Damsel in Distress, pt. 1

I am not usually helpless. I am very good at taking care of myself–you have to be when you have an anxiety disorder; otherwise, your head will probably explode. And that really doesn’t help when you’re trying to look cute.

Pictured: not cute, but I’ve heard some people are into that.

Usually, I am very, very careful about everything. I am one of those people who triple-checks to make sure my doors are locked, double-checks the oven (even–and especially–when I haven’t used it lately), checks the burners, and obsessively blows my nose to make sure I can smell gas leaks (okay, that’s a lie). I even have tried to stop using my microwave because I don’t want to kill my ovaries. Not that I plan on using them anytime soon, but because when I do use them, I’d prefer my eggs have enough time to change into the first generation of mutants since I’ve already used the microwave so much in my life. I want to incubate that radiation, baby.

This is what he’ll look like when he comes out… God, I hope that doesn’t hurt.

But sometimes my cautiousness makes sweet, sweet love to my lack of a short-term memory and the result is a mind-fuck of epic proportions.

One month ago, I returned home from work. Like everyday, the first thing I did was down all of the alcohol ever (that is a lie). No, really what I do everyday is take my poor dog out to go pee. Since I’m cautious, I always lock the doorknob behind me (I did live in south central Los Angeles, after all. I have to be able to take care of myself). It’s a reflex to protect all of my precious belongings (read: books and chocolate chips). But since I’m an idiot, I shut the door behind me and Atreyu with the keys resting comfortably on my couch.

I was about to call my mom when, thankfully, my neighbor showed up. Helpy Helperton* is outwardly an intimidating dude. Burly, tattooed, long blonde hair, handlebar mustache–most days I see him working on motorcycles in our shared garage. He also has a pet male rottweiler (though the dog is a red herring, and is a complete sweetie).

Hulk Hogan joined TNA in late 2009.
He kind of looks like this, only more blonde and way less tragic.

But on the inside, he is one of the friendliest guys ever. I should probably hire him as my bodyguard/best friend. Because yes, I have to pay people to be my friends. Shut up.

Help approached. “Hi, Whitney, how’s it going?”
I laughed. “Great! I just locked myself out. No big deal. I’m not an idiot or anything. I’m SOOOOO BLONDE. Just your typical young, stupid female who is completely idiotic.” Okay. I didn’t really say most of that. I did say, “Great! I just locked myself out, though,” and twittered nervously.
“Really?” he replied. I nodded, tempted to shout “NO I’M JUST KIDDING YOU POOPERFACE HAHA I’M SO FUNNY!” but I refrained. “Well,” he continued, oblivious to my inner sarcasm, “let me put my dog in and I’ll get my keys and we’ll see what I can do.”

I didn’t think his keys would help anything, but what do I know. I’m just a woman who belongs in a binder.

Helpy came back with his keys, and walked the five steps to my front door.

“I don’t know why this would work,” he said ominously. As if he were trying to diffuse a bomb by cutting the red wire, or dubious about the authenticity of condoms.

Front of package for LifeStyles condom
Probably just a hoax, I’ll just keep aspirin in between my knees and pray to God that my pregnancy isn’t part of His plan instead. Probably much more effective.

He paced the key in the lock and turned. The latch snapped–he had dead-bolted my door accidentally.

“Oh!” I squealed,” it’s just the knob that’s locked!”

Mr. Helperton proceeded then to unlock the deadbolt with his key, and unlock the door handle.
His key worked on all of my locks. Front and back door (this sounds like some really weird sexual innuendo, but it’s not, I swear). He laughed–a belly laugh, a grumble, a growl of a laugh.

“Well, that’s reassuring” he chuckled.
I stood, jaw agape, Atreyu by my side smiling ludicrously as only big dogs can.

Then, as I always do when something unfathomably hilarious happens, I guffawed.

“Thanks” I chortled, one hand on my cramping abs, as I wheezed past him back into my house.
“Well, he smiled, walking down my front steps, “I won’t break in if you won’t.”

Three days later, I had my locks changed for peace of mind.

9 thoughts on “Damsel in Distress, pt. 1

  1. WTF? Seriously? Any key…? Any lock…? I once had a lockbox/safe type thingy and once I accidentally used the wrong key and opened it – I promptly went and bought a new box! But your house keys….? Scary!

  2. Pretty scary about the keys! But seriously…you nailed the re-telling…I was completely hysterical laughing…my husband just rolls his eyes now when I am on here. Glad to see someone other than me that is pedantic about locks and stoves lol

  3. Oh MAN! This cracked me up. I live in central LA now, recently got robbed, and have special anxiety quirks too. The key thing would freak the CRAP out of me and I’m impressed that you managed to get through 3 days before changing your locks! Excellent work!

  4. You poor thing. Sounds like a little OCD than anxiety. Still, I’m in the same boat you are. Making sure I’m eating the right things, making sure the dishes are clean, checking my email for people who want to hire me… It can get pretty crazy.

  5. This story really made me laugh! I did the same thing last month. I was staying at my boyfriend’s new house while he was out of the country, and I locked myself and his cat out. The stove was on “high”, too. The neighbor helped me break in with the “credit card” trick. I had no idea that really worked! I couldn’t have been happier (at the time) to have someone be able to break in…still haven’t told my boyfriend exactly HOW I met the new neighbors 😉

    1. Dang Niece: Kinda good that Mr. Helperton unlocked your door [now you know that your locks weren’t worth @#!T and got new ones].

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