I usually write about design tips, branding, website marketing and related topics. Today, I’m writing about the misfortune of one Jehovah’s Witness who visited my door. This is a deviation from the norm for me, but is directly related to the stress caused by the previously mentioned design related topics.
The facts are. . . I’ve been walking a pretty thin line lately. I’ve been working 14 hour days plus weekends for about 2 months straight. I don’t want to sound like a cry baby, Nancy, whiner because I am thankful for all the work, but you can’t work those kind of hours without losing a little mental integrity. Besides, I only cried that once – just a little.
I drink about 16 cups of coffee to make it through any given day. I have come to the realization that I should possibly replace the coffee with vodka, especially after some of the client meetings I’ve had lately. At the end of the day I go home to my wonderful family whom I love so much. That being said, I have two kids ages 2 and 9 months. I don’t know if you have kids, but it turns out having two young kids so close in age can be a fairly trying experience. And you may not know this about me, but I was not blessed with a tremendous amount of patience. Though, lately I have been given a lot of opportunity to work on that. I’m sure that I’ll learn to appreciate it – that is if I live through it. My wife on the other hand has the patience of Job. Luckily for me or I would be writing this from the shed in our back yard.
You might be wondering what all of this has to do with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m just laying a little ground work for what happened next. I thought it might help you understand the fragile state of mind that I was in when the “incident” happened.
So, how did stress and lack of sleep cause the Jehovah’s Witnesses to black list my door?
Well, I had decided to take a whole weekend off, maybe get a little rest and recharge a little bit. This plan was doomed from the start. Neither of my kids slept at all that night, unless you count that non consecutive 2 hours when everybody’s eyes were closed as sleep. So, when the whole family got up at 5 am you might be able to imagine how thrilled I was to face the day.
A couple hours passed, we ate breakfast and then, out of nowhere, my 2 year old daughter began projectile vomiting all over my wife, the couch, a chair, the floor and the dog. It was like something out the Exorcist. I know that line’s been used a lot, but not by anyone who’s ever meant it! I spent the next hour and a half cleaning the couch, the chair, the floor, the dog and of course my daughter. Don’t worry, my wife took a shower.
Shortly before the cleansing was complete, my 9 month old son began to get a little cranky. I don’t know, probably from all the sleep he didn’t get the previous night. Why can’t they just sleep at night like the rest of us? We actually have a little process that we go through to get our son to sleep. It involves me having to carry him around in this “baby carrying apparatus” that straps him to my chest. He loves it – my back hates it. I walk around for about an hour while he screams and until he finally passes out. Which, by the way, he finally did.
If you haven’t picked up on this by now, sleep is a precious commodity in our household. So much so, that we even have a sign to hang on the front door that reads, “DO NOT DISTURB – BABY SLEEPING”. It hangs right next to the bright red “NO SOLICITING SIGN”. With all these precautions, you can imagine my surprise to hear the doorbell ring right after laying the baby it took me nearly an hour to get to sleep down in his crib. The doorbell was followed by incessant knocking which immediately woke the baby just in case the doorbell didn’t do the job.
My loving wife, God bless her heart, answered the door ever so politely. That’s when I came into the picture flinging the door open in order to unleash a verbal tongue lashing the likes of which this man had never seen. He could clearly see that I was pissed, however, he did manage to ask me if this was a good time to talk. . .
“Is it a good time?!!! Did you read the big ‘Effing’ sign right in front of your face?”
“Well, umm, that doesn’t really apply to me, because. . .”
“You couldn’t be more wrong. This sign applies to everyone! That’s why I took the time to hang it! I haven’t slept in what seems to be months. It just took me an hour to get one screaming child to sleep and our other child was, by some miracle, just about to fall asleep too. Can you tell me why both of my kids are now awake? Don’t answer – it was rhetorical. You can’t even begin to imagine the depth of rage I’m feeling right now.”
That’s when I slammed the door in his face. When I turned around my poor wife and child were looking at me in horror. It took a couple weeks, but I now look back on that incident with a feeling of mild shame, but only because I can still see my wife and daughter staring at me with wide eyes and open mouths.
So, to the poor Jehovah’s Witness who had the misfortune of coming to our door, I am truly sorry. I’m sorry that you knocked on our door after my daughter just puked all over my wife, the couch, the floor and the dog. I’m sorry that you knocked on our door after I just got our baby to sleep. I’m most sorry that you proceeded to knock on our door after you just finished reading the sign that I had hung saying, “please do not disturb”. I’m sorry that you had to experience me very, very disturbed. That’s sarcasm. I’m glad that I’ve been black listed from the Jehovahs Witness recruitment list. The only thing I’m actually sorry for is humiliating my wife and setting a less than exemplary example for my children. To my kids, it might be better to follow in your Mother’s foot steps.
About the Author:
Chris London is a stressed out graphic designer fueled by way too much coffee, an obsessive compulsion for checking web stats and the burning desire to someday catch up on all of his projects. He is also one of the owners of Pixel Productions Inc., a thriving eCommerce Website Design Company where you can find more articles, tips, and rants at their graphic design blog.