In the past week I have been approached by two people seeking my signature on a petition. When my Don't Notice Me face and walk doesn't work, my comment is always, "No thanks." Both men where very polite and never pressed the issue. However, I have been feeling a little unsettled lately. Something must have made those men stand outside and seek signatures. Usually it takes a mighty act of Heaven to get me to do such a thing, so I can only assume that perhaps these men had rather been doing something else than standing for hours experiencing rejection. Nonetheless, they were out there, trying to get their paper signed. So, what's the big deal? What was it that they wanted signed? Could I help them out?
I'm pretty sure my answer is no. No, I cannot help them out. Unfortunately, I feel many of these petitions that I am inclined to sign are a bit too much of a double edged sword. For example, I know that the first petition was for a playing field in San Luis Obispo. Great. I support playing fields. But am I really signing something in the hope that the land in question will become a playing field and not a mall? Does this petition mean that I support using the land, however I do not get to determine how it is used? Is a playing field only one option to this petition? Do I also support building a strip mall and crushing the habitat of the soon to be endangered fluffy horned mongoose? The desire for one thing always starts multiple causes and effects, and I just don't think I can really pass by someone on my way from the mailbox, agree to playing fields and sign my name.
Yes, that's right, you read me correctly: On my way from the mailbox. On Tuesday of this week the United States Post Office decided to make my life a bit more difficult. Instead of meeting with my mail lady every day, exchanging salutations and receiving my mail right to my outstretched arms, I now have to use a mailbox across the parking lot. A cold, hard, difficult to open mailbox. This causes any number of disruptions, including my vulnerability to be approached by men with clipboards.