Sunday, April 30, 2006


.................. about a month ago (and I can't believe I haven't put this up here sooner), the hubby and I were in the bedroom (don't worry, this is G rated). It was about 8:15pm. The little punkin was in bed, I was watching television, and the husband was looking at some of his school assignments. He got up to go to the kitchen... turned the doorknob... turned the doorknob again... turned the doorknob again while muttering curses under his breath. Guess what?

The door wouldn't open.

Now, this particular doorknob has given us problems since we bought the house (almost 8 years ago), and I'd been asking the husband (for about a month) to put some WD-40 on it, which usually takes care of the problem (but he didn't). The inevitable had finally happened. The latch on this thing was completely sprung and would not move a millimeter. My husband, God love him, was trying with all his might to get the door open... turning and twisting the knob and pulling as hard as he could and cussing the whole time, but nothing was happening.

Husband's idea #1: Take the doorknob off and pop the latch. A great idea but... 1) we don't keep a screwdriver in the bedroom (silly me) and 2) the screw for the doorknob is on the other side of the door.

Husband's idea #2: He'll crawl out the window and come in the front door and open the door from the outside. Another great idea but... we're settled in for the evening, so the front door is locked. Neither one of us has our keys with us. Mine are on the dining room table. His are in a basket by the front door.

Husband's idea #3: Try to jimmy the door open using a plastic card from his wallet. Although the problem was not that the door was locked, he gave it his all, but to no avail. And now his library card is ruined.

Notice that, yes, all these ideas are coming from the husband. I wasn't in the background panicking. There are times when it's best for me just to step back and let my husband do his 'man-thing', and I try my best to oblige him whenever these situations come up. Plus, it was a Tuesday and House was about to come on.

Husband's idea #4: Call his brother, who lives about 10 minutes from us, to ask if he still has the key we gave him when he house-sat for us about 4 years ago while we were on vacation.

I'm sure it doesn't come as a shock that I don't really care for my brother-in-law all that much. He has a very irritating personality. He is constantly trying to impress my father-in-law. For the first 18 months of my son's life, he would pretend to offer the boy a beer and a cigarette whenever he was over to play cards. Apparently, this was supposed to be amusing. Several times, he compared caring for our child to he and his wife caring for their dogs... "Well, when one of the dogs acts up/won't stop whining/whatever, we smack it on the nose with a rolled up newspaper." This was supposed to be amusing, also, but one night I'd had my fill, snapped at him after one of these comments, stormed out of the room and slammed the bedroom door so hard that (I'm not kidding) a picture fell off the wall. At that point, my father-in-law looked at my husband and said "She doesn't really think that he thinks the boy is a dog, does she?"

Oh my God.

But here we were, stuck in our bedroom, the boy asleep across the hall in his crib, and our best option for getting out of this alive is calling the brother-in-law that makes my eyes roll back in my head. Couldn't we call 9-1-1 instead? Isn't this an emergency? I can feel the oxygen supply decreasing rapidly, and too me that makes it an emergency.

But not really.

So the husband calls...

"Hi M, it's K. Is E home?"
"Can you ask him to call me when he's done?"
"Okay, thanks. Hey, do you know if he still has the key we gave him when he house-sat for us a few years ago?"
"No... we're not locked out of the house. There's something wrong with the latch on our bedroom door, and we can't get the door open."
(It was at this moment that our humiliation became etched in the family history books. Did I hear laughter coming through the phone? I hung my head in shame.)
"Yeah, just have him come over whenever he's done. And can you ask him to be kind of quiet when he comes in? W's already asleep."

Twenty or so minutes later, we heard the front door quietly open and close. Then the doorknob rattled as E tried to open the door from the hallway. Then, a quiet knocking on the door. Did he think he'd be interrupting something?

"K? It's E." Would there be anyone else standing in our hallway at this moment? "I'm going to have to take the doorknob off. Where are your screwdrivers?"

They worked for over an hour, first getting the doorknob off, then prying apart the latch. It was as if the latch had fused itself into the door frame, and the only way to get it out was to completely destroy it with a screwdriver and a hammer. I got a very dirty look when I helpfully said (still annoyed that we were in this situation in the first place, and convinced that we would not be if he'd listened to me and oiled-up the door like I'd been asking him too) "Hopefully the house won't catch on fire while we're stuck in here", so I laid on the bed and watched House. I think my brother-in-law could sense that it was best not to make any comments on the situation once we were freed, but I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was storing away all sorts of smart-ass comments that he would unleash on K the next time they play cards. Like he needs any ammunition for his 7th-grade sense of humor.

And, of course, our son slept through the whole thing.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

OMG!!! I don't know whether to laugh at the insanity of the situation... or what!?! I remember once long ago, after getting locked out of my bedroom... my father... instead of getting the butter knife and hammer that I needed to fix the situation decided to break down my damn door!!!