Some of you may remember the fateful day when I clicked on a link for my free copy of The Book Of Mormon. Why did I do that you might ask? Well... not because I'm interested in converting, just because I'm interested in learning. When I saw the link my first thought was "Hey why the hell not?"... then the next page loaded and it said "Missionaries will be contacting you soon" and I thought "Oh shit". It's not that I have anything against the missionaries it's just that I have a certain ailment when it comes to talking to people I don't know.... an inability to say "no" or to offend them in any way.
So I was already getting pretty anxious about the potential for them to drop in at any moment... I like to be prepared, have my house clean, have baked goods at the ready before people stop in. It's how I calm my social anxiety that overshadows any type of "new" social situation. And believe you me talking to people whose actual mission is to try and convert me to their religion is a "new" social situation. So when they didn't call right away, I hate to say it, but I was not disappointed... I was hugely relieved. On the one hand I knew I'd be missing out on some highly bloggable moments... on the other hand I really couldn't stomach having to look at the poor missionaries and try to explain that while I am interested in Mormonism... I'm not interested in becoming Mormon. You know I kind of envisioned it to be like having to tell someone who asks you out that "while I do like you... I don't like you like you." And let's face it that's awkward in the 7th grade when it's unsolicited... It's really awkward when you're an adult and you technically asked for it.
The other problem is that I can't say no to solicitation of any type. I've been known to agree to cruises and whatnot over the phone and then call my credit card to cancel them rather than tell the telemarketer no. Seriously. It's a disorder. It isn't craziness per se... it's extreme empathy. I'm so concerned about the caller (or the missionaries as the case may be) making their numbers, reaching their quotas, or catching a break that I just can't take that away from them. It really kills me to have to say no. So let's face it when the missionaries come and invite me to a service... I will not be able to say no. Next thing you know I'll be leading the Primary classes or something. I'm not kidding. So before I even hear from them I'm already stressing out about my future fraudulent position that I'll be holding in the local LDS church... and I mean STRESSING because I don't even believe in God for crying out loud.
Eventually the missionaries called... but... we were in Charleston (Oh shoot) and they missed us. The 2nd time I was working out and I didn't hear the call. Then all was quiet on the western front and I thought... hey... maybe I weathered the storm. Then something unexpected happened. My good friend in Ann Arbor intervened. I'm suspecting she, as a former missionary herself, was disappointed in the Asheville Elder's lackluster performance. I think on some level it started to reflect badly on the LDS... I asked for my Book Of Mormon... and by God I should have gotten it by now! So she called them. Who? The local missionaries. She talked to them and told them to get their butts over here ASAP and give me my Book. I guess every once in awhile missionaries need to be reminded of what their mission is... because not 24 hours later they showed up at my door.
They showed up at about 8 PM on Saturday night right in the midst of the picture hanging fanstasmo. The house looked like a tornado had just blown through, Kid was on the couch watching some hideous cartoon, Baby was running wild, and Canine was barking incessantly. I thought I had heard a knock on the door... but since we don't know anybody that seemed unlikely. I peeked out and saw the telltale white button downs and ties. I was caught off guard to say the least... and sometimes that's best. There is really only so much prep work you can do for a situation so outside of your experience and comfort zone.
I shuttled Canine to the deck and opened the door. I asked them in, innerly cringing at the state of things, and they explained that they could not come in the house with me unless my husband was home. I assured them he was and they came in and stood somewhat awkwardly inside the door. Now I'm waiting for them to give me some kind of clue as to what's supposed to happen next... how much small talk is appropriate?... when is the "talk" going to start. But that didn't happen. They were nice and friendly and I figured... well I probably know everything they are going to tell me... and I just took over the conversation myself. I don't know what they were thinking. I worried that they thought I was a convert waiting to happen... I mean who has their friend call and hassle them to get on over if they aren't actually contemplated joining The Church? I spent the next twenty minutes or so asking them about themselves... trying to impress them with how much LDS lingo and missionary knowledge I have under my belt.
After a while I noticed that Kid, who was sitting directly in their line of view, had her dress riding up onto her lap while she watched her show.... AND... she didn't have any underwear on. Yes. You read that right. Directly in the line of view of the Moron missionaries was a clear shot of Kid's unmentionables... the real unmentionables. Classic. Now if you want to talk about socially awkward moments I beg you to try and top that. I spent about 5 minutes trying to subtly signal her to pull her dress down without actually drawing attention to what was really exposed. Eventually I had to walk over and loudly say for their benefit "We need to keep our dress down! People are over!"
We continued to talk... they love our house, my folk art, they're available to help unpack or do yard work. "Just call, really, we love to do it because we can wear our regular clothes" they assured me. They never gave me a spiel... and they never gave me the book. I wasn't sure what the deal was... I mean weren't they supposed to try and convert me? Weren't they supposed to spread the word... or Gospel... or whatever it's called?
Then they asked if they could come back. Ah. I'm not a typical case obviously. I'm a two visit heathen. I think they were impressed. I mean they must have been.
And you better believe I'm making them dinner.
And then having them move that mattress down to the basement.