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Speaking of my day today, I'm posting this is to make amycurl laugh. Anyway, I wrote an email to my cousin last year, and this is what it said. Every word is true, except the proper names, which have been changed to protect the innocent.

I have a terrible cold, and I lost my voice a couple days ago. In the mornings, I literally can’t speak or I have a coughing fit. The kids are enjoying the up-side of me not yelling at them. Every once in awhile I’ll start banging on something and they turn to look at me --- shocked to see my angry expression. Hopefully this will go away in a few days. This morning, I got a call from this handyman service who’s going to fix a million little things around the house. The faucet won’t stay straight, the bathroom door locks unexpectedly, the cabinet door hinges need tightening, etc, etc. I said (croaked) the guy should come Monday instead of today – too much going on.

After much cleaning, I went to take a shower. I usually take my phone into the bathroom, but didn’t feel like going all the way downstairs to get it. I got undressed and went in to the master bathroom and swung the door shut. That would be the door that locks unexpectedly. So now I was in the 2nd floor bathroom and I couldn’t get out. I processed for a minute. Luckily the kids were all in school. Unluckily, my daughter had to be picked up at 11:00 and the youngest at 11:30, and it was already 10:15. So what’s a girl to do? I took a shower. Finished and THANK GOD, there was a bathrobe in the bathroom. I tried the doorknob for awhile but no good.

This would probably be a good time to tell you that this door has been a problem for awhile. Usually it’s the eldest child (who, at 8, likes his privacy) locking himself in. He bangs until I hear him. Last year, the doorbell rang and a strange woman told me that someone was yelling to her from our second floor bathroom window. It was Lisa, our cleaning lady, who was very much finished cleaning the bathroom.

So I had a lot of time to get this fixed, and finally it was scheduled, but had I told the handyman that today was just no good for me. And now today was turning out to be even less good for me. There is one tiny drawer in this bathroom, with brushes and razors and, promisingly, one screwdriver. (Because there’s a drain-clearing thing you have to do --- don’t ask.) I got this big, flat massagey brush thing and used it as a hammer against the screwdriver to tap out the pins of the door hinges. Free at last, I thought. But the door wouldn’t budge. The edge of the door wouldn’t clear the hinge rings (?) attached to the door frame, if that makes any sense, so I couldn’t pull the door off. I unscrewed the doorknob plate, but that did absolutely nothing to move it, making me wonder why it required screws. I tried the doorknob until it came off in my hand. It’s a beautiful, art-deco piece of crap, apparently made out of several layers of tin foil.

The window faces our street, which is medium-busy, but there’s not much foot traffic in January. Besides --- and here’s where I turn into a sitcom character --- I couldn’t yell for anyone even if I’d wanted to surrender my dignity in that particular way. I could barely make a sound. But I figured if a neighbor walked by, I could gesticulate wildly and maybe they’d see me and call a locksmith for me. (While I was futzing with the hinges, a police car drove right by, but I couldn’t get to the window in time.) I opened the window, raised the storm, lowered the screen, and prepared for rescue.

Thank God It’s Friday, because our babysitter, Sarah, comes on Fridays at 11:30. I figured they’d just keep my daughter at St. James school, and she’d be confused but safe. Maybe Sarah could even make it in time to pick up the youngest, at preschool, because their pickup window goes until 11:45. Through the door, I heard the phone ring and figured it was about 11:10 and it was St. James calling to see where the Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph I was. Finally, I saw a silver sedan drive up and I thought it was Sarah. Hooray! She pulled up and parked past my house, on the opposite side of the street. There was a tree-trunk blocking my view, so I couldn’t confirm that it was her, but I thought so. Yay! And then she just didn’t get out of the car. I realized that she was waiting for me to return home from school with the kids and pull into the driveway. I hung out the window and yelled (croaked) to her, but no good.

There was a high school girl coming down that side of the street, with a very clear view of me, so when she got close I leaned out and got her attention. As she approached, I rasped to her that I was locked in and I thought that was my babysitter in the silver car and would she please go tell her to come here. She looked at me like I was crazy. She was at that age where she tries to avoid being noticed or called to action in any way, so she was thinking this was SO not part of her job description. I said (scratched), “Just. Go. Ask. If. Her. Name. Is. Sarah. Tell. Her. To. Come. Here!” She went to the car stopped for a few seconds, and then walked away! I found a little bit of my voice, and yelled, “Is she coming?” The girl said, “I don’t know…she’s on her cell phone.” At that moment I wanted access to this kid’s permanent record, so I could make sure any universities or future employers knew how NOT a take-charge person she was, how BEREFT of initiative, and how she was like the OPPOSITE of a people person. On the other side of the door, I heard the phone ringing, because...Sarah’s on her cell phone. Calling me.

Thankfully, the light bulb appeared over Sarah’s head, she got out of her car and saw me. To her credit, she only laughed for a few seconds, and then wrote down the phone numbers and steps in the plans and contingency plans needed to get my kids and get me out. As you know, schools just don’t hand kids over to anyone who shows up wanting them. Obtaining the youngest requires a big laminated number and a car seat (if you want him to drive away with you). Sarah had neither, as they were safe in the locked garage. Contingency: my friend Jill, whom they know at the preschool, might be able to secure his release. At St. James, they let my daughter go when she says, “I see my mom.” Since they knew something was up (I hadn’t picked up the daughter), I thought they might let Sarah take her. They’d either believe Sarah’s story or figure my absence was evidence that I had been knocked unconscious --- part of Sarah’s master plan to kidnap my children and sell them into slavery. They chose the former, and let her take the daughter, and I’m still not sure how I feel about that. The youngest’s teacher recognized Sarah and bent the number-rule and let him go as well. They all went to my sister’s house and got my extra keys and came back and freed me. (Because the heartbreaking fact is that the door is opened quite easily from the other side.) My daughter was thrilled to be part of the rescue. Her mom is like Rapunzel now, and she couldn’t be happier.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm not amycurl, but that story is hilarious. Thanks for sharing it with everybody.
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
Oh Mary! I can see the humor but it could have been bad. Thank goodness it ended well! *hug*
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
All that cut and pasted just for me? Aww....I'm sooo not worthy. :-) But it did make me laugh out loud, especially your indignation at the high school student, and Sarah's child slavery master plan. :-)

You're a very good storyteller. No wonder I like you so much. :-)
Thanks, honey.
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
Hee! I'm sorry you had such a rubbish day (and I'm so glad you're on the good side of the door this time!) but the way you tell it is absolutely brilliant Mary. You could sell it as a short story.
Dec. 18th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
I found this story quite amusing and entertaining. then again if you knew how pathetic my life is right now you wouldn't feel so special. You are very resourceful in an emergency! We should have question "if you had to be stuck with a keytuskid on a deserted island which would it be?"
Dec. 18th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
Hey, that's good! I really think you should open a thread with that some night, dee.
Dec. 18th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
I can just picture all of this... I'm glad you can look back and laugh at the comedy of errors. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope your newest situation resolves itself soon.
Dec. 18th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
That's a great story, mary! Although it probably wasn't very much fun living through it;-)
Dec. 18th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
That is quite funny actually.

Although having said that I once got locked in at work. I called the police but then my colleague came back (she had realised that she had locked me in.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )