I live in a neighborhood with a no solicitation sign at its entry. There are, of course, solicitors who ignore this sign and wind up at your door and that’s fine. I’m not bothered by it nor am I the paranoid type who fears any stranger walking down the driveway. [Perhaps that’s foolish you think and maybe so—for many years a had a large and intimidating dog, and now that he’s gone, I wonder if I will continue to feel quite so secure.] Safety aside, there are plenty of solicitations from neighborhood girl scouts and kids selling gift wrap crap—the kind of solicitations that piss me off ‘cause you know you gotta’ buy something.
But there were 2 solicitations that happened over the span of 3 or 4 years that almost haunt me, that I think of often. Both solicitors were young, hard-edge beautiful, black girls selling magazines for an urban woman support group. Both solicitations occurred as I was gardening at the front of the house and I gave both girls Gatorades. The first young woman was all of ninety-eight pounds with a smooth brown-beer-bottle body, more hyped up than anyone I may have ever met. She showed me all of her credentials, told me all about the cause, the product, her grandmother, her brother in jail—and she told me I was beautiful, that I must have been a looker when I was younger (gulp)—me, the pale, old white woman with mulch in her hair and under her fingernails, next to this beautiful, glistening, young thing. I was hers, totally, completely. I bought magazines and my husband cancelled the sale the next day.
The second young girl was different but equally compelling. I saw her coming down the driveway and knew immediately why she was there, and also knew that I would be buying magazines, forgetting the outcome of the first sale. This girl was round and curvaceous and a little bit sweaty and walked with a 20-something swagger. She too, showed me all her credentials and told me her tales but this one had attitude and I thought she might have been close to saying, buy more magazines, bitch, but she didn’t. She had a look that confused me, one of both resignation and haughtiness, perhaps that is the look of pride. But regardless of whatever it was that was going on inside of her or what she thought of me, I submitted to her presence.
Both times, my husband went off about these young hustlers and my gullibility, what an easy target I was, and how is it that with the second sale, I didn’t remember what had happened before. Both times he found a consumer complaint on line that supported his position. And yes, there very well may have been some hustling going on, but somehow I was ashamed that he cancelled my orders, feeling that I had let these young girls down—these sassy and brassy women that were doing whatever it took to get what they wanted. I don’t think I could be as brave as these girls. I hope they don’t come again.
photo credit: youtube