Locked Out

When Erin and I lived in Kirksville, it was impossible to lock yourself out of the house (assuming you never lost the key). In other words, you had to have a key to lock the door when you were leaving.

You don’t have to have a key to lock the door when you leave our home in Topeka.

The Setting

Erin had left that morning for an overnight trip to a conference. I wouldn’t see her until the following day in the early afternoon. After a day of working on the house and unpacking, I was relaxing for a spell. The weather was turning ugly. I stepped out onto our screened in porch to have a look at the inclement weather, and decided it would be a good idea to pull the car into the garage. I turned around to go back inside. The door was locked.

The Situation

“Ooooooohhhh F***!”

The front door was dead bolted. The door I just walked out had the knob locked. The keys were inside. My phone was inside. My wallet was inside. There were no secret ways through a window to get in the house. 


The Synopsis

I sat down on a chair that was in our screened in porch and watched the torrential down pour followed by near golf ball sized hail. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and thought to myself, “I got this, I’ve read The Martian.” (This has become a common saying of mine ever since this happened).

The time was around 10pm. It would be about 16 hours until Erin showed up. I considered what it would be like to sleep on the porch, wait out the storm, go without food and water for that long, etc.

Maybe 10 minutes passed when I thought, “Yeah, there is no f***ing way.”  I needed help.

Within this new philosophy of Minimalism, nurturing relationships is pretty important. As someone who is extremely independent, it is difficult to ask for help. Especially when it is from someone who I have barely met.

I ran two doors down, where I had met two of the three couples that were renting that house. One of the couples was sitting on the couch watching TV. They waved me in and I explained my predicament. Justin asked me if both doors were dead bolted, and I explained that one was not. He then left the room and his girlfriend Anne leant me her phone so I could call Erin.

Erin let me know that there was a key at her folks house in Lawrence. I had forgotten about that. So, I needed to brainstorm how to get this key from Lawrence back to Topeka.

Actually, brainstorming any further was unnecessary. Justin, a mechanic by trade, came back into the room and told me to take him to the door that wasn’t dead bolted. After a little credit card work and a little bump from his shoulder, I was in my house. 

He saved me such a huge headache. All I gave him was a beer and much gratitude.

It felt good to ask for help and have that small bonding moment with the neighbors.

Erin and I have one of these outside our door now, and we pretend there are no longer any locks on the knobs. As much as I enjoyed bonding with my neighbors over this incident, we’ll have to bond over something else next time.

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