Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keys (part 2)

Apparently I didn't learn my lesson with the car rental key incident in April. I've since had 2 more occurrences of key misplacement with the most recent event on Tuesday.

My mom went out of town for a few days, placing me in charge of feeding her cat for one day. (She has returned from her trip, allowing me to post this entry without worrying that someone who knows her will read this and break into her house) Tuesday morning I went over to her house to feed the cat. I only have 3 keys on my keyring; my car key, the house key and my mom's house key...or so I thought.

The first hint of trouble began when I inserted the key into the deadbolt and it wouldn't budge. The door is a bit older and I haven't unlocked it in a while, so thinking there was a trick to unlocking the door, I pulled the door, pushed the door and jiggled the doorknob while trying to turn the key in the lock.

I was deep in denial my friends. I wasn't mentally prepared for the fact that I had the wrong key. I shoved the key in the doorknob. I even went to the backdoor to try that lock (But the locked screen door thwarted my attempts.) After exhausting my attempts, I stared at the door, willing it to open while desperately trying to push the fact that I had the wrong key out of my mind. But there was no other alternative to veer me from the inevitable truth. To confirm I had the wrong key, I placed my house key into the lock and met the same results.

I had the wrong key.

I looked over to my left and found my mom's neighbor talking to the people who lived in the house next door to him. I was embarrassed that I didn't have mom's key and wasn't quite ready to ask him for help yet. So instead, I called my mother-in-law.

"You're never going to guess what has happened to me." I said as soon as she answered the phone.

"Uh oh." She replied.

"Do you have a key to my mom's house? I thought I had her key, but I don't. I'm standing at her front door."

"No, I don't. Is there a neighbor who may have a key?"

At this point I'm behind the bushes next to the door looking under a few large rocks in the hopes I would find a spare key.

"I don't think any of her neighbors has a key, but I know the next door neighbor. I could ask him for help." I replied.

"What about a window? Do you think she has an unlocked window?"

I hadn't thought of the possibility of an unlocked window. The chances of my mom leaving a window unlocked was pretty unlikely, but my choices were limited and I was getting desperate.

"I doubt it. She's got those new windows." I said. I pressed against the window next to the front door and it moved. "Hey! She does have an unlocked window!"

At this point Mom's neighbor was crossing the lawn with a perplexed look on his face. After explaining my predicament, he brought a step ladder that would give me an easier time climbing through the window.

I fed the cat without incident and climbed out the way I entered and closed the window.

Here's house key incident #2.

This occurred in May. I was supposed to meet 2 friends from work for an afternoon movie. I woke up in a lousy mood. I just wasn't feeling it, so to speak. I should have known the day was going to take a nosedive when I checked my car oil to find the dipstick bone dry and I couldn't open the oil lid. I tried opening it with a towel and then a wrench. The towel slipped around and the wrench was laughably small. At this point I was nearly in tears because I was already sad and not up to even the smallest challenge a day could sometimes throw your way.

I called one of the girls and told her I probably wouldn't make it because my car was out of oil and I couldn't open the oil lid. I told her I would continue to try the lid, but not to wait for me. After hanging up I went back into the house to get a different towel. A different plan was forming in my mind. I grabbed a towel that wasn't of terry cloth material and used my body for additional leverage.

"Come on you M&*F!!!" I said, pulling my body back along with the lid.

The plan worked and the lid came off. Elated, I poured the needed oil into the car and called my friend back. I was indeed going to meet them at the movies. I hung up and realized that I left my keys in the house. I went to the door adjoining the garage and found it locked. The damn door was locked. Cursing my luck, I called that poor girl back to say that I wasn't coming after all. I think this time I may have cried.

Like my mother-in-law, my friend suggested trying a window and again, I was skeptical, but was willing to try anything. The front windows were locked, but the side window was unlocked. Now here was the tricky part. The window was next to an elevated flower bed. If the window was directly under the flower bed, I would have been able to open the window and climb in.

But no such luck.

Before I go on further, I must tell you about the state of our yard, as it will come in to play here in a minute. Our yard is an urban jungle. It is overrun with honeysuckle, rose of sharon, winter creeper and a multitude of thick, shrubby vegetation. I've been working on clearing the backyard a little at a time the last few years, but I've neglected the side yard. And as a result, the side yard was nearly a thicket of young trees and other unidentifiable plants.

I retrieved a ladder and began the arduous task of shoving the ladder over the fence and through the tangle of limbs and leaves to place it under the window. We had had a bout of rain and the ground was very spongy. It seemed no matter where I placed the ladder, it either sank into the wet ground or leaned dangerously to one side. The area to place the ladder was very limited due to the aforementioned trees and thick shrubs. I picked the spot where the ladder wobbled the least and began to climb. I had one more obstacle, or rather 3 obstacles between me and the indoors.

The room I was about to enter was our office and under the window sat 2 computers and a TV. How was I going to get through the window and into the room without knocking the electronics over? And would the table on which the electronics sat be able to support my weight?

After carefully making my way past the wires and monitors, I jumped off the table and into the room, setting off the burglar alarm. (And when did I set the damn alarm?) When the alarm company called and asked if everything was ok, I could only laugh.

I have since locked that window, thus closing any opportunities for breaking and entering into my own home in the event I don't have my keys.

But what is the possibility of me losing my house keys again?

Maybe I shouldn't try my luck.


  1. Wow! You need to find a really good hiding place for a spare key! Or two or three.

  2. I need 2 or 3 spare keys for my house and my mom's house and probably my in-law's house too. I'm pretty good now at climbing through windows so if it happens again, I'll be a pro.

  3. Or you could start a new career as a cat burglar.