My morning routine is usually pretty standard; wake up, potty, brew coffee, take the dogs for a walk, come back, shower, get dressed, kiss husband, pour coffee in mug, give dogs their kongs and head out the door. Day in and day out this same process occurs like a perfectly choreographed waltz with little to no variation. Occasionally the dance changes slightly; it is too cold for a walk, there is no coffee in the house or if the dogs get rawhide rather then a kong. This morning a “perfect storm” of events drastically mixed up the schedule and led to a disturbing personal discovery; I could quit my job and begin a life of crime.
This week I am a single pet-parent while my husband is away on business. This should not, in any way, effect the morning routine as saying he is not a morning person is a gross understatement of the disdain he has for any hour prior to noon. The morning dog routine is primarily performed by me since I wake up sometime before the crack of dawn. The morning walk is usually around 30 minutes long and I rarely if ever lock the door behind me when leaving the house. This morning, I had a vision of returning to a rapist inside and decided to lock the handle as I exited; I would just key into the garage upon my return. This is when the chaos started.
A very nice walk with my little black and white dogs was ruined when I tried to open the garage to realize that the electricity went out. Trying not to panic, I walked around the house checking every window and door to see if any had accidentally been left unlocked. No such luck. At that point I began searching for “the rock,” the kind that hides in the yard, unnoticed by criminals, and only the owner realizes there is a house key hidden within the contraption. Unfortunately, no key was hidden in the rock. The nearest backup key was either 2 hours away with my in-laws or 1000 miles away with my husband in Connecticut.
Rather then do anything drastic, I decided to take the dogs for another spin around the block and pray for electricity. 30 minutes later my attempt at garage access was once again denied. Assessing the situation, I had a few options; take the day off from work and find a neighbor to take me in, break a window, call a locksmith or break the door. My mind raced with images of breaking down the door Law and Order style, kicking it down with one well placed, magical kick. Luckily, I remembered the pain associated with breaking bones and decided to opt for a better solution. Weighing the pros and cons of my choices, factoring in cost and embarrassment considerations, I decided to try and break the doorknob off, knowing I had only locked the knob and not the deadbolt.
Using my shoe as a tool, I whacked at the doorknob several times until the outside handle broke free from the door. The door would not budge. Traipsing through the yard, I found some sticks to pop open the inside locking mechanism, getting into the house and causing minimal damage to anything more then the doorknob. I felt like MacGyver. The feeling of pride and triumph with this amazing display of self-sufficiency was immediately replaced by the overwhelming realization of just how easy it is to break into a house. While I’m happy that this incident is only going to result in the cost of a new doorknob, the price of discovering how vulnerable we are to the outside world is going to be much more expensive in the long run. From now on I will always remember to lock the deadbolt (and also remember my keys).