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Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Friend in Need


No one wants to get locked out of the house.

And that goes double in February in Minneapolis.

My landlord had let me know, of course, that he and a housing inspector would be stopping by Tuesday morning.

And that was fine with me.

What was not fine with me was that the landlord locks both the deadbolt and the door knob when he leaves.  I do not do this.  In my world, the deadbolt is enough of a lock.  So when I let myself in after work Tuesday evening, I unlocked them both, came in, changed into my flannel pants and a cashmere sweater and made myself a bowl of soup.  I wrote for a couple hours and then thought to myself, Hey, how about you go outside and do some shoveling?

I put on my boots, my coat, my gloves, and step out on to the deck.

Shovel shovel shovel.

Geez it’s cold out here.  I step back, survey the neighborhood, look up to see the way the stars twinkle, cold and aloof in the winter sky.

And when I go to let myself back in, the door is locked.

9:30 in the evening, it’s dark out, and it’s 10 degrees.

!@#$!@#$!

You see, the reason I don’t lock both locks is because the lock on the knob requires, once you unlock it and step into the house, that you go one step further and adjust the little doohickey on the knob itself so that it doesn’t relock itself.

The deadbolt, of course, is unlocked, but the knob, from the outside, remains locked.

And here you thought you had, hours earlier, unlocked it.

In the cold dark, I press my nose against the door, an all-glass affair covered with sheer drapes. 

My glass of Moscato sits next to my laptop, alone and undrunk. 

!@#$!@#$!

I try the door again.  No.  It’s locked. 

I fly down the steps that snake their way up the outside of the house, down to the first floor, where I find Diana, mid-smoke.  I curse in several languages.

“Settle down!” she says.  “It’s no problem.  Really.  I’m happy to drive you to the landlord.  Let’s make a call.”

The landlord, a bartender at an upscale restaurant in Uptown, takes the call, says he’ll leave the key with the valet.

An hour later, I can let myself back into my place.

And the Moscato is warm, but there’s more in the fridge.


Diana is a dear person, a good city driver, and a helluva friend.  And I am taking her out to dinner Thursday night.

36 comments:

Powdered Toast Man said...

Its a good thing you didn't go out for a quick streaking.

joeh said...

YOu need to share duplicate keys with your neighbor, and maybe hide another where noone would think to find it...like under the welcome mat...yeah, no one would ever look there.

Getting locked out of house or car is one of the worst feelings ever.

Pearl said...

PTM, HA! Think of the goosepimpling...

Joe, my heart sank. I am very lucky to have a friend -- and a good one! -- just two floors below me.

bill lisleman said...

Does Diana like Moscato? You should make the Thursday dinner more memorable.
We have keys of neighbors and they have ours. Of course that doesn't mean they would forget where they put the key. I never use that door knob lock. I've had that poorly designed thing get pushed into lock by bumping it. Does bumping things go well with Moscato? I've never had it.

Pearl said...

bill, so far, I've found that everything goes better with a bit of Moscato. :-) And yes: Diana and I are STILL trying to figure out how this particular door knob/lock design is good for anything/anyone...

Daisy said...

Brrr! I'm glad Diana was there to come to your rescure. Hope you enjoy your dinner.

The lesson I take from this is that shoveling snow makes bad things happen and should be avoided at all costs!! :D

Shelly said...

That is exactly the scenario wherein I would have died my first day in Minnesota in the winter.

You Northerners are sturdy folk. And thankful to Diana for saving you!

terlee said...

I also have one of those jiggle it doohickey door locks. After locking myself out twice (yeah, once wasn't enough), I now have keys stashed everywhere: with my neighbor, in my car, the garage, under the fourth rock nine steps to the left of...well, never mind. Point is: get extra keys.

It was really nice of your neighbor to help. Enjoy your dinner!!

TexWisGirl said...

i thought i heard swearing the other night... :)

Camille said...

Two words...duct tape. Place a small piece over that button doohickey and no one will ever turn it behind your back again. And it's so darn attractive too! It's a win-win situation.

jenny_o said...

Our door does this too! Except it's not supposed to, and it only does it SOME of the time. It's like a lottery, only a bad one, and you don't want to win. When I'm home alone and have to go out for a second, I always have my keys on me. Paranoid? Yeah. Getting locked out will do that to ya.

I'm glad you didn't freeze out there!

vanilla said...

So glad you are blessed with a good friend nearby. I can't think of anything funny to say; it wasn't a funny situation.

Jackie said...

Bless Diana's heart!
Does she read your blog?
If not, make sure that she knows that your friends thinks she tops, too!
I'm glad that you didn't freeze to death out there while trying to get back in. Brrrrr...
Smiles,
Jackie

Douglas said...

Change the doorknob lock. That means buy a new doorknob... one without a inside piece that does not release when the door is unlocked with a key. Make copies of the new key; give one to the landlord and one to Diana.

Enjoy that dinner with Diana.

Pearl said...

Thanks, everyone.

Diana's a sweetheart, and I am lucky to have her as a friend. :-)

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I am so glad you had your friend and got back into your place.
Hey - a Moscato is a terrible thing to waste (as is even a Miller Lite, for that matter).
And bonus: You didn't freeze. What would I do without my PPVZ?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

OOOOOH. On a cold snowy night, no less. Glad you had a friend!

Susan Kane said...

A frozen Pearl is no fun at all. Glad you de-frosted with Moscato and lived to write about this.

Joanne Noragon said...

What's an upscale landlord like? I never had one of those. Or Moscato, back in those days.

Buttons said...

Yeah for heroes named Diana. B

Sioux said...

Moscato...My favorite.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I bet that Moscato never tasted so good. I hope you and Diana have a fabulous dinner.

xoRobyn

Geo. said...

"Hey, how about you go outside and do some shoveling?"

See, this is the sort of sentence that just never bodes well. When governments utter it, there's usually a war or something.

Lin said...

At least you were prepared for the cold weather if you were gonna be locked out. Imagine if you ran out in your jammies and flip-flops or something. Yikes.

I love that Diana. :) Good to have someone to help you.

Gigi said...

You just gave me a flashback to the last time we got locked out - only it was August (i.e., wicked heat), I think.

Making note to self "GET THOSE EXTRA KEYS MADE NOW!"

NotesFromAbroad said...

This is why someone I know, keeps an extra key in a place that is always with them, whenever they walk out the door.
Someone else I know, learned to hide a key somewhere because she locked herself out too many times.
Thank god for the Dianas in the world !!

Stef said...

Oh man! That really stinks. I have had a similar problems...except my husband was inside the house...sitting where I could see him. Unfortunately, he is Deaf and so couldn't hear me pounding, ringing, screaming. Ugh. Where was my Diana. Sigh.

Rose L said...

Coulda been worse--like stepping out to get the mail by making a mad dash in your nightgown and slippers sans panties. Chilled buns...LOL

River said...

Thank heavens for Diana!
I think you should get a spare key or two and leave one with Diana, maybe wear the other on a chain around your neck. It could become the latest thing in pendants. Set a trend.

Tempo said...

In the cold part of the year thats got to be 'inconvenient'

Perpetua said...

A good neighbour is worth her weight in gold, Pearl. Make sure that's a really good dinner on Thursday.

Glad it all ended happily, but that was one nasty situation in the depths of a Minnesotan winter.

jeanie said...

Another bonus of Paradise (besides the balmy weather - cough cough) is that I keep a key in a very safe place so that I never am locked out - it is in the lock!

Still, dinner excuses are always welcome.

esbboston said...

People lock doors? Hmm.

Linda O'Connell said...

Glad you didn't freeze your doohickeys off. Thank goodness for Dianna.

That Janie Girl said...

Oh my GOSH! What a wreck!!

My landlord would have been in Switzerland or something.

Thank God he was around.

Roshni AaMom said...

I hate the cold....cannot even imagine... no! Cannot!!