I got locked out with the oven on last week. And it wasn’t even my house.
I’m having a weird month. I’m getting divorced and have been living on my own in a rental since April. However, the owners of the property needed me to vacate for July. So I’ve been staying with wonderful friends and at hotels.
I was with a dear friend I’ve known since middle school last week. P has been saving me from pickles I get myself into for 25 years. He’s gone back for my purse when I left it at Auntie Anne’s pretzels, woken me up for college classes, helped me with my stock portfolio, calmed me down when I was an anxious mess and so much more.
And last week he offered me his beautiful loft near downtown Orlando right before it hit the Airbnb market. As a bonus, I got time with him every day of my stay.
I mean…just look at this place.
P gave me thorough instructions on how to operate everything when I arrived – the Roku, the thermostat, both doors. He even had me practice. There were two doors. The first one takes a key. The second one a digital code.
The key was tricky. He let me know that up front. In fact, he asked if I would let workers in to fix it while I was there. I got the key to work fine as he watched me.
He called to let me know he was on his way over after work the second day of my stay. I was just coming back to the loft after getting my tires replaced (more on that soon). I knew I needed to hurry up inside to tidy up a bit and put some personal items away. (Very personal.)
But that freaking key wouldn’t work. I tried and I tried.
I came to terms with failure and decided to wait for rescue…and probably embarrassment.
But then I got a resurgence of, “I NEED TO GET IN BEFORE HE DOES” and tried again.
The key slid right in like butter that time.
I got things taken care of right before he arrived.
We chatted and he started cleaning the oven. He showed me how to turn both oven dials to off when the timer went off in two hours. “Off. Off.” he explained. I understood.
The smell started getting to me after he left. My phone was dying so I plugged it in to charge, grabbed my laptop and went outside to sit in the fresh air.
I was chatting with three friends on Facebook when I realized I was locked out. I’d remembered to bring my keys, but the code to the second door was on my phone, inside.
I told my friends I was locked out. They all had very different responses:
- Friend 1: Thought it was hilarious. Sent laughing emojis and “LOL”s
- Friend 2: Told me I was a mess, but he knew I’d figure it out. Then gave explicit details about what he was going to do while I worked on getting inside.
- Friend 3: Helped me brainstorm a strategy.
P doesn’t use Facebook messenger on his phone. Fortunately, I had his phone number on my laptop and was able to give it to Friend 3. I asked her to text him to get the door code. I didn’t want him to know I couldn’t get the lock to work. I figured I’d get it eventually like I did earlier.
I asked her to tell him not to worry, that I was fine and to definitely not leave the party he was at to come to me.
“I got the code, but he wants you to call him as soon as you get inside so he knows you’re okay. You better get that key to work!”
“He’s texting me like crazy wanting to know if you’re in yet and why you aren’t answering your phone.”
And so she broke down and told him everything. I kept trying to get the key to work and failing.
Friend 1 stopped laughing and asked if I had a plan. Then started laughing again when I told him about Friend 3 outing me and P freaking out. (He’s been friends with P and I since middle school and knows us both well.)
Friend 2 checked in, told me again he had confidence in me and to keep trying.
Then the neighbor who lives in the other unit arrived.
I was relieved until I learned P had sent him frantic texts. He came home to open the door for me. P called the kind neighbor right after he got the door unlocked. “Yes, I’m here. She’s fine,” he reported. He hung up and told me, “He wants you to call him.”
I called P to let him know I was just fine. He apologized profusely for the oven smell. I assured him it was no big deal. And it really had almost completely gone away during my time outside.
He checked on me several more times throughout the night. He’s the sweetest grandma of a man. He once looked at me, announced I had a fever and then felt my forehead to confirm it. Turned out he was right, and I wasn’t even feeling sick.
I later sent him photo evidence of the oven knobs on off.
I notified the three friends I’d been in communication with I made it inside. I thanked Friend 3 for contacting P for me. Friend 1 joked I was going to get high off the oven cleaner fumes. Friend 2 said he was proud of me and knew I’d figure it out.
“I didn’t figure it out. I was rescued like a weak little princess,” I said.
But this weak little princess is able to laugh at herself and knows how fortunate she is to have amazing friends. Everyone needs someone who sees the humor in situations, someone who believes in you, someone who will help you figure things out and someone who will swoop in and save you on occasion. I love my friends.
If you’re going to get locked out, go big. Have a team of people monitoring the situation in real time.