About an hour ago, I was hanging up coats in our coat closet when Choo Choo toddled over and wagged her tail the way she does when she thinks she's going out for walkies. It had been a couple of hours, so I thought maybe she was telling me she needed to go again. I put on my parka because it was a balmy 37 degrees outside, put her leash on her, and took her out.
Choo Choo immediately took off at a dead run when we reached the bottom of the stairs. I figured she just really had to potty and was in a hurry to get to her spot. She likes to go in the same areas. Instead, she led me right to two men with backpacks wearing suits and promptly started barking at them. Choo Choo, I think, picks up my moods and since I am instinctively distrustful of all strange men she is as well. She didn't want to stop barking, so I tried to maneuver her in another direction. The two men, however, walked over and asked what kind of dog she was.
"She's a chihuahua," I said. I was immediately suspicious. These were well dressed men, they seemed intelligent enough, and Choo Choo is clearly a chihuahua, and everybody knows a chihuahua when they see one. They're kind of a distinctive, well known breed.
They said she was cute, and proceeded to introduce themselves as "Elder James" and "Elder Jacob" from the something something "Church of Latter Day Saints."
Great. My dog, who is cute and so smart in so many ways, had just led me straight to the path of two young (I don't know why there were "Elders" since they looked about my age) Mormon soul savers on a mission in 37 degree temperatures. And I learned from Daddy many years ago that you should never be rude to people who are trying to help you in their own way, even when you aren't interested in their help. Out of politeness, I stopped to listen.
The inevitable, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" followed talk of my dog and comments on my scarf with built in mittens and the weather.
I decided honesty would be good. "No, I really don't."
"Well, do you believe in God?"
"Sometimes, but I don't give it a name. I sometimes believe in something."
I suppose that seemed promising to them. Choo Choo was wandering around behind us, occasionally turning to bark at one or the other before returning to exploring her territory. They asked lots of questions.
Do you live here?
With your family?
"No, with my boyfriend and dog."
Does your boyfriend believe in God?
"He believes in absolutely nothing. We're more scientific than religious."
Had we ever been to church?
"We were both raised Southern Baptists."
Was there a reason you stopped believing?
"I told my preacher something had happened, and he didn't believe me. Southern Baptists tend to favor men." Of course, I know the Mormon Church also favors men above women, that men traditionally hold the power in all things familial. And I made it clear I didn't like that.
And they answered with something about how people are not perfect, but God is, and something about how men can become corrupt, and that I could surely find solace in their church. Out came a card (in Spanish, but I had no problem reading it) with a number to call so I could get a Book of Mormon and then they offered to come up and take out my trash (no, thank you) or do my dishes (no, thank you) or help me in any way possible, including cleaning up Choo Choo's poo poo (tempting, but no, thank you.)
I answered with a, "I think your time is better spent trying to save someone else's soul."
Before leaving, they asked me if I was going to call the number.
Well, they were nice young men. They weren't pushy in the way that the usual Christian and Jehovah's Witness and Catholic Missionaries are. (Sorry if I'm insulting you, but I've never had one show up at my door that wasn't really pushy about me being saved. And I was saved before I stopped believing. I just chickened out of being Baptized because I was afraid the priest would drop me in the water and I would drown.) I didn't want them to feel as if they'd wasted their time.
I threw them a bone. "I'd say your odds are about fifty fifty at this point." That seemed to make them happy.
I came back upstairs, gave Matt the card, and he asked me why it was in Spanish.
"They ran out of English cards."
"They ran out of English cards."
And then we laughed and I tucked the card away in my desk because I think throwing it away would be even ruder than just not calling.
Still, they insisted it was Fate that led Choo Choo to wanting to go out for walkies right as they were coming by. I don't really think it was Fate so much as unfortunate timing. Maybe Choo Choo heard them outside talking to someone else and she wanted to investigate. Maybe she couldn't hold in the poo poo any longer.