One of my favorite features that my hotel room boasts is the latch that keeps the door firmly closed even when someone has a key.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I wish all doors had this.
Every morning the maid tries to get in my room at the ungodly hour of 9 am. Every morning I ignore her knocks. Figuring that I am not there, she eventually opens the door only to be rebuffed by the latch and foiled again.
I turn over in bed, relieved. And once again grateful for that latch.
See, I not only did not grow up with a latch, I didn't grow up with locked doors.
Like, at all.
My parents live on 21 acres of lush Pennsylvania land; the nearest town consists of a gas station and a candy shop. We were maybe in danger of a stray cat wandering onto our porch. Maybe. And usually our cats took care of it.
So accordingly, my parents did not lock the doors. I didn't even grow up with keys. At least, not for doors, anyway.
My friends sometimes make fun of me for how bad I am at unlocking doors. They shouldn't do this, though. It's like making fun of the Mungo Man for not knowing how to operate an iphone. He didn't grow up with one, so leave him alone. In fact, since he has been dead for quite some time now, you really shouldn't speak any ill of him at all.
For shame. Making fun of the poor, dead Mungo Man like that.
But yes, I really like this latch. And since we didn't use keys while I was growing up, a latch would have come in handy.
Particularly because our house was right next to the church that my parents pastor. And because it was so close, I think some parishioners just thought of it as an extension of the church. Not a home that might just host some people who wanted some semblance of privacy--nope, nothing like that.
As a little girl I got really good really fast at hiding in my own home. I knew all the quick spots to dart when I first heard a knock at the door. Many times that knock would only precede the sound of the screen door opening and then the dreaded sound of a voice--usually one of my parents' counselees--yelling for one or both of my parents, asking if they are home, asking if they minded if who-ever-it-was-this-time just came on in.
Wish they had asked me. I did mind.
And then a lot of times they would just walk right in. And I would be hiding behind the staircase. Or in my room. Or in the bathroom. Or around the hallway, just hoping that they didn't venture further into the house and--horror of horrors!-catch me cowering there, hiding from well, them.
Gosh, a latch would have been nice.
One time I remember a man from our church had come to the door and I ran quick as I could to the safety of my bedroom. He knocked. I hid. He knocked. I hid. And we continued in this holding pattern of what was perhaps the most boring and uneventful battle that was ever waged for quite some time.
The knocking stopped, I realized with the sense of relief that comes after having bested someone. I outlasted his knocking. Phew. But then...I felt a shadow, something was obstructing my view of the sun...
And with a sinking feeling, I realized that I was not the winner of this repartee after all. For there the man stood, outside of my window, after having peered through all of the windows from our kitchen until my room and finally landed at mine.
And I just sat there, looking guilty as sin.
I stood up from my crouch with as much dignity as I could muster and graciously motioned for him to walk around, that I would meet him at the front door. I would at least wave my white flag with the respect of having fought my hardest.
I would take it like a woman; I would meet him at the front door, on my terms.
I tried to pretend like I hadn't heard his tenacious knocks, but I think he knew. My bedroom was not very far from the front door, let's be honest. There was no music playing that would have drowned it out, no loud conversation, no distractions that could act as my alibi.
I was found out, plain and simple. My only comfort is that at least I wasn't an adult and so maybe he attributed my overt act of ignoring him to my youth. But I still don't think that what I did was wrong, necessarily; it was a method of survival in the midst of some loiterers who had suspiciously shoddy boundaries.
Which is probably why they were in counseling in the first place.
Which is probably why they came looking for my pop who had probably forgotten about the appointment...And finding me hiding from them might not have helped whatever had driven them to get counseling in the first place...
Now that I think about it, that latch wouldn't have helped that particular situation. But I sure do like it. Especially in the morning, when it comes to keeping out the maid.