If there's such a thing as a dumb-smart person, that's me.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree. I can build spreadsheets and databases with macros and action buttons and hierarchical security login options. I could craft you an info-mapped technical manual, and design a schema in Visio - and darn it all, I can write a book in 72 hours. Do you think I can unlock my own door?
I have a history of door problems. I've walked into screen doors. I've walked into glass doors. I've locked myself out of the car in the pouring rain (much to my mother's amusement). I've tried to use my house keys to get into the office and I've tried using my security pass to unlock my car door. There was even a time when I lost my keys for a week, only to discover they were in the back of Grampa's refrigerator freezer (true story).
And the Alzheimers hasn't even kicked in yet. Heaven help us all.
But what has been my absolute undoing is the "hobbit door" to my NDG apartment. All my visitors are baffled at the height of my door, which is just over 5 feet tall. You have to bend to twist the handle, and you have to keep bending all the way down the stairs. Last fall, I invited some friends over from church, and I tell you, it was like watching a surprise limbo contest - with the loser too busy on his Blackberry to realize that the others had been ducking.
The door sticks. Ask anyone who's visited me in July when the humidity has made that short, obstinant little door swell shut. It's a pain to open, and it's a pain to close again. And all those action movies when the hero shoulders open the door and goes rushing in? It doesn't work for me. I bounce off. And that's when the door is unlocked!
Now, there was a story about the time last year when I climbed through the living room window because I thought the door had swollen shut for good. Turns out I'd been standing outside turning the key to the left instead of the right, locking it over and over again. But that's not quite as funny as what happened on Friday June 19th, 2009. This is an excerpt from my journal that day.
So, I got up, had my shower, had my breakfast, and immediately after that everything started to fall apart – everything being my sanity and my memory.
Got as far as the door when I remembered…I needed my Tylenol.
Got as far as the door again when I realized it might just be my time of the month – which was the reason for the Tylenol in the first place.
Got as far as the middle of the driveway when I realized it was garbage day.
Got as far as half a block when I realized that the whole reason why I was going to the downtown office was because I needed to deliver some modems, which I'd left behind.
Got as far as the Bell Centre downtown, when I realized I had no blackberry.
Got as far as a spare meeting room (my usual rooms were either borrowed or discombobulated), when I realized I had no power cord for the laptop.
Got as far as the end of my first meeting when the battery punked out.
So, after my first meeting, I took more than an hour to get home.
Got as far as the apartment door when I realized I had left my coat and all my other bits and pieces behind at the office – including my keys.
Checked for witnesses – of which there were plenty at first, including a ride-by-bicyclist and a plumber – and once they were gone, I opened the living room window.
Problem. My desk is under the living room window. The desk has a hutch on the top and wheels on the bottom – And all this I remember only after my left foot went skating and my right foot stayed out on the driveway.
At least I didn’t rip my pants.
Got inside, realized I didn't know how I was going to get back outside, because my lock takes a key on both sides of the door. And really, I didn't want to go out the way I came in. It was awkward enough the first time. I needed to stop and think.
Got a bag, put the power supply in the bag, put my lunch in the bag (then took the lunch back out of my bag and decided to carry it in my stomach instead), went to the bathroom – remembered the blackberry – and as I was walking back into the kitchen, I saw that when she was over last, my friend Mady Virgona had found two unmarked keys, one of which, oddly enough, worked just fine in the front door.
And that's when I discovered that I hadn’t locked the front door in the first place.