so tonight . . . we went to burger king for dinner. but since we now own a brand new house, we decided to get take out and then take it HOME to eat!
(i keep saying we are homeowners, but really, it isn't ours. yet. it belongs to bank of america. but they seem to be ok with letting us live there for the next 20 years as long as we keep paying them... i just hope they appreciate the improvements we are making in their house!)
i kind of wanted to spend some time in my new house without being surrounded by hostility. every time we have been in the house, there has been DRAMA! i just wanted to wander around and breathe... and smile! i had paint samples to look at (because the painter is coming tomorrow,) and measuring to do and lists to make... i was finally going to have some fun in my new house! and i was excited about it!
but i was also hungry. and even though the kitchen is a cook's dream, tonight it wasn't mine, because there wasn't any food in it! so we locked all the doors and went out to the car. and that is when we discovered that the garage door was still open...
the garage door has been another issue. the garage door openers seem to have gone awol. the ex-husband's family is sure that the ex-wife has them--in fact, they had disconnected it just in case she decided to try to get in and take their stuff. so the only way to open and close the door is to use the manual switch inside the garage. rollie punched the button, and nothing happened. so of course, he punched it again. and again. and again. and still nothing happened. he had had it working earlier, so he couldn't figure out why suddenly it wouldn't close! we tried everything we could think of, until out of desperation, he had me flip a switch in the opposite corner of the garage. this seemed to provide power to the switch, and so garage door finally closed. (don't ask my why a switch clear across the garage has to be on in order for the manual garage door opener switch to work... i can't wait until our replacement remotes get here!)
we got in the car to go get dinner, and immediately realized that we didn't know where to go. right now we live just a few blocks away from several places to eat, but the new house is just far enough away that we weren't quite sure what was close. we drove around until we found a burger king, bought food, and went back to the house. now we had food, but no chairs to sit on, so we went out to the back yard and sat on the step. it was so nice and quiet. we munched our burgers and talked about what we wanted to do with the backyard. lost in conversation about sod and sprinklers and strawberry bushes and tomato plants (yes, i am still trying to convince myself they are yummy!) we sat on the step for quite a while. when it started to get dark, we picked up our trash and went into the house.
at least, that was our plan. but there was a problem. the back door seemed to be locked.
i'm not sure exactly how it got locked. i had unlocked it when we went out, and i had left the keys IN the deadbolt so that they wouldn't get misplaced, since we only had one set of keys. and there they were, in the lock, inside the house. and the door was locked. "i think we are locked out!" i said to rollie. "where are the keys?" he asked. what did he mean, where are the keys?!? i had TOLD him i was going to leave them in the deadbolt so they wouldn't get lost! and what had he said?? let me think a minute here... oh yeah, he had said he didn't think i should leave them in the lock, because jill told him that the doorknob would still turn even when it was locked... and THERE WAS NO KEY FOR THAT DOORKNOB... and so it was easy to get locked out!!
so i stand corrected. FOUR different keys to the outside doors apparently weren't enough. apparently we needed FIVE different keys.
(just so you know, this was all rollie's fault... he gave ME the only set of keys. THE ONLY SET!! does the man not know me at all?!?!?!? i misplace things all the time! clearly, he should have been the keeper of the keys. AND he locked the front door after we went into the house with our food. i hardly ever lock the front door. usually my hands are full of stuff and by the time i empty my hands, i have forgotten all about locking the door. he is always bugging me, "don't forget to lock the front door." or "why isn't the front door locked?" sometimes i just get the look--the one that says, "really? you left the front door unlocked again? why don't you just put a sign in the yard that says 'come on in and burgle us...'")
when we discovered we were locked out, i immediately sent rollie to check the front door, which i knew was an exercise in futility, because i KNEW he had locked it behind him, but hope springs eternal... and in this case, dies. because of course the front door was locked, as were all the other doors.
ok, i admit it--it wasn't really rollie's fault.
it was the seller's fault. i mean, come on!! only one key for each lock?? i have a difficult time believing that they only had one key for each lock. four people were living here! are you telling me they all shared one set of keys??? i don't think so. i am pretty sure it was just their final salvo in the war over the house. and who uses a different key for each door anyway?!?!? burglars aren't going to use a key, so i'm not sure it enhances security at all! it just enhances my ability to lock us out!
we tried every door. and of course, rollie had locked them all. we were not going to get back into our new house. at least, not tonight...
did i mention that my purse was still in the house?
thankfully my phone was still in my pocket. i pulled it out and called jill. "hi jill," i said. "oh hi," she said, "are you enjoying your new house?" i could hear the smile in her voice. jill is our friend, and she was so happy that we were finally in our house. "well, actually, we are kind of locked out of the house..." there was silence. and then laughter. LAUGHTER!!! ok, i love jill, but i am not sure this was an appropriate response! "did you try the other doors," she asked?
really? REALLY????? did she think i was calling her when i knew she was celebrating father's day with her family, before first trying every conceivable way of getting in?!?!?!
"yes, we have tried all the doors. we are locked out. i'm not sure what to do."
this is not the first time i have been locked out of a house--not even close! but there is always someone i can call who has an extra key. sometimes it takes a while, but i can always find help. the problem was, this house was too new. we had only had it about two hours. no one else had a key--WE only had one set!!
jill finally stopped laughing long enough to help me find a locksmith. since it wasn't an emergency, we made an appointment for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. i was just glad jill had stopped laughing. i had detected a slight maniacal edge to it. i'm sure she thought that when she handed us those keys, the whole house-hunting nightmare was finally going to be over.
but it wasn't. clearly she doesn't read my blogs...
so the locksmith was coming in the morning--what should we do now? we decided we should go to home depot and buy new doorknobs. i know, i know--closing the barn door after the horse is already gone. but now that our brains had finally tumbled to the fact that all the doorknobs were different, we realized it would be a waste of money to have the mismatched doorknobs re-keyed. because i was pretty sure my ocd-ness was not going to let me live in a house with doorknobs like that!
it was now 8:30 p.m. thankfully home depot is pretty close. i thought we would dash in, grab four doorknobs, pay, and dash out. it was a good plan. until i saw the rows and rows and rows of doorknobs...
you've heard the term "heaven on earth?" this was not that. this was the other place...
i had exactly half an hour to make a decision about doorknobs--a decision i didn't even know i was going to have to make, so it was a decision i was totally unprepared for. i just started looking for a brushed stainless steel doorknob. and i found one. actually i found about 25! so the decision-making part of my brain tried to kick into overdrive--i knew it wasn't going to be pretty.
i had to choose a shape. but they are all packaged up so you can't hold one in your hand! how did i know which doorknob i wanted to grip every time i went in or out of my house for the next 20 years?!?!?! and then rollie further confused me by talking about exterior doorknobs vs interior doorknobs. and THEN he said we needed a dummy doorknob for our double front door. a DUMMY doorknob?!?!?! i had no idea what that was, but it didn't sound very nice.
i finally picked one. rollie picked up three more that were exactly the same, (because let me tell you, OUR exterior doorknobs are all going to MATCH!) and we started moving toward the cash registers. but my heart was pounding. i was having a little trouble breathing. i felt a little panicky. i stopped and said, "i'm not sure about these doorknobs."
i AM sure rollie just wanted to scream "JUST GET THE DOORKNOBS!!!!!!! SHEESH!!! IT IS JUST A DOORKNOB!!!!!" but he knows me, and loves me anyway. so what he SAID was, "ok, then let's go back and look again." and he patiently pointed out every single brushed steel doorknob that was available--even the ones that we both knew i was not going to buy because they were ridiculously expensive! we discussed the pros and cons of different brands and ratings and shapes and sizes. he gave up the lever looking doorknobs, even though he liked them, because i said i thought they would look like an evil, villianous moustache on our double front doors and the back french doors. and then, at a few minutes to 9:00 we were at the cash register--with the first doorknobs i had picked...
i'm not counting this as day one of home ownership. i'm not. i think taking possession of a house sort of implies that you can get into it. and i can't. so in the future, june 19, 2011 will be referred to as ground zero--the day it began...
or father's day...
or better yet, DIANDRA'S BIRTHDAY :-)
it will NOT be referred to as the first time julie locked herself out of the new house! because, you know, that implies that there will be other times...