You all know by now how The Hubs’ crazy schedule is: on Mondays he has class from 7-9:15, and work from 10p – 6:30a. This means that I get to see him after I get home at 5:35 until he leaves around 6-6:10. The past few Mondays I’ve come home, he’s been up running around, making his lunch or finishing some last-minute homework and whatnot. One day a couple weeks ago, I got home, tried to open the door, and found he had it chained. He promptly rushed to the door and opened it for me. Trust me, Grasshopper, this will all make sense in a minute.
Last night, I got home at my normal time. I unlocked our door, pushed it open, and BAM! found it chained again. Assuming that my husband was running around as usual, I shut the door and waited for him to come rushing over to unlock it, only…he never came. After a few seconds, I opened the door as far as the chain would let me and realized that it was completely dark and silent in my apartment. I think, his car’s outside, and the chain’s on the door, so obviously, he’s got to be home. I call his cell phone – straight to voicemail. I call his cell phone again – straight to voicemail. (What’s that saying? The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Just call me crazy.) I think I called his cell phone at least 4 times, and every. single. time. – straight to voicemail.
I think, Okay…I can’t get to him on the phone, and the door’s chained. How else can I get into this house without having to break down the door? The windows are all locked, so that won’t work. I had a fleeting pang of hope when I remembered that I have a key to the sliding glass door, but we’ve got a metal bar on the inside so that it can’t be slid open. I try in vain to somehow magically snake my arm around inside the door and simultaneously pull it as closed as possible to try and undo the chain. If you’ve ever seen a movie, you know this won’t work, and only succeeded in making me look like an idiot when our neighbor decided that that exact moment would be the one in which he would take his teacup Chihuahua out to poop.
I yell Jack's name, I bang on the door, I yell his name some more. There’s a very fine balance I’m trying to strike here, because the apartments I live in are not exactly strangers to the cops. I don’t want to yell and bang too much because I don’t want to (a) embarrass myself even more, (b) have the cops called on me, and (c) have to explain this situation to ANYONE. Without any other solutions in sight, I yell, and bang, and push on the door some more.
Now, at this point, I’ve been struggling to get into my own house for almost 25 minutes and I’m starting to panic. The Hubs is always up on Mondays. What is going on?! Why isn’t he up running around getting ready for school? Why is his phone dead? Is HE dead? Did somebody break in and kill him, and then chain the door to slow me down from finding him, and leave out the bedroom window? Did he have a heart attack from all the stress of night school and working third shift and having a crazy lady who’s contemplating breaking down the door for a wife? (Remember…I’m in panic mode).
Add this situation to the two other ill-fated chained-door entry issues in the past, and the door jam was barely hanging on by a thread (or a screw, I guess) at this point. I could push on the door and the jam would bow out from the wall, only attached at the top and bottom. Now, I’m panicked, my husband has surely been savagely murdered by someone conscientious enough to come back and chain the door before exiting out a window, or he’s in the throws of a heart attack, and I need to get to him. The only solution is to break open the door. So I start pushing on the door, and wedging my hand in between the jam and the wall, seriously hoping that I don’t get a splinter or get mamed by the screws hanging precariously on the jam. I’ve screamed his name, I’ve banged on the door, I’ve called his phone, I’ve solidified my crazy lady existence to the neighbors, and now I’m trying to break in to my own house.
Finally, I succeed, and the door jam breaks away from the top of the wall with a loud *crack* but remains connected to the bottom. It's enough for me to start working my way in the door, and then I hear an “oh, shit!” from the back room. I knew instantly that my husband was, indeed, alive, and not suffering from gunshot wounds or a heart attack, and I wanted to kill him. Since the jam was still connected at the bottom, the door was still only partially open but I could see The Hubs rushing down the hallway from the bedroom. “Are you okay?” I whimpered, and by the time he got to the door, I was leaning against a wall in the hallway completely sobbing. The thought that he could have seriously been gone had finally hit me. And then relief, mixed with absolute fury over the experience that I had just had took over. It manifested itself in blubbery, loud sobs.
Jack, concerned that my crying in the hallway might elicit some response from the neighbors, (as if the yelling, banging, and breaking down the door wasn’t enough) told me to come inside, but I couldn’t get my shit together. The purse I’d dropped on the floor in my attempt had spilled, and the decorative hanger that I had flung down there after my attempts to open the door got serious, lay discarded too. I finally managed to gather all my things, come in the door, and throw them on the ground. I calmly and politely asked my loving husband to not lock the chain while I'm gone, which came out something like, “You better never fucking lock that thing again!”, and sat down to decompress.
The Hubs, who probably had not once been scared for his own life that day until AFTER I got in the door, said he was sorry, and that his phone was dead and that he had been sleeping. I wasn't quite ready to chat yet, so he got all of his stuff together for school. I made myself dinner, made his lunch, kissed him goodbye, and spent the rest of the evening watching bad tv (Hello? Bachelorette? Ed gets the last measly 5 minutes, and you give Reed a half an hour?!) in bed.
This morning, the door jam is still hanging there, the chain is unuseable, and all is (at least temporarily) right with the world.
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