It seems that in addition to my color blindness, I have also inherited a vast fortune of guilt. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s possible to feel badly about something, I do. Hell, I’ve been known to feel badly about things that are IMpossible to feel guilt about.

Let me put it this way: if I am in a store, and I see the rent-a-cop whizzing by, certain to arrest some flagrant shoplifter or teenage smoker, my initial thought is not, “Man, sucks to be YOU,” but “OHMYGOD, DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? Is it possible I shoplifted while maybe I blacked out in the tampon aisle?”If it appears obnoxious to you in print, I assure you in person it is much worse.

For someone who is as sensitive as a toad, this is odd behavior, but it’s MY odd behavior, dammit.

But because I am usually half-way up the cross about something-or-another-like-that-chocolate-chip-cookie-I-ate-while-I’m-supposed-to-be-dieting, when someone else attempts guilt as a motivator or as a way to make me feel worse about something, I get fucking furious.

On Sunday, I was sitting around wondering why The Internet wasn’t entertaining me like it should be and sort-of missing The Daver with all my heart and soul, the doorbell rang. My neighborhood is full of kids and I have kids of my own, so while I find the ringing of the tinny bells annoying as fcuk, it’s a necessary evil.

I was feeding Amelia a bottle so I carried her to the front door, hoping it wasn’t The Mormons whom I just didn’t have the energy to fend off. When I opened it, I saw a kid of indiscriminate teenage to twenties age. My heart sunk as I saw the pamphlet in his hand.

Kid: “Hello, ma’am, I’m conducting an experiment and my goal for the day is to talk to 150 nice people. Are you a nice person?”

Aunt Becky: (looking around for a hidden camera) “Uh, I guess?”

Kid: “Your neighbor 2 doors down is a nice person. I just talked to her. I’m just trying to meet nice people.”

Aunt Becky: “Uh. Okay.”

Kid: “It’s my assignment, to see if I can meet nice people.”

Aunt Becky (dim lightbulb lights up. Oh, so this is like those bags of flour kids in high school had to carry around to act like they had babies. Note to Child Development teachers: a bag of flour is nothing like a baby.): “Okay.”

Kid: “blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Aunt Becky: (nods head apprehensively. She is no longer listening because she is bored shitless but trying to be nice. Having an assignment of going door-to-door sucks balls.).

(she looks around for clipboard to sign to say that this kid talked to her)

Kid: “So, if you’re a nice person, and obviously you are, I’m selling magazines. The first prize to whoever sells the most is a trip to ….(ed note: somewhere boring). The second prize is $5,000.”

Aunt Becky now notices that the kid is probably closer to her age than she’d thought.

Kid: “I’m planning on going to ….(ed note: some school I’d never heard of) and I’m going to put the $5,000 towards school.”

Aunt Becky now calls bullshit. This is no college kid.

He thrusts the magazine card at her. “Would you like to buy a subscription?”

Aunt Becky thinks that her subscription to The Atlantic is due to be renewed soon, so she looks to see if it’s on there. Surprise, surprise, it’s not. There is, however, a subscription to Diabetes Monthly.

Well thank God.

Aunt Becky: “Nah, I don’t see anything I want. Thanks.”

Late 20’s Loser Selling Magazines Door-to-Door: “Well, if you don’t want anything, you should do what I think is the best idea. You should give a subscription to …(ed note: some children’s hospital I’ve not heard of). So the SICK, DYING kids can read magazines.”

Aunt Becky: “Uh yeah, NO THANKS.”

Late 20’s Loser Selling Magazines Door-to-Door: “Come on, not for the DYING SICK kids? They want magazines!”

Aunt Becky firmly shuts the door, laughing.


I may be full of guilt, but I was not born yesterday.

I was born Tuesday.

54 thoughts on “Got Enough Guilt To Start My Own Religion

  1. I just had them stop by today, but they like to come around our house every year. Our neighbor ended up in a huge fight with one of them last year because he (the 20 something loser) wouldn’t leave another neighbor alone. Cops were called and the 20 something loser finally took off. Just be ready for a bunch of other ones to come now. They get dropped off by the van full and if they don’t see a sticker by your door, they will continue to come by.

  2. I hate that crap. Last fall, some dude came here selling “educational” books, and tried to tell me that my neighbors had bought such and such, and wouldn’t I like my kids to have a foot up in school? Yeah, uh, I guess I’m a bad mom for not shelling out $120 for the “program.” Dick.

  3. The CORRECT answer is that you are not a nice person, you are a contagious person, and you would like to shake their hand! Then you cough, sneeze, retch, or make the scary sick-sound of your choice.

  4. I hate it when those damn kids come to my door. As well as the Mormons! Although I might be doing some of that if Nae needs money to go to DC next year. I’ll be sure to come knocking on your door.

  5. tee hee
    you bitch.
    I can’t believe you wouldn’t buy a magazine for the sick children.
    what sort of an “aunt” are you?

    As an aside – I don’t think I would have lasted as long as you did before I let go of my shepherd’s collar and said “oops” as he chased the kid off my porch…
    sooooooo not nice.
    but funny as hell…

  6. Ahahahaha, that is hilarious.

    And I totally understand about the guilt. Anytime I see a cop car with its lights on, my heart skips a beat and I stress about getting pulled over.

    Even when I’m not driving. It’s hard being perfect and not having a good outlet for the guilt! 0:)

  7. Dude…I have all the diabetes magazines you could ever want. They come to my desk at work daily.

    Also, I am SOOO glad I don’t have to seal with this crap. Oh, the blessings of city living without a buzzer.

  8. I TOTALLY understand about the guilt thing! I still get nervous when I get carded for alcohol. Which, as an aside, when I was at the store the other day (buying vodka, if anyone is interested) the check out kid asked for my I.D. Then said, “I mean, obviously you’re old enough, but I still have to ask”. I guess my mouth flopped open and I went “Huhhh” because he quickly backtracked and said “Well, I mean you’re obviously old enough, but also obviously under 35, which is the cut off for when we have to ask”. Thanks, kid. I feel SO much better.

  9. I was just trying to remember where I heard about the magazine subscription thing with $5000, and then I remembered. It was a Johnathan Kellerman novel, and the guy who dropped the kids off in the van also molested the kids and eventually killed one who wouldn’t cooperate. See, now don’t you feel guilty for not buying a subscription from the poor molested 20 something loser? He’s probably in the back of the van now, and is about to get dumped in a Forest Preserve. Because you wouldn’t buy a subscription…

    Like Ginger Magnolia, I got the kid’s books harassment last year too. I was like ‘Um, my daughter’s not old enough to read yet.’

  10. In my naiver days I fell for that crap AND wrote a check out to cash for the kid. Guess what? After 6 months of writing to the company (No phone number available) demanding my money back for the 3 year subscription I had ordered, they admitted that that magazine had been taken off their list but they couldn’t give me a refund because it had been too long (hey – try getting a phone number) so they offered another in it’s stead. And I got a 1 year subscription to another crappy magazine, and because I was already defeated, i didn’t bug them for my remaining 2 years. Tuition in the University of Life I suppose. But anyone who tries to sell me magazines now? Gets decked.

  11. Here in the big city, they don’t come to your door (due to scary doorman blocking their way). Instead, they stop you on the street. “You have a few minutes for the children?” My answer, always, is “No, thanks, I don’t like children” and walk away.

  12. I’m dying to put a sign on my door that warns, “My dog ate the last person that tried to sell me something!”. Or perhaps, “We are Satan worshippers and perform ritual sacrifice on Jehovah’s Witnesses and people trying to sell us magazines!”. But you know those people, they never take no for an answer.

  13. My Hubs got totally smacked by this one. He gave the kid a check for something – hello identity theft by guilt – then the doorbell rang about 10 minutes later.

    It was the local cops bringing back our check, telling us to basically quit being so naive. The kid was sitting in the backseat of the cop car – “no solicitation” laws in our little hamlet.

    Of course I’m jumping around in the background saying “I ain’t the sucker officer!”

    Good for you for being mean. He might as well get used to the real world ASAP.

  14. Hey that happens to you too??? and I thought I was the only sucker that fell for that!! I at least got the subscription to Today’s Parent where I learn loads of handy parenty type things…like how to get your kid to sleep by themselves without tying the door knob shut;)

  15. LOL!! Cracking up at the visual of that scene. Have you had the group come by and paint your house number on your curb, THEN come to your door asking for a “donation”? I am did. I gave him $20 (but told my husband I gave him $10) I am a sucker for that kind of stuff.

  16. Oh Aunt Becky, let the Internet remind you that you NEVER open the door to strangers!!!!

    That babyfaced loser was probably closer to your age, and when you have an infant in arms you are defenseless. That is the way a lot of home invasions happen… Believe me, when you make someone talk to you THROUGH a door, instead of opening it, they are a lot less interested in talking to (or robbing) you.

    Need a motto? “It is better to risk being rude than raped.”

  17. The reason I don’t speed while driving is because if I got pulled for speeding, the cop would find a pound of cocaine in the door panels of my car which I did not know was there and then he’d find about fifty empty beer cans and a bottle of half-drunk wine and then he’d find forty ecstasy pills and also, I would discover that my blood was completely filled with all the substances in the car and I WOULD HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED, I SWEAR TO GOD I WAS JUST DRIVING TO THE GROCERY STORE AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE DRUGS ANYMORE AND I DON’T EVEN DRINK WINE! EVER!
    This is how I feel when I see a police officer.
    But I will not buy magazines from door-to-door people and when the religious people come to call, I tell them I have my own religion, thank-you very much, good-bye. Although secretly, I want to get in a huge fight with them and convert them to paganism.

  18. Now when the doorbell rings I look out the window to see if the person has a clipboard. If they’re holding a clipboard, the door will remain hermetically sealed. Unless it’s a boy scout or girl scout, and they are usually in uniform so it’s easy to disinguish them from the grifters. However if a grifter midget did wear a girl scout uniform, I would buy whatever they were selling, because at that point they would deserve it. This is the longest comment I’ve ever written.

  19. Door to door should be illegal. When I was 15 I sold candy door to door for an organization similar to the one that waytoomanypubestosellmagazines mentioned. What you don’t see is the crew chief who is responsible to drive these “kids” from neighborhood to neighborhood. My crew cheif was 22, drove a camaro and as soon as he had me alone in his car, shoved his tounge down my throat and asked me to move to Florida with him. Can you say MARGINAL? Ef it, why be polite? Can you say LOSER?

  20. Won’t somebody think of the children?!?

    Seriously though, that guy was brutal. I’m surprised the order of events was door closed, THEN laugh.

  21. I have no guilt at all when the Mormorns come to me and I tell them to come back when they have an equal opportunity heaven where women are treated equally to men and I can become god of my own world. And then I slam the door.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses!! Always, always, always put the cute wee kid in front of the prosyletizing nutjob.

  22. OMG! We had so many solicitors when we moved into our house that my husband put up a no soliciting sign. When that didn’t work he put up a bigger sign DEFINING what soliciting means. When that didn’t work he put up an even bigger sign defining solicitation, giving a list of examples of solicitation, with a big note at the bottom warning them that they are tresspassing and we will call the police if they @&$* ring our doorbell. I totally laugh my ass off every time I see someone come up the driveway only to run right back down.

    The religious nuts are particularly bad here. Right before he put the final sign up we had two teenage girls in long denim skirts come to the door. When we told them we weren’t interested in their church, they asked if they could take our four year old with them to church. They said that we could burn in Hell but she would be spared if we would just let them take her to church on their school bus. Right.

  23. I’m full of guilt too. In fact, my therapist has just now actually diagnosed me with “delusions of guilt” haha. I’ll split the meds with you, perhaps we can each just feel half as guilty as before. Then maybe we’ll even be “nice” people who get scammed by assholes. & I was born tomorrow. (And now I will stop leaving crap in your comments. Sorry!) 😉

  24. Oh Bex, If you need some literature, just read the back of the tampon box. It’s fascinating, everytime.
    I call the cops on those guys cuz they always come through my gate to get to my door and thats trespassing in my tiny world that I rule with a speed dialing finger.

  25. When I lived in Albuquerque one of those kids came and harrassed me while I was loading groceries into my car. He started with the same line about finding “nice” people to talk to for a school project. I chatted with him for a minute and then told him I was going home. It got to the point where I was getting into my car and he was holding my door open. He was really freaking me out by not letting me close my door and leave. I started the car and was going in reverse while he berated me for not helping him sell his damn magazines. I drove off in the wrong direction because I was so scared he would follow me. I drove around for awhile before going home. He was soooo angry that I didn’t buy anything!

  26. I’m so glad it’s not just my neighborhood! My “nice” magazine pusher called me a bitch and flipped me off as she walked off my property after I refused to buy. Then there were the “cleaner” salesman who came by while I was 9 months pregnant with Cheeks, swollen to gigantic proportions and on bed-rest. When I dragged my sorry ass to the door, they promised me wonderfully clean windows, if I gave them $30 for the product. I told them they’d have to clean the windows, wash the car, mow the lawn, and give birth for me before I’d give them $30 for a bottle of blue water. Hence the rather prominent “No Solicitors” sign that now adorns my front door. 😉

  27. That asshole was at my house a couple weeks ago. They get around don’t they! Except mine told me that he had 7 kids….and this was the only way he could support them! “Please lady, I’ve got seven kids! You know what the economy is like!” Are you kidding me!?!?! Tell you what – I’ll give you five bucks for some condoms.

  28. Nice!
    Made me think of the “reformed cocaine addict” selling magazines in Office Space.

    (Which by the way, makes two references to OS today, so by my count that means I should go gansta on the fax machine and go home for the rest of the day.)

    PS Aunt Bec, the b-day party is this weekend, so you’re not as late as you think!

  29. Ok, apparently I was born yesterday. Because that same smug liittle bastard visited me a few years ago and was so pushy (even telling me my neighbors were nice and had already purchased a subscription…do they all follow the same written monologue??) that I did in fact by a few magazines from him. The funny part of this story? I never received the magazines! Who could I complain to? I didn’t know where the little shit had gone to!!

    I am a total sucker for kids selling things. I once bought wrapping paper from a 7 year old. I work in a greeting card company. We sell this crap! My husband was furious!

  30. i have a piece of weathered paper taped to my doorbell that says, “no soliciting, EVER!”

    When some Jackass comes around and obviously can’t read, I open the door, point to the sign and slam the door firmly.

    So, if you are guessing if I’m a nice person or not, I think you can guess my answer.

  31. Thank you for your words of encouragement over on my blog. The blog world have so far been such a wonderful and amazing place for support and understanding!

    I have been visited by these magazine sellers twice! The last time, I did the same as you and thought, wow this girl with the multiple tatoos looks way older than a high schooler! Someone else in the neighborhood called the police on her and she was escorted out of my front yard and the neighborhood by them!!!! Here you have to have some sort of license to sell door-to-door and low-and-behold she did not have one!

  32. A guy came to the door and tried to get us to buy some too. My husband had answered the door and he was trying to get rid of the guy by telling him we didn’t need anything of course. Anyway so the guy was like “Are you a gamer? I bet you’re a gamer. Look at all these gaming magazines we have.” And Jason was like, “No I don’t play video games” while he was wearing a fucking shirt that said “Nintendo Wii” on it and was holding a wii controller in his fucking hand. You should have SEEN the guys face. Hilarious.

  33. It is awesome to read that I am not the only constant guilt feeling person wandering around.

    I am constantly consumed by guilt of some kind. I’ll be having a perfectly pleasant time not thinking about anything and then something like the memory of eating my aunt’s slice of cake when I was 7 and how disappointed she was to find out, will pop up.

  34. Thankfully no one is going to be going door to door in my neighborhood, cuz I live on the drugdealingist street in Brooklyn, and even if they did, I doubt they’d want to walk up 5 flights.

    BUT, here in NYC we do have these asshats on the street trying to get you to stop and pledge for (dyingbabiesenvironment) using your credit card. If you make eye contact they chase you down the street. Someone – a friend- once yelled she had cancer to shake one of them off. She’s going to hell.

    (Love that you laughed while closing the door.)

  35. …and if you go out your door, and look up the street – you’ll see the magazine pimp in his sedan – with all the kids in their white shirts and ties practicing their scripts.

    that’s not guilt you have – that is called brains!

  36. Dear Aunt Becky, I think I’m actually a bigger loser than you. I gave $5 to the kid on my porch who did the very same thing just to shut him up. I blame it on the new mommy sleep deprivation. Isn’t guilt awesome?

  37. HAHAHAHA! Know what I did the last time one of those assholes came to my door and pitched the magazine sales pitch? I said no thanks and when he asked why, I told him as seriously as I could, “I can’t read.”

    He stared at me for 5 seconds and stammered a sorry and left. LMFAO!!

  38. Oh man, you are a stronger woman than I. I had the EXACT same experience and I bought a subscription. By the time I’d paid “handling fees etc” it was fifty bucks! So now I have a subscription to Shape magazine which I won’t read and the dude I bought it from probably has a huge back of pot. I suck.

  39. I am a real sucker when it comes to kids selling stuff for school.
    but………..those big kids selling magazine subscriptions, I always turn down. One of them actually started swearing and calling me names when I said no.

    Our local police cracked down on them, because many of them were just out of prison, or were suspected druggies………..just not real nice people!

  40. Just catching up on your posts. I’m too much of a rebel for guilt. I have a Jewish mother. She tried. Still tries. Didn’t and doesn’t work.

    Like the other urban commenters, I don’t get the door to door, but the street solicitors. Love Inna’s response, “No, thanks, I don’t like children.” I’ll definitely have to try that once my belly gets REALLY big! Hee hee!

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