• Carmen Marie Fabio

By Kingdom come


Shutterstock photo by 1000 Words

I’m far from being a fastidious housekeeper but my husband and I each have a ‘gross-out’ point where something just gets dirty or disorganized enough that we can’t take it anymore and tackle the task at hand. The kids, however, seem not to have inherited this gene.

So it was that I found myself last Saturday morning deciding that the kitchen sink and surrounding countertop and dish rack hadn’t had a good cleaning in a long time so, armed with dishwashing gloves, Magic Erasers, Fantastik, and Windex, I got to work while my eldest son kept me entertained with inanities quoted from the internet.

Elbow deep in grease and stain removal, my son went to the door when someone knocked, undaunted by the loud music we play whenever we do housework along with the cacophony of barking dogs.

“Who was it?” I asked when he came back into the kitchen.

“A mother and daughter talking about teen depression and suicide prevention,” he told me. “Nice people. I gave them a $5 donation.”

“What organization were they from?” I prodded.

“I dunno….”

Now, I commend my boy for being generous and caring enough to want to contribute to suicide prevention efforts while at the same time, trying to help him foster a sense of skepticism and hone his own personal BS detector. So when I asked him to read me the fine print in the brochure titled ‘Awake!’ they’d given him, the words, ‘The Watchtower’ grabbed my immediate attention and, in all honesty, made my eye begin to twitch a little.

I have no opposition to organized religion. And though I’m not a churchgoer myself, I don’t begrudge anyone their right to worship or preach when and where they choose. With the exception of my doorstep. On a Saturday morning. Much as I’m sure they would object if I showed up on their doorstep on a weekend morning to foist my spiritual beliefs.

I also took issue with content in the magazine that deftly wove God and religion into articles on depression treatment and another article on abortion that stated, “A potential health risk to mother or child would not justify inducing an abortion.” The back page with a digressive article suggesting intelligent design rather than evolution is thank for the compound heat shield of the Saharan Silver Ant had me scratching my head but by that point, I was heading out the door.

Years ago, when I first met the man I would later come to marry, I remember making a gorgeous Sunday brunch, probably with the goal of impressing him. It obviously worked as we’re still together and our kids are also easily manipulated by food.

Just as we were about to sit down to eat, there was a knock at my apartment door and two Jehovah’s Witnesses were standing there with eager smiles. I realized my boyfriend was more calm and tolerant than I when he proceeded to engage in a 45-minute exchange as the eggs got cold and the Mimosas went flat. Apparently I’m still nursing a grudge.

That was how I came to run out the door last weekend to tell the women that before they show up to address a serious topic like depression and suicide, they have an obligation to reveal who and what they’re representing when speaking to anyone, but young people in particular.

In retrospect, it was good learning experience. My son learnt it’s okay to ask questions and not to take everything at face value and the woman’s daughter likely learned not to go back to the house where the crazy lady wearing pyjamas, bright blue Crocs, and yellow rubber gloves runs out in the pouring rain, yelling and waving their brochure at the car before they could safely drive away.

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