Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Posted On March 9, 2009
In all my excitement of honyock restaurant trips and vomiting children (Oh, yes, that was my Monday.), I almost forgot to share my news:
I broke up with my Jehovah’s Witness.
Before I go any further, I would like to say that I mean no offense to those who belong to the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I know you have to knock on doors, and those of you whom I’ve met have been extremely friendly people! I just don’t happen to subscribe to your beliefs. Please–no hate mail!
Okay, so this certain man has been knocking on my door nearly every Saturday for probably at least 3 months. It started out with just him. Then he started bringing his preschool-aged son, and finally his wife began joining us. It started out all nice and cordial, and I didn’t mind visiting with them, but it was becoming just a bit awkward.
For one thing, nearly every time they came and I’d speak to them in the doorway, mass chaos would be erupting behind me. The dog was barking or jumping. Kids were in their underwear running up and down the stairs. Shoes, bags, and random Lego pieces littered the entryway. It was becoming a bit embarrassing, and there was no way I was going to invite them inside to witness the circus up close and personal. The poor wife and son would be shivering bravely as the husband continued his probing into if I think God will end the suffering in the world. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Did I feel guilty enough to invite them in? No.
I was also feeling a bit guilty about all of the trees I was killing by taking their literature each week. I did read some of it because I was interested to know exactly what they believed, but most of it ended up in the recycle bin. I barely have time to devote to my own Bible study, let alone the Bible study of a religion I don’t agree with.
I repeatedly told the man that I didn’t mind visiting with him, but I was committed to my own beliefs and there was zero chance of converting me. He told me, and I later confirmed by reading Christianity 101’s World Religions 101: A Guide to Spiritual Beliefs (Does the fact that I’m reading this for fun make me a big nerd?), that it’s still important to them to talk to people about God, whether or not they want to convert to Jehovah’s Witness. In fact, they have to knock on so many doors every Saturday to meet their “quota.”
But I was sensing that he was getting a little annoyed with me. His comments began to almost feel accusatory, like I should feel guilty for not being home several Saturdays when he came by. I was starting to feel obligated to him and his family, which was just a little weird. Then came, “Is there a time when we can just come over and talk on Saturdays?” as he eyed the wild savages behind me. I told him that Saturdays were kind of tough. Then he asked me the question that made me laugh out loud: “Do they take naps?”
My reply? “Wouldn’t that be nice?” I mean, putting aside the fact that they’ve never really been nap-takers, they’re 11, 7, and 4 1/2, for crying out loud! I don’t expect them to willfully sleep during the day until maybe when they’re teenagers. Finally I told him Saturday early afternoon was better, and he said he’d come next Saturday at 1:00. And then he wrote his phone number down for me in case I wouldn’t be able to make “our appointment.”
After I closed the door, Husband yelled down from upstairs, “What time are they coming next week so I can make sure I’m gone?” Not that he’s a Jehovah’s Witness hater or anything; he just didn’t see the point in continuing this relationship when I had no interest in converting. And frankly, neither did I, but this guy was kind of a smooth talker, and I am kind of a big chicken when it comes to any type of confrontation. Thus, the reason my “friend” kept coming back.
Finally after days of deliberating on what I would say, I sucked up the courage (and I always have MUCH more courage when it’s not IN PERSON) to call him and break the news: It was over.
My nerve started to weaken a bit when he answered with an abrupt, “Hello?!” after which I told him my name. Silence. I sputtered out who I was and that I couldn’t make our “date” on Saturday and then closed my eyes and explained quickly that I didn’t think we should see each other at all anymore. Just like ripping off a Band-Aid.
There was an attempt at changing my mind, but I stood firm. I told him that I felt that I was wasting his time, and that he would be better serving his mission by visiting with other people who either would be more receptive to his interpretation of Christianity or who needed to be introduced to God. That person wasn’t me.
He didn’t sound quite as friendly when we said our goodbyes, and I tried not to feel like I’d led him on. After all, I didn’t ask him to knock on my door. And I had tried to tell him many times; he just didn’t want to listen.
At least next Saturday I don’t have to be horrified by standing in the doorway for 15 minutes and chatting with a family all the while thinking about the fact that I still had total bedhead and trying to make sure they didn’t get close enough to notice that a toothbrush hadn’t yet grazed my teeth.
Is there a reason these things only seem to happen to me?