Yesterday I must have been out of steam when a couple of Mormon missionary boys wound up on my porch. I had been organizing my large collection of books on evolution and primate behavior when I was suddenly jolted out of my task, which was entirely pleasant and all-consuming.
My task found me revisiting all the material I've read over the years, well, at least that in book form as there are still a good thousand or so paper articles currently residing in files in the baby's room (where will those go once she realizes it's not cool for her mama to store academic paraphernalia in her closet?).
I got to admire the completeness of my collection and revel at the thoroughness of my margin notes marked in red ink. I always use red to help me immediately see my thoughts vs. those of the author. I was especially struck by the apparent joy I had while reading a certain critique of the field of Evolutionary Psychology. I made it something like 400 pages into the book, writing and arguing back on nearly every page the whole way. It made me wish I still had that kind of time.
Then the barking dogs. Zounds alive! I thought perhaps Mr. Field Notes was home early so I opened the door prior to hearing any knock. And there they were, hopeful, standing before 2 humongous barking dogs and a pregnant lady — missionaries come to spread the good word of the lord.
The last thing I apparently was in the frame of mind to do was invite them in to talk, let alone be a decent human being. I simply smiled, put my hand up in an ambiguous wave/no gesture and shut the door. That was about all the humanity I could muster up. And with two giants mouthing their concern in the background, nobody would have heard anything else anyway.
I have nothing at all against Mormons. In different circumstances I may have invited them in and made them non-caffeinated tea and asked if they wouldn't mind helping me move books while we talked. I'm sure they would have happily helped. And, I bet they would have had a very interesting experience on account of exactly which books they'd be shuffling.
But, I didn't have the time or the energy for that. I just wanted them to go away. Yet they knocked and said plaintively, "Uh, hello?"
I ignored them and went back to my evolutionary book shelf shuffling while the dogs barked — wishing I hadn't been such a butthead.