By Karen Wielinski
It was one of those times, when you do something and immediately think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”
As I stood in a hall closet to give myself more room I closed the door. In an instant, as I grabbed the spinning door knob, it felt like I was trying to catch a slippery pig. The door could not be opened from the inside.
For someone who had previously found herself in a situation where escape from a confined space did not appear to be a possibility, this current dilemma was not a good place for me to be. Since I was alone in the house, panic started to creep to the surface, but I reminded myself that luckily I had tucked my cell phone in my pocket before entering the closet. I could call a neighbor for help, right? After being connected to three phone answering machines, I was beginning to have my doubts.
I took a moment to regroup, and think what options I would have if I could not get a live person to pick-up.
For one thing, the closet was the location of the crawl space opening, but could I pull down the ladder while the door was shut? If I could, I would have to climb up, go to the window, and shout down to anyone passing by. Now, that would be embarrassing, but effective.
Also, I noticed that the hinges for the door were visible from inside the closet. I had tucked away a helpful hint some time ago while watching the movie, “Ever After,” a retelling of the Cinderella story. Spoiler alert, the heroine’s evil stepmother and step sisters had locked her in a storage area to keep her from attending the ball. Leonardo da Vinci came to her rescue, by prying up the bolts from the hinges.
Of course in my case, these bolts probably had not been moved since their installation in the 1920s when the house was constructed, and did I really have anything in the closet to pry them up with.
Was it getting hotter in the closet? I got back to consulting my phone contact list, and finally connected with a neighbor who quickly rescued me.
There was some embarrassment on my part, as he opened the door, but not as much as I would have encountered had it been necessary for me to yell out the attic window.
Two of my cats sat in front of the door. Now, a dog would have barked. Lassie would have smashed a window open and dragged a neighbor to my side. Cats just sit and wait, until it’s feeding time and then you might get a meow.
I admit, though, that I could sympathize with my cat, Belle. She disappeared days before my escapade, and I discovered her locked in that same closet where she had been trapped for over three hours. Of course, she could have meowed and I would have found her sooner. She instead chose to roll up in a ball and take a nap.
I believe it was my grandmother who said, “All things come in threes.” This “closed” encounter of the worst kind was what I would call the third “foolish” thing I had done in two days.
I had gone to the bank and left my wallet, and I had gone to the car dealer and left a book. Again modern technology came to the rescue. The bank quickly called me and I retrieved my wallet, and I called the car dealer to have them hold on to the book for me (If it was some paperback, I wouldn’t have cared, but this was an old copy of “Now Voyager,” one of my all-time favorite movies.)
These moments of forgetfulness could be blamed on my advancing age. I, instead, attribute these events to the fact that I often fail to concentrate on what I am doing at a precise moment. My mind drifts off, and I am contemplating things on my what to do list.
The moral of this story: Stop and smell the roses. Concentrate on what you are doing, and definitely make sure the door will open before you shut it!
Karen Wielinski advises people to pay attention to what they are doing.