When I was little, my parents used to call me “drifty.”  I was a daydreamer and just flitted from here to there, not paying attention to my surroundings and often doing clumsy/stupid things due to my inattention.  As I’ve gotten older, my “driftiness” has improved a little. But every so often, I do something so monumentally stupid that it puts my childhood misadventures to shame.

Today I bought groceries.  I live on the top floor and hate going downstairs more than once, so I will often carry all my groceries at once.  It is heavy. I don’t enjoy it.  Today my groceries were a little heavier than usual, so I dumped half of them outside my apartment and opened the door to relieve myself of the other half.  I left the keys in the deadbolt but as I placed the second half of my groceries on my foyer floor, I remember thinking, “I must remember to get my keys out of the deadbolt.”

Flash forward to eight hours later.  I was sitting on my couch, trolling Wikipedia for updates on a show I don’t watch anymore and chatting with friends.  I heard a loud knock.  “God, who knocks on the door at 10 at night?” I thought to myself. I got up and peered through the peephole.  I saw a woman outside who I had never seen before.  She looked a little upset to me.

I have this rule where I don’t answer my door if someone knocks on it. I know it may sound weird, but I grew up watching America’s Most Wanted, meaning that anyone knocking on my door is a potential burglar, predator, murderer, rapist, or all of the above.  I can’t think of any good reason to open my door, even if it was for the perfectly sane-looking woman on the other side of it.  She knocked again, and I remained silent.  Finally she left, and it was only by the sound of her slamming door that I realized she lives right next-door.

I went back inside, riffing to my friend and brother how rude it is to be knocking on the door that late at night, and the TV is off, so what could she be upset about? GEEZ.  My friend suggested that she may have left a note.  I scrambled off my couch, looking forward to seeing some passive-aggressive note about the noise I was not making.

I opened the door and looked outside. I couldn’t see a note on the ground, so I decided to look on my door and see if she had left one there.

That is when I noticed my keys were still in the outside lock.

Yes. My keys were still in the outside lock.

I am that stupid.

How ironic that my paranoia of not opening doors to strangers could have ended up getting me in a bad, bad place.  I mean, really – I think of all these disaster situations in my mind for opening doors to strangers, but then am all, “HEY GUYS, I LEFT MY KEYS OUTSIDE, RIGHT IN THE LOCK! YAYYYY! STRANGERS, PLEASE COME INSIDE AND RAPE ME.  YOU CAN TAKE MY WII TOO, IT’S COOL.”

To the neighbor I have never met – thank you, thank you, thank you.  I am so grateful that I found about my keys now, and not by some “surprise” visit at 3 am by an unwelcome visitor. Wow.

Edit #1: One of my friends just informed me that he has done this before too, TWICE, so I don’t quite feel like a failure as a human being anymore.

Edit #2:  My brother informed me that this has happened a couple of times to him, too, and that “it’s not really a big deal unless you get molested.”


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