The message is pretty clear, judging from all those "no soliciting signs" plastered across front doors; nobody likes door-to-door solicitors. Not that the signs make any difference. Persistent sales people still knock -knock-knock away, trying to sell everything from cookies and Christ to magazine subscriptions and gift wrapping paper.
I was prepared to say "no thanks" the minute I opened the door this morning and saw the young college student standing on my doorstep. Before she could even finish her sentence about getting scholarship points for each magazine sold, I told her I wasn't interested. Her face fell, but only briefly.
"Can I practice my speech anyway?" she asked hopefully. "We also get points on presentation and the more I practice, the better."
I could spare a few minutes, I figured. Besides, I felt sorry for the kid. It can't be easy spending a beautiful spring weekend getting the door repeatedly slammed in your face .
"Sure," I yawned.
So she rattled off her 3-minute spiel: how she was from Southern California, the cities this job was taking her to, and how her goal was to study Graphic Design at UCLA. I told her as a marketing writer, I work closely with graphic designers and rely on their talents to visually bring my words to life. Her eyes popped open and her jaw dropped to the ground.
"WOW!" she exclaimed. She responded as though I'd just said I partner with Monet or Van Gogh.
Then my oven buzzer went off and I excused myself for a minute. When I returned, I came back with a napkin holding a freshly baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. "Take one for the road," I offered, "and good luck with your schooling."
Once again her jaw dropped open in utter amazement. As she eagerly took the cookie, she gushed, "You are SO like the nicest person I have ever met. Thank you!" Then we said goodbye and I closed the door.
What started out as a bothersome solicitor turned out to be a heart-warming encounter. Which just goes to show...you never know what might be knocking at your door.