Thursday, January 25, 2007

Not Mechanically Inclined

I had grand plans for tonight. Dan had me scheduled for "legs", meaning that my knee had finally recovered enough from a nasty fall down the stairs at Sam Wo's (note the comment about the narrow stairs) to handle a good workout. Jenny and Joseph and I were going to grab some dinner at a cafe in Glendale. Leah, Jill, Martel, and I were going to have Girls Night Out. And Iain was going to hang out with his buddy Levi and Godfather Matt.

Apparently, I was not supposed to have grand plans. First off, Joseph was coughing up a lung, sweating out a fever, and in no shape to do anything other than stay in bed. To be honest, that worked out better for Jenny as well who was feeling a bit overwhelmed and quite happy to reschedule. It also meant that I would actually have time to shower and primp before going out with the girls, so I wasn't heartbroken either.

Unfortunately, when I arrived home at 3:30 to grab my gym clothes, things went terribly awry. Just like every other night for the past two years, I put my key in the lock, unlocked the deadbolt, pushed down on the lever, and pushed on the door. Unlike every other night for the past two years, nothing happened. The door wouldn't budge. The deadbolt was still engaged.

What the heck? Trying again. Put key in lock. Turn key. Push lever. Open door.


Not being easily discouraged, I skipped around back and came in through the kitchen. "I'll just open the front door from the inside and see what the problem is."

Nope. Couldn't open it from the inside either. Here is where I made the crucial mistake...

"I'll just take the lock off the door and fix it."

Dalton is laughing right now. Really, really hard.

Oh, I got the lock off the door alright. The problem was getting it back on. So there I was cross-legged in my work clothes with a pile of deadbolt parts in front of me realizing that there was no way I was going to make it to the gym for my appointment and that I had no way to lock my front door while I picked Iain up from daycare. Most people would have at least one of several solutions to this predicament. Most people have two locks on their door, know their neighbors, have family nearby, or have a spouse/other parent to pick the kiddos up in case of "emergency". I, on the other hand, was stumped. Seriously. I was so perplexed by the circumstances that I got up from the floor, poured myself a glass of wine, sat down on the couch and did nothing.

Five minutes later, Leah called. After explaining the situation to her, she suggested that I at least try to get ahold of a locksmith. After all, I still had almost 2 hours before I had to leave to get Iain and they might be able to get the door fixed in time. Following her suggestion, I called the second (never the first) locksmith that popped up on a google search for "locksmith west covina". Lucky me! They would be out within the hour. And, they would fix the lock by 6:10 so that I could pick Iain up by 6:30. Yipee.

It didn't work out that way. An hour later they hadn't arrived. When I called the dispatcher, he nonchalantly explained that they were running about an hour late and would see me around 6:30. I politely (I think) explained that I needed to pick up my son from daycare. In turn he said, "Go ahead."

Yeah, and leave my front door wide open!

The closest friends I have in proximity to my home are Joseph and Katie. Joseph, who was coughing up a lung. Katie, who was coughing up both lungs. They are about 12 miles away. After them there's a handful of folks in Pasadena, but that is about 20 miles from my house. And it was 5:15. In Southern California. No one can go 20 miles in an hour at 5:15 in Southern California.

I called Joanna, my easternmost Pasadena friend, and told her my predicament. Without hesitation, she answered, "I'm on my way."

Like I said, no one can go 20 miles in an hour at 5:15, but she was close. I was a little late getting Iain. The door was open for about 10 minutes. And, I felt a little better when the locksmith told me that the lock was indeed broken. Joanna stayed for dinner and drinks. Iain watched the Wiggles. I was reminded once again of why I need to move in closer to my friends.

I think most young widows, especially those with children, move "home". By that I mean that they return to the place where their parents live. Since my parents are both dead, that isn't the best option for me. And since Dalton's parents live in Apple Valley and I would be dead if I had to live there (um, the annual happy trails roundup...), that isn't the best option for me either. Luckily, I have amazing friends. Friends who will drive an hour to wait for a locksmith while I run to pick up Iain. Friends who will gladly babysit so that I can get some much needed adult time. Friends who will just hang out while I sort through the reminders of my life with Dalton. Friends who will wrap up dishes and help me pack. Even on my most misearble days, I know how lucky I am to have friends like these.

The same cannot be said for the second locksmith on my google search of "locksmith west covina". Next time, I think I'll try the first.


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