Solicitation ambush and the guilt that follows

We all know that solicitors come in many forms and formats. Phone calls, door knock, postcard-sized flier stuffed under the window wiper or rubber banded around the flag on the mailbox… and I’m sure there are many other varieties.

But the real question is: how does that make you feel?

Annoyed? How about filled with regret that some poor underpaid sap chose you to ambush with an unwanted free month gym membership on a glossy card or a menu for some new strip mall Chinese place? No, not so much? Well – that’s how I feel.

Many times, I’ve approached my car to see some brightly colored flier flittering under the firm grip of my wiper. UGH! WHY ME!? I pull it off, look at. Oh – but it’s a free visit to that new gym. Hmm. Well, I can’t just throw it on the ground because then litter guilt would ensue. And so into my car it goes. I consider it again, pondering: maybe I should check that gym out (I already have a gym membership), and so it stays in my door pocket. And it stays there. And stays there. Partly because I infrequently clean it out, but also because you never know…Other times I’ve approached my car, not noticed I have junk on my wiper and drive away. That’s the worst. That’s when I hate the person who did this to me! Who made me look like a fool driving around with bright-colored crap flitting around. Moving my wipers doesn’t help…it just drags along with it, making me look like a giant dork. I have no guilt then. (So maybe the real self-discovery here is that apparently I can be freed from guilt if rage comes first).

Solicitation paraphernalia at its finest!

In another more recent instance, I happened upon a rolled-up menu rubber banded to my front door. Sigh. Of course I took it inside where it sat on my kitchen table for a few days until I was pretty certain I would never eat there. Again, you never know…

What strikes me as strange are the amount of people who just leave the fliers on their doorknob…for days. I would imagine the average person has to come and go at least twice a day (leave for work, come home) which involves locking the front door, navigating the paper crap hanging from it and then seeing it, touching it again when arriving home to unlock the door. So what’s the problem?

 I should ask my friend Kristine that question. She is guilty of that! When I stop by for a visit and see her phone books, for example (and true story), sitting by the front door, I will happily gather them up and deliver them to her. She groans at me, saying that she knew that I’d grab them (she knows me well). Perhaps by not dealing with solicitation paraphernalia one can avoid that annoyed yet guilty feeling. Oh to just rip it off the door and throw it right away NO SECOND THOUGHTS. I always have second thoughts.


I get home from work today (6/2) and no kidding, look what's hanging from my doorknob! And what's it for - a gym! No, I didn't throw it out yet...


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