I feel some empathy with people who knock uninvited at our door. I've done it enough myself when canvassing as a politician.
In my opinion it takes considerable bravery to walk up to someone's home unannounced and attempt to engage them in conversation. For that reason I try to provide a polite and friendly response to anyone who has chosen to call at our door.
Even if I don't want them there. Even if I disagree with them fundamentally.
This admiration hasn't stopped me trying to get rid of them of course. Religious callers being the most challenging.
My mother told me always to tell them we were catholic. "They know catholics can't be swayed from their belief so will leave you alone," was her sound advice after my first teenage encounter with a Jehovah's Witness on our doorstep. That helpful piece of advice came only after I'd spent 45 minutes trying to escape the conversation. Thanks Mum.
Once I became more assured in my sexuality I would also tell them I was gay. This on the basis that most would immediately identify me as a follower of the Anti Christ and would go away. However, many viewed my sexuality as a challenge. It just meant they tried a bit harder and in one case kept coming back.
So then I tried combining the two. I was gay AND catholic. That must surely send my evangelising callers running, I thought. No. They now viewed me as an even greater challenge. The ultimate test. The prospect of tackling a really hopeless case. I offered them the potential for extra Godly Gold Stars should they prove successful.
I held on to that thought when, on Saturday morning, there was a knock at our front door.
The knock came at an unfortunate moment. I was home alone with our five year old daughter and just out of the shower.
Our daughter got to the door first. Dressed in her ubiquitous Saturday morning attire of flowing Disney Princess Dress and sparkly party shoes.
A smartly dressed middle aged couple stood on the doorstep. Pamphlets in hand. Fixed smiles and determined, evangelical fervour in their eyes.
Leaning forward slightly, the man smiled sweetly at our daughter.
"Are your Mummy or Daddy at home?" he asked in a saccharine voice.
Our daughter is many things, foremost amongst which she is confident. And truthful.
"I have two Dads!" She answered with determination.
The male Jehovah's Witness had clearly not expected this answer and blinked slightly, casting a sideways glance at his female colleague as if to confirm that he had not misheard our daughter's response. A momentary awkward silence followed.
Our daughter decided to fill it.
"And I have Princess Panties!" She declared, lifting her voluminous Princess Dress to show the couple her new Cinderella themed underwear as confirmation.
By this point the couple on our doorstep were beginning to look unsettled. I felt I'd better intervene and made for the door.
"Ah!" The clearly relieved Jehovah's Witness saw a way out of the awkward conversation with a five year old, "here's your Daddy?" He proffered a leaflet proclaiming 'God's Word' above a painting of a halo like sunrise.
Our daughter remained on the path of truthfulness. "One of them," she said. "This one's bald, the other one is a VERY busy and VERY important doctor!"
"She's right," I said. "Although my husband is out just now."
Now both Jehovah's Witnesses were blinking rapidly. Looking from me, to our daughter and then back to me again. "Dads?" The man said, his smile changing from confident to quizzical.
Our daughter took this to be a sign that the poor people on the doorstep were somehow confused and needed a clearer explanation. She decided to spell things out as if speaking to an imbecile. "I have TWO DADS" Then a flourish in my direction. "This is the BALD ONE".
The rapidly blinking Jehovah's Witnesses were now completely outside their comfort zone. "Ah, well, would you like a leaflet?" The gentleman said, his female companion already backing away.
"I don't think so, thank you though," I said. "I'm gay you see...oh and catholic."
"Two Dads! Two Dads! Two Dads!" Sang our daughter happily.
I'm fairly sure the poor Jehovah's Witnesses won't be coming back any time soon.Suggest a correction