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.
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.
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).
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.
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.