Disaster seems to follow me like its a hungry stray and I’m dangling a hot dog. My latest disaster resulted from a chain of events that started with a nasty cold and ended, well—I’ll get to that. I’d become well acquainted with a repulsive cough syrup that advertised itself as berry flavor, but only if the berries had fermented in a dumpster. It made me loopy, so when I drove my husband’s car the night before, I’d forgotten to turn off the headlights. On Saturday morning his battery was dead. We used my car to jump his car and all was again right in my world. He went to McDonald’s for his morning coffee and I went to get ready for my writer’s club meeting.
After my shower, I saw that my key ring wasn’t in its usual place. I gave the house a quick search, then realized that my husband must have left my keys in my car. I went out to check—luckily he’d left the car door open—but the keys weren’t there either.
I went back to my front door—it was locked. If there is a more helpless feeling than being locked out of your house, it has to be being locked out of your house while wearing only a fuzzy pink bathrobe.
I thought, I’ll just call my husband to see if he’s accidentally taken both sets of keys, then it hits me that my phone is in the house. But, no problem, my neighbor across the street is my designated cat feeder when I’m away and has a copy of my house key, so I barefoot it to her door and ring the bell. Her three miniature Dobermans yap themselves silly, but no one answers.
Frantic, I try the neighbor beside my house. Not home.
And the neighbor on the other side. Not home.
Now I’m freaking out, because I’m president of the writer’s club and our holiday party and open mic was starting in less than an hour. Besides running the meeting, I was bringing the plates, napkins, name badges, sign-up sheets and my famous mint chocolate cookies.
Then I remembered a woman several houses down whom I’d met about 20 years ago. I ran down and knocked on her door. She answered in her fuzzy pink bathrobe.
I explained and she said, “No problem,” and handed me her phone. To which I thought, Yes, problem. “I don’t know my husband’s cell phone number. It’s programmed into my phone. Which is in my house.”
Feeling idiotic, I asked her to drive to McDonald’s and get my husband. “He’ll be the one with a pink newspaper.” I was pretty sure that no one else in the morning crowd read the London Financial Times.
While she got dressed and drove off, my cold tootsies and I waited in my car. And instead of kicking myself for my stupidity, the writer in me sat there thinking, You know, someday this will make a good story.
I also thought, I’d better memorize my husband’s cell phone number.