.”

“I don’t want to listen to it.”

“Neither do I.  Let’s leave.”

“We need an excuse to leave.  Let’s take the movies back, they’re due next week.”

As I was sitting on the porch listening to how I could have this wonderful set of books and CD’s for only $500.00 my two teenage daughters burst through the front door.  Huh shoved four movies in my face and said, “We need to take the movies back, they’re due.”  Then they raced down the stairs and jumped into my car.  The windows were down and I could hear them giggling as Huh backed the car out of the driveway.

The nice college student from some Eastern European country asked, “Are those your daughters?”

“Yes.  And they both need cars of their own so they don’t keep taking mine.”  I motioned to Squid’s car parked near the curb.  “My step son is the only one of our kids who has a car.  We have four teenage drivers right now, with a fifth joining the ranks in September.  We need to find cars for all of them because their schedules are all so crazy.”

The eyes of the nice college student from some Eastern European country got big and round.

I continued, “The car insurance for all these teen drivers is killing us.”

“Oh.  You probably can’t afford to buy these books.”

“Probably not.”

She shook my hand and thanked me for my time and then the nice college student from some Eastern Euroupean country went to sell a set of $500.00 books and CD’s to my neighbor.  My daughters had unknowingly helped me.

I think I’ll give them a sandwich.