Gentle Reader, tell me who is to blame?

Last week was my birthday.  My husband flew home from southern California to celebrate with me.

Thursday, while I worked during the afternoon, I sent him out on some errands.  He was kind enough to take my van for an emissions test and then for a car wash.  (I have an inexplicable aversion to car washes.  I blame my long-dead father.)

Since my husband has moved, he no longer has a regular set of keys that includes house-keys.  I handed him a single van key as he left on his quest.  Perfect.

Later on, after I finished worked, we gathered up our four kids and climbed into the van and went to eat at Red Robin.  A nice time was had by all.

We returned home at about 7 p.m.  As I emerged from the van, I heard my husband say from the shadows of the sidewalk leading to our house, “Do you have the keys?”

The keys.

By that, he meant a house key.

No.  I did not have the keys.  I left my complete set of keys hanging in their usual spot on the refrigerator.  I didn’t grab them because I wasn’t driving.  Why would I take my keys?

“Why didn’t you bring your keys?” he asked.

“Twelve years of habit,” I answered.  I could tell he totally thought this was my fault.  I absolutely believed it was his fault.

No problem, I think.  My teenagers have a separate entrance to the house and they habitually forget to lock their doorknob.  (They have a deadbolt with a number combination.)

But, not this time.  This time, in response to my husband’s reminder, they locked the doorknob and the deadbolt.

The patio door was locked.  Every window was locked.

My 8-year old daughter began to cry.  One of her many fears is being locked out–or locked in.  I assured her we’d get in, that there was no problem, that everything was fine.

My husband left us all in the cold, dark driveway and drove to his handyman friend’s house.  (He couldn’t call him because he’d inadvertently erased all his contacts from his phone.)

The rest of us stayed behind to mill around and leave fingerprints on all the windows as we tried to break into our own house.  Within a few minutes, we were joined by two teenagers–one who came to visit and one who came to spend the night.  My neighbor and his son came from down the street after his wife read my Facebook status about being locked out.

Meanwhile, I called another friend and he sent me the number of a locksmith.

Long story short, the locksmith arrived.  He could not pick the locks of either door.  (They were too new, he said.)  He ended up having to drill a hole in the doorknob, thus destroying it.

Forty-five minutes and $120 later, we were back into our house.

Now, who is to blame?

Me, for not bringing my own set of keys even though I never bring keys if I’m not driving?
Him, for not realizing that he only had a van key and no house key?
The teenager for locking his doorknob?

We managed not to fight over this stupid incident . . . when you’ve been married as long as we have you look at these situations as opportunities for a great Facebook status or material for a blog post.  As someone on Facebook pointed out, “Everyone needs a good Locked Out of the House story.”

Now we have ours.

5 thoughts on “Gentle Reader, tell me who is to blame?

  1. I share your daughter’s fear of being locked out. I have a house key planted outside, just in case. But, I still worry about not having the proper key for the proper lock. If I put my keys in my purse, shut it, and then move to pull a door shut behind me, I often stop to open my purse, just to check and make sure I indeed put my keys there a moment ago.

    Only good thing about YOUR locked out story, is that you have someone else who could be at fault. Me? I’m it – the only one at fault if I am not properly organized with keys in hand (or purse or ???).

    Which is worse, do you think – being solely responsible, or having someone else to question??? Hmmm –


  2. I don’t think there is a clear cut answer to your blame question…though I know I’d think it was my husband’s fault if it was us :). If it had to be one, though, I’d probably have to go with you (sorry) since you are the one possession of the key. Since it is fairly rare that my husband and I leave the house together (we’re usually leaving for work separately) and my car keys are separate from the rest of my keys, we always have the “do you have keys?” yelling question as we’re trying to leave the house and lock up.

    Sorry for the troubles….but at least you have your story now :).


  3. ah, locked out. never done that….yet. i have my keys with me all the time when i go out, and my cell phone. even if i am taking Kane for his/our walk. pretty good habit to get into. glad it didn’t cost you more. take care 😉


  4. It sounds much like my husband and I getting locked out of our rental car in CA last summer, a perfect storm of blame to be shared equally, with none actually falling on either party.

    While going to my husband’s hang gliding lesson, we would be hiking down a mile and a half dusty road, and thus, I chose to go sans purse. We got out of the car on the road, I stuck my cell phone in my back pocket, then husband, daughter and I gathered around the trunk of the car to apply sunscreen. I carefully placed my purse in the corner of the trunk. I even skipped bringing my wallet, as there was nothing to buy in an empty field, and I dismissed my usual fear of “being found injured/dead without ID” as irrational in this situation.

    Husband, also thinking ahead, didn’t want a huge rental car key ring (two identical keys cabled together, a huge fob, and the rental company’s ID tag) jabbing him in his pocket, so he carefully placed the keys in my purse while my back was turned. Because of course I never go anywhere without my purse. Neither of us, of course, actually communicated our intent to the other until about 30 seconds *after* the trunk slammed shut.

    So yeah, I got to spend an hour waiting for a locksmith to come to Nowhere, CA. Having to convince said locksmith that he could indeed find me without a physical address but “about a half mile east of the intersection of Highway blah and Something or other road” is a whole ‘nother story. 😉

    Oh, did I mention that our flight out was that afternoon? We were an hour from civilization, and over 2 hours from the airport. It was tense for a bit there.


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