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?”
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.