Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When my keys were on the wrong side of my door.

As I alluded to in my previous post about last week's studyscapes, I was locked out of my apartment from Saturday night to about 2pm on Sunday. I wanted to share a little bit about that adventure.

First of all, I would like to proudly state that this is the first time I have locked myself out of my apartment in Syracuse. This will doubtlessly shock and surprise some people, mostly the Office Coordinator of the Religion Department, who has taken to asking me every time I breeze through the office, "Maria, do you have all your items? Double check." This is because I have left pretty much anything anyone can leave in an office. Twice. Keys, books, pens, scarves, headbands, cardigans.... they've all been left there so frequently that every time something is left in the graduate student lounge, people assume it's mine.

But I've never locked myself out. I've always managed to locate my keys before needing them. This is largely due to the fact that my keychain is pretty sizable. One of my friends recently demanded why my keychain was so big, even though I think it is moderately sized. He seemed to think I had too many keys. And yes, I have a few keys that probably open locks somewhere, although I would be hard pressed to know which locks exactly. But still. They must be important, or else they would not be on my keychain. Here are the non-key items I have on my keychain:

I have a tiny flashlight, a small "DePaul University" keychain some staff members gave me when I graduated and completed my term as Vice-President of Student Government, and a small beaded hippo my ex-boyfriend gave me from South Africa. He told me that it reminded him of me. And it's a hippo. Considering I didn't stop feeling fat every time anyone looked at me or breathed in my general direction until rather recently, I felt kind of insulted about this. But I do think the hippo is cute, so I keep it.

Back to the other night: I had gone to a bar with my friend Emma to drink some wine. Great night. After walking the 15-20 minutes back to my apartment, I arrived at my apartment and realized that I was keyless.

I was devastated. I sat on the stoop to my porch for a while and whimpered, which is not a good thing to do at night in my neighborhood.

I gathered up my strength, texted my friend Emma to tell her I would be sadly returning to her house. Upon returning to her house, Emma fed me some late-night pizza and we basically had a little sleepover. There was lots of giggling.

Emma, who is much more of a functional human being than I am, woke up at around 8:00am. I woke up and wandered into her kitchen, horrified to learn that I had slept in someone else's home until 10:45am. Then Emma made me an omelette, after apologizing for her lack of vegetables. I was tired and crabby at this point, annoyed that I still was locked out.

"I only have tomatoes and cheese, and I feel like that's not a good omelette. Do you like tomatoes? What about feta? Let's see....pesto? Would pesto be good in an omelette?" Emma called out from the kitchen, while I rhythmically rubbed my eyes. Because she's adorable, she continued to ask me a lot of questions about this omelette. I answered "Yes," or "I don't care," to every question except to the question "Would pesto be good in an omelette?" to which I responded immediately, "Please don't put pesto in my omelette."

I decided I needed some emotional support, and I foolishly thought I should contact my mother. It was now about 11:30am, so 10:30am in Glen Ellyn, IL (where I grew up). "Hello?" my mother answered the phone groggily, clearly with her retainer still in her mouth. Clearly, the apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to oversleeping on Sundays.

 "Well, where is your key?" my mother demanded once I told her my predicament.

"It's in the apartment," I explained. "But the door is locked."

"The door locks automatically?" she demanded.

"Yes." I responded.

"Oh," my mother concluded, still groggily, "So you have the key. It's just on the wrong side of the door."

".....Yeah, that's... well, quite a poetic way to put it..." I said.

"You know what I would like for birthday that is a key?" my mother said, suddenly changed topics. "Another car key. We only have the one, because we keep losing them, and I just know we're going to lose the last one and it's going to be a disaster. And they're expensive. So.... good birthday gift."

"I feel sad, cranky, and alone," I said, subtly trying to turn the conversation back to myself. "I want some motherly support."

"Maria, for God's sake, call a locksmith if your landlord doesn't get back to you. You can handle this."

After eating the delicious yet pesto-free omelette Emma made me, I stopped at the Starbucks to get an iced version of my favorite drink -- the sugar-free hazelnut latte. Then my landlord called me and said he would let me into my apartment.

When I returned, where was my keychain?

On the damn hook by the door where they belong. I so rarely put anything away that when I do I am stunned. And, apparently, much more likely to leave my keys in my apartment. 

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