Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Which I Play the Part of Bilbo and Say Yes When I Know Better

Sometimes, I love my husband more than life itself.

Monday afternoon was going in its normal Monday swing - Avram was home from school and helping with the kids, as well as doing dishes because I had a hang-nail rip off and it stung when it contacted water. This dish duty for four days straight (up to now) would be enough to make me love my husband forever, but this is just the set up to the day. Suddenly I heard the doorbell ring, which it never does unless it's the spunky (and by spunky I mean she walks right into your house if your door is open and proceeds to delve into Lydia's toy chest for her favorite dolls) neighbor girl Adela. So with dread I went to answer the door, only to find a salesman at my door.

He was yada yada yada yada representing gas company yada yada yada to sign me up on a fixed rate yada yada for the next year. Yada. And in a moment of weakness, I up and signed up. This wasn't a matter of just giving him my name. Nor did I just have to just sign something. No, when I said I would do it (and now I can remember a faint air of surprise around him when I up and volunteered to be stupid. Hmmm.) he had to call someone and make me repeat my first born son's information back to them and put my name on a recording to say I was officially stupid enough to fall for a door-to-door salesman. Then I also had to sign my soul away.

I know you're all thinking that sometimes door to door salesmen can be very full of pressure, making you jump through hoops to shut the door and taking every polite excuse; I have no money, I'm dying of cancer, my husband is a paraplegic - and responding back with ways and means to make it work anyway. Haven't they heard the law of excuses in our society covers up the real reasons we are saying no, which are usually, "You're really annoying, and I just want to live my life in peace without people coming to my door and harassing me, regardless of the product you sell." And hence we all (and by we, I mean me) have a hard time not just signing up to get them to go away. Was this gentlemen particularly persuasive? No. Was he eloquent? Doubly no. Did he wheel and deal me? No. Am I a loser and he put a small mark - the same that Gandalf marked on Bilbo's door - that tells all future salesmen to be sure and stop here for an easy sale to a dimwit? Yes.

Avram came out into the living room and gave me weird looks, of the sort interpreted in couple speech as "Why in the world are you doing this? Didn't we already shop around on the Internet and compared every single gas company option (and by we here, I mean me, because before we moved I did check out ever company that could outsource gas) and decided to just stay with the default city option? Are you sure you want to do this?"

I gave him mute looks back saying, "I'm a dimwit. It's mot my fault - well, it is, but I'm so lame I can't take responsibility. I'm sorry there's a mark on our door now for all future annoying salesmen."

Halfway through being recorded for all posterity on the phone, as I read the fine print of the agreement, I realized that their gas cost seemed awfully high. According to the salesmen, gas costs are supposed to rise above $2.00 a ccf (whatever that is) (actually I do know; it's a hundred cubic feet; I'm not totally ineffective), and he was out their on behalf of his yada yada company to save everyone money by locking in a low rate before winter came. Yet their locked in rate was much higher than the default month by month city rate. I knew then I definitely didn't want to sign up.

So did I interrupt the woman on the phone? Did I stop the salesman and inform him that the only reason I had said yes was a momentary lapse in any form of judgment? No. I just finished signing my name to the unwanted and binding contract.

Let's all take a moment and be grateful that Avram took one for the team in marrying me.

As soon as the salesman left Avram and I looked up on the Internet the handy little comparison chart the city provides, and this Yada Yada company was the absolute most expensive company out there! Of about ten options! And I asked for this privilege! Competitive rates (as their contract claims) my mother's maiden aunt!

Here is where the super husband comes in. Avram volunteered to call and cancel the contract. Now, to fully understand the depth of his love for me, you must realize that Avram hates the phone. The are only three people in the world he'll voluntarily call without trying to rope me into doing it for him, and these are his parents and his brother Samuel. He's tried to make me call his hometeaching companion before, his contact person in England, his professor. He really, really hates calling people. I hate calling people too, but not as much, so I usually make most of the phone calls around here. (Can anyone tell me why calling people, and conversely answering the phone, which we both also try to pass off is so difficult for people? I can't tell you, and I suffer from it.)

So let me repeat what I said, now that you know how important this is. Avram volunteered to call and cancel the contract.

And that is why I love my husband more than life itself. That and that he's my best friend, and we have two kids together and were sealed in the temple as an eternal family for time and eternity. But let's not get sidetracked.

Avram ended up having to call three times, over three different days to cancel the dumb thing. And yet he persevered. He didn't even put off calling, nor did he make me feel guilty at all for being so dimwitty. When he called I told him to tell the people that his wife had signed up for it without him, and so he wanted to cancel it. I'm sure the people he talked to were thinking he was a controlling husband who beats me when I am ditzy and do things without his permission, but this just goes to show that you never can tell what's really happening inside a marriage just by what people say on a phone. Although he didn't even pull the wife card I gave him to make it easier.

Please, learn from me. If a yada yada salesmen comes to your door, just tell them you're not interested, and that you have to check with your husband before you sign up for anything. Unless they're the missionaries (which aren't salesmen, I know). Then you should let them in and either feed them, or get baptized; whichever is more relevant.


  1. I'm still astonished with the four days of doing the dishes!! And then all the rest? He's amazing.

  2. I'm guilty to say that I was a yada yada sales'women' one summer. What ever got into me to even consider going door to door was beyond my reason - but that's another post - So I feel for the sales'dude' but I totally agree with you, I wouldn't have bought from him either.

    But I do have to say I've heard them all - all of the excuses- and though some where truely sincere- the husband/wife excuse (I would of waited for my husband to make the decision) and I laugh because it brings back memories - GOOD AND BAD!

    I think a gas deal would sound good - afterall were all looking to cut back on expenses. Its a good thing you did your research online ;)

    P.S-My friend Amanda BROWN Garcia

  3. I recently got my first credit card and called the number to activate it. I thought I would be talking into a machine and punching numbers on the phone, but no. I was forced to talk to a fast-talking young lady with an Indian accent. I could barely understand her, she talked so fast. And "while waiting for my card to be activated" -yeah, right!- for about ten minutes she tried to sell me all kinds of money insurance stuff. Unfortunately I didn't realize this until she had already sold me the first offer. After that I finally caught on and just said "no, thank you" to absolutely everything she asked me, whether I understood it or not. Luckily the thing she sold me is only $0.99 per month, and I can cancel it anytime. But I haven't yet, because I don't want to call! Wahh!!

  4. There are enough phones for every man, woman, child, and corpse in this country and yet none of us want to call or be called by anybody. Awesome!

  5. I guess we're lucky enough to be so far away from everything that salesmen never come knocking. I think we've had one person besides parents, family, and the Aedo's over to our house and they moved away. I said once to a salesmen and spent six weeks trying to fix the mess. Sometimes it can be hard and if you send out someone pitiful and terrible at the job people are more willing to purchase your product.

  6. Whats with the phone thing? I'm the same way. Did you know you can order pizza on line and not have to talk to anybody? I think thats possibly the BEST use of the internet yet. :) (though I do eat a LOT more pizza, not that I don't have to talk to someone on the phone. I'd rather COOK than talk to someone on the phone. Thats how much I hate it!)

    Oh, and the missionaries. I was going to say, You guys (LDS church) really have it together. Bill collectors should study your methods. I have moved 6 times since I attended church. 6! And changed my name! And guess who came to my house the other day? My visiting teacher. For reals. She was nice. Didn't speak much english, but nice!

    The missionarys come all the time. Sadly, they come late, after we are done with dinner, so I can't feed them. The last time they came though, they asked if there was any thing they could help me with. And they where very insistant, and I remembered how Tali said no one would ever let them do service, and how much they LIKED doing it, but I just have this little tiny apartment, and it was 7 in the evening. So All I could come up with was that they could help Missy with her home work, so they listened to her read for 15 min, and I gave them chocolate chip cookies and sent them on their way.

  7. I am a sucker for door-to-door book sales people. Other than that I'm able to hold my ground pretty well.

    I have to say that has got to be one of the most romantic stories I have ever read.

    Hope your finger feels better soon.