Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know whatchyer gonna get?"
Well, that is SO wonderfully and deliciously true. Just when you're going along minding your business and trying to cross off all the "To Do"s on the list, something totally unexpected and interesting happens that just makes life interesting and reminds you not to take things so seriously all the time!
Yesterday, I was on my way to Donna's new home, but I forgot her new house number. I knew it was on White St. (not the real street name), but couldn't remember the exact number. She said, "5208. It's the 3rd house from the end."
Donna was at her old house with the movers and couldn't be in two spots at once so she had asked if I would go over to the new house to wait for the gas guy. Sure, no problem, I could do that. She also mentioned I might want to bring a chair and a book since there's nothing there yet. So, I load up my folding lawn chair (you know, the pointy-legged UFO-unfolding type that comes out of the bag but you can't ever seem to get back INTO the bag?); my mammoth-sized 64oz. 7-11 Ultimate Gulp; a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper (because who knew how long I'd be there and I might've needed a refill); a bag with papers, bills, and various and sundry "to do" items for which I needed to make some phone calls; and a book.
After I got out of the car and reloaded myself with the necessary essentials, I waddled to the front door. It was then that I realized I did't know where I'd put the key Donna had given me. So, I painstakingly UNloaded all my stuff onto the porch, dug through the abyss of my purse for 5 minutes until I found the key (although I truly don't know how I lost it in the first place, as it was bread-wrapper tied to a roughly 3"x"6" discarded piece of cardboard from a new corkscrew opener. Apparently Donna was wise to my propensity to forget where I put things. To prevent me from losing her key, she had attached it to the only thing she currently had available. Incidentally, later once inside her new home, I noticed the only "unpacked" items there were a bottle of wine, 6 wine glasses, and of course the corkscrew.)
After the victorious 5 minute key treasure hunt in the glorious 97 degree Texas morning heat, I slipped in the key and turned the lock. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. I tried turning, twisting, upside-downing, pulling, pushing and overall manhandling that key and door in any way I possibly could, all to no avail. I muttered to myself, "Great. The darn key doesn't work. Figures. Probably some idiot at Wal-mart doesn't know how to make a darn key copy!" Why I feel compelled to automatically disparage Wal-mart employees is beyond me. I really need to work on that...they're just everyday hard-workin' folks like the rest of us. So then I decided I was going to have to trek around to the backyard to see if the key would work in the backdoor.
After struggling to get through two child-safety gate latches, I finally got into the backyard. I was instantly impressed that Donna had already got her doghouses there, along with a nice patio set on the deck that appeared to be the future location of many outdoor girl's night gatherings! I saw two doors. I figured one was probably a door to the garage and the other to the house proper. I went to the garage door first, as it was closest, and tried my key. Again, no luck. "This is getting ridiculous," I thought. "Well, they say third time's a charm." Next I moved to the back door. Lo and behold! The key WORKED! Yippee!
My relief was shortlived, however, as two dogs immediately started barking and yipping at my legs--my uncovered, shorts-wearin' legs. "What the heck?", I thought, "These don't even look like Donna's dogs! And wow...she's already got her couches and TV entertainment center moved in!" Just then from around the corner, a lady came into the room wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties and both of us nearly jumped. I stared at her and she stared at me, all while these fierce little chihuahuas were threatening unalterable damage to my legs and ankles!
Finally, coming to my senses, I said, "Hi. I'm Cheryl. Are you a friend of Donna's?" She looked at me like I was insane and replied, "No. Who are you?" "My friend Donna asked me to come to her house and wait for the gas guy. Is this 5208 White St.?" "Yes," she answered cautiously. "Is this the 3rd house from the end?" "Yes. This is my house. Why are you in here?", she demanded. She was beginning to appear not only confused, but angry, as well. Maybe she thought I was there to rob her or to kidnap her precious little pups--which I can assure you was the FARTHEST thing from my mind at that moment, or any other for that matter. "I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say. My friend Donna is moving into a home here and gave me this address. She said I was to use her key to go in and wait for the gas guy to come. The key didn't work on the door so I came around back to see if it worked in the back door which, as you can see, it did." Both of us marvelled at how odd that Donna's key opened HER back door! Finally, I apologized several times again and turned to leave.
This time, I went around the other side of the house (as it seemed it might be easier). That was yet another mistake. Not only did I step in dog crap (wearing flip flops...oooooooh!), but that side gate was locked and rocks were shoved against it to keep the dogs from escaping. So, I had to tromp all the way back through the back yard and around the other side of the house again to get my stuff on the front porch. Just as I began REloading all my junk upon myself, I saw the Atmos Energy van pulling away! I must've missed him while I was busy being eaten by chihuanas (I swear those dogs were a rare mixed breed of chihuahua and pirana). Loaded down with all my gear, I started "running" (and I use the term loosely) down the block waving my arms and shouting at the Atmos Energy guy to come back. Thankfully, he saw me and stopped.
Just then, the neighbor lady came out her front door (having donned a pair of shorts) and said, "Hey, sorry. I didn't mean to be rude. I was just shocked, especially since your key worked in my door" I said I completely understood, I would be, too, etc. etc. We both agreed, though, that perhaps she had left her back door unlocked and that's how the key had "worked". Then she said, "I was thinking, maybe it's supposed to be the house across the street. I've seen people cleaning over there, and it's been on the market for a few weeks." I figured I had nothing to lose at that point, so I crossed the street to try the corkscrew key. Bingo. Why couldn't I have just tried this keyhole to begin with?
I removed my odious flip flops and welcomed myself and Mr. Gas Guy into Donna's new home. After we got things straightened out and he went to do his business, I call Donna and say, "Hey, Donna? What's your new house number again?" She confidently replies, "5208." I wondered if I should tell her, or just let her meet the neighbor and chihuanasthe same way I had?
It was all just so unexepected, I couldn't do much else but laugh. Good thing I love chocolate!