Ethan got up at 5 this morning, preparing for the first day of school. He’s had teacher meetings the past two days, and today is when school officially starts. This is the first day of student teaching that actually involves students.
When he left, I was still in bed, but for some reason, I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I got up a little before 6 (My mother will never believe this), showered, got dressed, ate some cereal, and went grocery shopping. (Note: when I say “groceries,” what I really mean is “Pop-Tarts. Four dozen Pop-Tarts.”) I got a free gallon of milk, because the Pop-Tarts were in the weekly ad, and it was raining and cool and delightful outside. Happy day.
Around 8 o’clock, one of the upstairs neighbors knocked on the front door so lightly I almost dismissed it. He apologized profusely for how early it was, and politely asked if I had a key to the laundry room. Somehow, he got locked out. I apologized, but suggested he contact the manager a few doors down. He thanked me again and walked off through the rain to talk to management.
About four hours later, a guy I didn’t recognize came wandering down to the front door, which I already had open to get some of fresh-rain scent wafting through the house. He was rather irritated, asked if I had a key (I didn’t), and then started muttering, “Who’s locking doors?!” Because this is a college town between-semesters, I can’t assume that he’s a stranger just because I haven’t seen him before – but I was tempted to ask if he had been free-loading, and that’s why he didn’t have a key.
When I was little, we lived in a neighborhood where you locked your doors, or your stuff was free game. (If we wanted to get rid of stuff, we’d just put it on the lawn with a “for sale” sign on it. It vanished in 20 minutes.) So when I moved to Provo, I was confused when people started getting mad at me for locking doors when I left. Or when I went to bed. I occasionally got a phone call at 2 or 3 in the morning from a roommate who was locked out. I just kept thinking, “If you’re going to be out until tomorrow, why would you not bring your keys?” Eventually, I stopped bothering – but I still tucked my laptop away somewhere hidden before I left the apartment. If we were going to get robbed, I didn’t want to be an obvious culprit.
I guess I’m grateful to live somewhere this safe. But I still don’t understand how you can be mad at someone for locking their own apartment door. You have a key, man. This isn’t a crime. ♦