Once, a long time ago, before I was even born, my mother was a Jehovah’s witness. My family is full of secrets and I know virtually nothing about her life at that time. She probably had some awesome double life we’ll never know. But my mother eventually left the church. She moved many times and met my father and then, for some reason, had more children with him.
Growing up, my mother HATED Jehovah’s witnesses. I never knew why. I never even understood who they were. Every few months I would see them. Always two men (different men each time). Always in white short sleeved button downs with dark ties and trousers. Always riding bicycles.
From a young age I was fascinated by them. Who were they? What did they want with us?
When we moved, they seemed to follow us. I thought this explained my mother’s hatred. No matter what she did, these people would not leave us alone.
As I got older I started to believe they were part of some government conspiracy. Like poorly dressed Men in Black. Which I knew were real from all the books I’d read of eyewitness accounts after reported UFO sightings.
I was pretty obsessed with UFOs as a kid. And I didn’t have many friends. It probably had something to do with all the UFO books I read.
When I became an adult I discovered they were a religion. And not even a good cult-y one like Heaven’s Gate. Fun fact: I learned about meteors AND cults for the first time with that one. But a part of me has always preferred my conspiracy theories to the truth.
A few years ago, I moved in with my brother. The apartment complex we lived in was a common target for Jehovah’s witnesses. They came frequently. Almost on a monthly basis.
It was annoying. I rarely answer my door, even now. I am paranoid about unexpected company. It’s rarely good. It’s rarely something I am interested in. So we generally ignored them when they knocked. But still, it was irritating.
One day I was home with my then boyfriend, A. I am not sure why I was taking a shower in the middle of the day. Probably A and I had just finished having some messy sex. You know how it is.
I got out of the shower and was getting dressed when the doorbell rang. I could see through the partially opened blinds that it was the Jehovah’s witnesses. I decided to go ahead and answer the door this one time.
I pulled open the door with a wide grin on my face. “Hi!” I called out, cheerily. “How are you?”
The two men immediately backed away from the door. They did not seem to know where to look. They were holding their hands up as if to ward me off from advancing and possibly attacking them.
I was wearing a pair of pink mesh underwear and nothing else. The underwear were mostly translucent. And I was completely topless. I may as well have been naked.
One of the men stuttered that I appeared to be busy and that they would come back another time. But I insisted that I was not busy and invited them to come inside and have a talk about god and religion and whatever else they wanted.
They, not surprisingly, declined my invitation and practically ran from our front porch. They never came back for the entire time I lived at that address. I probably scarred them for life.
I still have a pretty bad habit of answering the door in various states of undress when I have unexpected company. But that’s why you should always warn me before coming over. Or you may not like what you see.