Looking through some of the memories from my jar, I found at least 3 that referenced getting locked out of my apartment. I suspect there are probably more, and that doesn’t even include the times I was locked out BEFORE starting to keep these notes, including locking myself out in the very first hour after moving into said apartment…
I think my problem is because I’ve never really had to keep track of keys. When we moved to Arlington when I was 6, the house was already old. By the time I was coming and going on my own, the door had long been broken and no longer locked on its own. We never bothered to repair it or to make copies of the key to the deadbolt.
In college, I only needed my ID to swipe into my building. I could have locked the door to my dorm room, but I was at the top of three or four flights of stairs, so I was never really nervous about potential thieves. Plus, the only thing I had up there really worth stealing (my laptop) was always strapped to my back when not in use.
When I moved out of dorms, I did have a few instances of getting locked out…but luckily with 7 other roommates, there was usually someone home to let me in. In my last year when I lived alone, I simply stopped locking my door when I was out. Probably not the best practice, but luckily nothing bad ever came of it.
In France, I had the most impressive set of keys: A purple one to open the door to the building. A green one for my mailbox. A silver one for the door to the apartment. And an enormous old fashioned-style key for my bedroom door. And I could never ever keep track of them. My mantra before leaving the house became: keys? wallet? phone? check.
It didn’t help that the door to our apartment was so old and temperamental that sometimes it would become stuck and inoperable even with keys. Because it always seemed to be me getting locked out, I was always the one who had to call the landlady to fix it. Those phone calls never ended well. They don’t teach the words for doorjamb, hinge, knob, and latch in school…
I’ve gotten slightly better at keeping track of my keys now. They tend to live in my coat pocket that I wear everyday, so I always know where I can find them. But sometimes I do wonder about why we spend so much time locking our doors and keeping people out, when it seems to me, in life, we should strive for the opposite. ❂
Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.