As soon as the woman started speaking on the phone last week, my heart sank. I knew what she was going to say. 'In the past blah blah, we've been so grateful blah blah.' And I knew what would come next: will you have a coin collecting card again this year? By the time she got to that point I had psyched myself up to say, 'No, I'd rather not,' so why did my mouth say, 'Yes, okay'?
Was it the thought of brain-damaged babies or just this terrifying inability I have to say no?
You're supposed to leave this card out and ask friends and family to put £1 coins in it. We don't have family locally and we're not in the sort of neighbourhood where people just drop in. I suppose I could invite people round for a meal and then say casually, 'Oh, by the way, would you like to contribute to brain-damaged babies?'
But it's probably easier if I just do what I always do and write out a cheque myself.
It's the same with raffle tickets. Guide Dogs have me down as a sucker and I never win anything. (But the dogs are awfully sweet.)
And men who come to the door. Only last week a Polish student trying to fund his way through art college came selling drawings. Normally, they're like Tommy, deaf, dumb and blind, and they're selling t-towels that don't work, but his drawings were quite good. What exactly I am going to do with a drawing of a little girl posting a letter is not clear yet, but one day, maybe, he will be very famous and I will have an original. I hadn't thought of that before; that makes me feel much better.
We used to have a gypsy come round. She was spookily accurate in the things she said so, although I didn't really need the lacey things you put under things, I thought it safer to buy than to risk being cursed.
I have been known to hide on spotting JWs or sellers. Isn't it odd how you can tell a JW at 100 paces? I know I should tell them about the love about Jesus, but chances are I'd end up becoming a Mormon.