Posted by: Kate | October 27, 2008

Not for Sale

Jacob was suitably impressed by his mother’s telekinetic and psychic abilities on Saturday. We were sitting in the living room, and I saw an indeterminately-aged woman start to cross the yard toward the front door. She was wearing a Big Political Candidate t-shirt, carrying pamphlets, and looking determined.

I glared sternly at her, and whispered, “No.” Jacob looked up, and swiveled his little head, tennis-match-style, between us.

She stepped closer and focused on our front door. “Go ahead and read the sign,” I whispered, “and then walk away.”

Two more steps, a frustrated squint and disappointed shake of the head, and she turned and left the property.

Jacob was in awe. “Wow, Mama. Did she hear your whispers?”

Tempting though it was to encourage him to believe in the omnipotence of his mother, I explained that, no, I had put a sign on the front door asking people not to come here and talk to us about politics. Any kind of politics. Religion, either, which for some people is awfully similar to politics anyway.

I just don’t want to debate. I don’t want to debate with friends or family, and I really, really do not want to debate with strangers.  I have my beliefs and opinions, and they’re not a secret, and I’m willing to do my own research and change my mind once in a while.  But to me, politics is like sex; I’ll talk about it openly enough, but it’s really no one else’s place to try and change my fundamental orientation.  I may experiment, but that’s on my own terms.

Yeah, I know, weird analogy.  It’s a Monday morning, bear with me.

So, the sign.  It was a trial-and-error process, getting the right sign on the door. Our first year here, we had a plain-old “No Solicitations” sign, and it didn’t prevent purveyors of religion and politics from visiting.  After one too many irritating, “Please be tolerant of my privacy” sorts of exchanges at the door, I asked, and was told that they assumed “solicitations” meant sales, and they weren’t selling anything.

Well, I tend to disagree there… but it did provide for a learning point: since then, I’ve worded it more specifically: “No Political Solicitations,” or “No Religious Solicitations.”  I’m not willing to post a billboard over the roof, and so sometimes people end up several steps onto my lawn before figuring it out.  I’m willing to sacrifice a few blades of grass on the altar of my own sanity.

The problem arises, though, when you end up with so many signs that people are standing in your front lawn for an hour trying to decide if they’re allowed to ring the doorbell.  I haven’t yet figured out the perfect wording that screens out religion and politics but screens in Girl Scout Cookies.


  1. While I can’t recommend a sign, I do notice that when I am surrounded by the little ones, a simple “Not in front of the children, please” has deterred the most determined solicitor from speaking any further. When the kids aren’t home, I just let them ring the doorbell and watch their faces as our dog goes running to the door at 60 mph barking…he’s only 20 lbs but has the bark of a champion…it’s impossible to have a conversation when he goes at it!

  2. Please do not ring my doorbell for political or religious solicitations.

    Girls Scout cookie sellers, please knock. LOUDLY.


  3. you should post a pic of your front door with the sign. 🙂

  4. What a good idea. I wish the no call rule applied to political calls. I hate getting the pre recorded messages.
    I like the suggestion of Girl Scot cookie sellers please knock LOUDLY.

  5. We have a no soliciting sign, and it’s amazing how many solicitors think it doesn’t apply to them.

  6. Pity the solicitor who bothers my husband. Only the Girl Scouts are safe.

  7. I think Steve “enjoys” the religious solicitor…he usually intimidates them and tells them I’m not knocking on your door forcing my religon into your home so please offer the same to us. As for the hone calls..we hand the phone offto the kis and let them talk to them on speaker phone. 🙂 the kids love getting to talk on the phone and well the caller, who cares.

  8. Maybe add a line: “Cookie Sellers, please come around to the kitchen door.”

    And I love that you are taking control of your time at home that way.

  9. Hey! I never thought about putting a sign up like that. I think I might. Especially the “no religious solicitations” because I seem to get those constantly here.

  10. No one ever comes around to our house. We live at the top of a steep drive way on a dead end street. One day, I will do a blog about the evils of purchasing Girl Scout cookies – I’d rather just give a cash donation (which I do, check written directly to the troop – that way the troop gets ALL the money, none goes to administrative overhead, which is rife with overspending….I know, I worked at one of the councils).

  11. You let me know if you come up with that verbiage to only allow Girl Scouts – I don’t want to buy any other candy or wrapping paper or new windows or an alarm system from you, stranger, knocking on my door!

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