(Author’s Note: The following is a true and cautionary tale. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Sorry, Hon.)
My husband is in all ways decent man. He has nary a character flaw to whine about, unless you count his nearly constant worry about his family. I’m blessed to have such a wonderfully good-natured spouse. I truly am. Let’s face it. He’d have to be to remain married to me for nearly 17 years. Still, there have been times that I have to wonder what in the holy hell is in his head.
I met my friend Lisa at Starbucks for coffee at 7 p.m. I didn’t get home until 10:10 because we’d lost track of the time. I pulled into the garage, exited my SUV, and walked up to the door. I turned the knob and realized hubby had locked the door.
Steve often locks the door from the house to the garage. It’s a pet peeve of mine. We have a home security system that we set religiously and a fearful dog with sharpish and pointed teeth and the will to use them. Beyond that, we have relatively little in our house that’s nice enough to be worth stealing. I know he’s just being cautious and protecting his family, but when he knows I’ll be home soon why on earth does he feel compelled to lock the door? Does he think someone’s going to come and abduct him? Sometimes I think it’s some sort of subconscious, passive-aggressive tactic to aggravate me since he’s normally so mild-mannered and accepting of my copious flaws. I have to wonder.
Anyway, I dig through my purse looking for my keys only to remember that I’ve left them on the kitchen counter because everyone was home for the evening and I wasn’t going to be out late. Crap. So, I knock on the door several times and wait for him to do what he usually does…approach to unlock it, uttering an apology I can hear through the door. I wait. I wait. No one is coming. He must be upstairs with the boys. So, I escalate my knocking by kicking the door very hard several times. I leave marks with my shoes. Certainly he will hear that, right? Nope. Are you kidding me? I open the garage door again figuring that he must be upstairs in the boys’ room, which is why he can’t hear me. I ring the doorbell on the front porch. Repeatedly. About a million times until I’m going to short the stupid thing out and start a fire. That will get their attention. Still, no one comes.
It’s at this point that I begin to realize that they’re probably asleep. It’s not unusual for Steve to go hang out in the boys’ room while they’re falling asleep. I figure the only chance I have of them hearing me is if I go around to the back of the house and call up to their open window. So, I do that. Not a peep. No lights turn on. No reply at all. I can’t yell for long because I’m trying not to let the neighbors know that my crazy husband has locked me out. From 10:10 to 11:10, fueled by annoyance, I knock, ring the doorbell, kick the doors, honk the car horn, try to open windows I can reach, yell up to the open window, and even throw rocks at it trying to get someone’s attention. Apparently, I’m invisible. A light bulb clicks in my brain. The fan must be on. When our whole house fan is on you couldn’t hear a 747 land in the bedroom. I’m screwed.
Finally, I go back to my car, close the garage door in resignation, and decide I might as well try to fall asleep in my car. What I discover is that a luxury SUV is not particularly luxurious when employed as a sleeping compartment. Around 1:30 a.m. I am still awake, sitting in my car, livid. I’ve had to pee three times, courtesy of a decaf grande skinny vanilla latte and a bottle of water I wished I had not ingested. That unladylike scenario involved a red Solo cup and a skill I learned very well while pregnant. Nothing like peeing in your own garage to make you feel like the family dog. Wait. The family dog was asleep inside the house while I was locked in the garage. Curious.
I considered going to a hotel, but knew that when hubby finally awoke he would probably notify the National Guard that I was missing. Besides, I had faith that sooner or later he would wake up and notice I was gone, right? He did not. Joe did. Joe woke up, walked into our bedroom to have me tuck him back into bed, noticed I was missing, and told his dad. Around 3:30 a.m. I heard the lock on the door to the garage unlock and saw the door open. Steve noticed my car was there and started to close the door again, presumably comforted because clearly I was home. I opened the car door and yelled to get his attention.
He looked like Bigfoot in headlights. He was in serious trouble. He appeared to be contemplating slamming and locking the door again to avoid the ugly situation. He apologized profusely, but I did not care. I was exhausted. I was angry. I was temporarily not speaking to him. I’d had to pee in a red cup. Beer pong was forever ruined for me.