Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kid with a Clipboard

A commercial played this afternoon where someone rang a doorbell.  The dogs started barking.  Silly dogs, I thought...I thought they had learned to distinguish between TV and reality.  But maybe FedEx had delivered a package.  I'm expecting several of them, but not until Monday.  But just to be sure, I went to the front door to check, not looking out the peep hole first.  [The peep hole is one I had Walt install several years ago to protect me from the sweet little Mormon ladies who loved to talk with Walt.  The older I get the more I get like my father in the last years of his life (he died at 72).]

When I opened the door, imagine my shock when I saw a sweet faced kid with a clipboard in his hand standing there.  So the dogs had heard the real doorbell.  I don't really know what he was there for, other than it had something to do with ecology.  The dogs kept up barking so loud that I couldn't hear him and, bad me, I shut the door in his face.

Afterwards, I thought about how many people have shut the door in his face and how he was just an idealistic guy willing to pound the pavement on a hot afternoon to convince people to join his cause. And I felt guilty for not letting this unwanted intruder disrupt my afternoon trying to talk to me about an issue I should care about, but knew I wasn't going to be giving him money for.  But I didn't feel that guilty, so I'm sure I'm going to hell.

I understand that there is a syndrome known as "Political Fatigue" or "Charitable Fatigue."  Or something like that.  When whoever was describing it talked about it, I immediately knew I suffered from it.  After my brief, intense involvement in various political issues and candidates around 2008 and several years after that, I find that I am deluged by so many emails and junk mail that I just want to scream JUST GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!!

The country is going to hell in a handbasket because every time (this includes several times a day) I get an e-mail from the Democratic party or various political candidates, in California or other states across the country, telling me that if I just give $3 (though I think it has gone up to $5 lately) we can save the country.  If I just give $3 before 5 p.m., I can defeat Boehner's attempt to do...just about anything.  I could very easily go broke trying to stay ahead of what appear to be Boehner's nefarious plans for destroying the country.

(I have a feeling that I have a doppelganger somewhere who is getting the same e-mails from the Republican party concerning Nancy Pelosi)

When I fail to send $3 every other hour, I get messages with titles like DEVASTATION! (always caps, usually with an exclamation point).   These remind me that I have NOT sent them $3 and as a result of my inattention, the country is about to implode.

Most of these go to junk mail without my seeing them, but occasionally some slip through the walls.  This one, for example, which made me feel quite special, since apparently out of the entire population of Davis, I and 34 others are the special ones:
I'm tapping you to be one of 35 Democrats in Davis to chip in before tomorrow's deadline, Bev.

Democrats are in one hell of a fight this year, and we need everyone to pitch in and do their part -- because this is our last chance to give Barack a Congress that will work with him.

Chip in $3 or more before midnight tomorrow

When they fail to hear from me, the guilt trips start.  'Perhaps you didn't see our first message," will come the first reminder, then "We are still waiting for you," and ultimately hints of what terrible things will happen to the country if I don't join the cause.

Then there are the charitable organizations that start by thanking me for my generous support over the years.  These are organizations I have never supported, but they want to remind me that it's time to give them money again.  They are all good organizations that I would happily support if I weren't already tapped out with the money going to Compassion every month.  UNICEF and Save the Children are thrilled with all of my donations and could I give just a little more...even though I have not contributed to either of those organizations because all the spare money goes to a different children's organization.

Perhaps the funniest pleas for money or signing petitions aren't addressed to me.   They come to my gmail account and they start out "Dear xxxxx"  For xxxx substitute the name that I mistyped on some long ago petition when my fingers were on the wrong keys of my keyboard and I was signing so fast that I didn't notice.  That non-name name gets almost as much mail as "Bev" does!

There a lot of issues, politicians, charitable organizations out there that are worthy of my money or my support, but if they would just STOP WRITING TO ME EVERY DAY and give me space now and then, I might actually send $3 occasionally, but I know if I do, I will never, ever, EVER be free.

(We actually did support Special Olympics for several years until their requests for money got so overwhelming that I called them and told them that if they couldn't send fewer than daily requests for money, we would never contribute to them again.  They could not and we have not...and I feel bad about that, because I think Special Olympics is worthy of my support, but if I send them so much as a dollar I'll be back in that oppressive loop again.)

So if you have a clipboard, please do not stop by my house.  If you're lucky, I'll check the peephole and not open the door.  If I slip and forget to check first, I will probably shut the door in your face.

I am a bad person.  But I finally understand that antisocial sign on my father's door when he was my age:  "If you have not been invited here, you are trespassing.  Please leave or I will call the police." 

I thought that was a terrible thing then, but now...maybe not so much!

2 comments:

Mary Z said...

I'm with you - I never talk to people at the door or on the phone, e-mails get sent to spam box, snail mail into the recycle box. But....

John's cousin in Denver made one of those $5.00 donations a couple of months ago. Her name was picked out of the hat (or something). She and her husband were security-checked, flown to LA, taken to a huge estate for a dinner for a high-dollar donors, and had dinner with President Obama. It actually does happen sometimes.

Sian Thomas said...

Wow given what Mary Z said, where do I sign up. Always wanted to visit L.A.! LOL!