Monday, January 10, 2011

Me Monday - Laugh at Yourself!

This happened several years ago when I lived in Asia:

" It all started when I decided to hang the laundry before going to the grocery store. I was at home alone, and since the laundry was mostly "unmentionables," I decided to hang it out of the neighbors' sight in our back "yard," which is really like a cement prison cell with no roof and barbed wire at the top of the wall. It is a small space with a cement sink, and even the door is only half as wide as a regular door (yikes!). WELL, I  got my laundry hung, turned around. and....I WAS LOCKED OUT!!!!!!! There I was in that little space, no phone, no key, no toilet, etc., in the hot sun hanging out with the laundry! To make matters worse, no one would be back home for two more hours! I already felt hot, and I couldn't imagine waiting for two hours sitting on top of a gas can. Well, I started looking around for something tiny to jab into the lock (just one of those push locks). No such luck. I looked around. Our bicycles---hmmm--sure would have loved to ride out of there....kerosene...I could start a fire! That would get someone's attention. Nah! Outdoor fires were very common here! Besides, if all the neighbors knew, I'd never live it down, not to mention my husband's going to get a hoot out of it! Lysol, bleach...hmmm! With all the sweat dripping down my face, I could have slipped under the door! I had tried to use a long thin strip of sheet aluminum to pop the lock, and then to stand in for the "credit card trick," but to no avail. Well, I took off my watch and glasses (tried using those, too), and decided to take the door off! Yup! My husband had complained when we first moved in, that the door was on backwards, and the hinges are on the outside of the house instead of the inside, and any thief (who could get over the barbed wire wall) who had a few simple tools could get inside in just moments! My problem -- no tools! I checked above  the sink to see if there were any stray tools. Nope, but there were several nails! Yes, and a huge hook which screws into the wall. So there I was jabbing away at those door hinges. The middle one came out easily, and I was encouraged, but none of the others would budge. Next, I found a sturdy aluminum strip about a yard long which I used to remove another hinge. The problem was, it was too long to get the one closest to the ground off with, and I couldn't really reach the high one without standing precariously on top of one of our camp style gas tanks! Groan! Well, I was bent over working on one of the hinges, but it was futile. Suddenly, my eyes rested on a length of stainless steel pipe about an inch in diameter and 18 inches long!!!!!!!!! Hurrah! A few quick hammers, and all the hinges were out. What do you think happened? NOTHING! GRR! So here I am, with a loose door, and nothing to pry it off with! There I was again, looking for slender wedge like objects. The nails would just dig into the wooden door frame, and a broken clothespin just broke more! Finally, I took the thin metal handle of our water bucket, bent it up, and used my "hammer" to jam it into the space between the joints of the middle hinge, and played tug of war. Finally, the whole door came crashing out of the frame, and I let out a whoop, so loud, that one of the neighbors kids (behind the 12 foot high barbed wired cement wall) heard me and echoed my whoop! I rushed inside, washed my sore hands, and got a drink, as the lovely cool air conditioned air poured out of the doorless doorway. Well, I have to hang the door back up. No matter, I went to the  toolbox, and got a REAL hammer.   Nyah nyah!  I felt pretty victorious, until it came to actually putting the door back on its hinges. Our washer drain pipe, which cannot have any pressure put on it, was right under the doorway, and the way the door was installed, IT HANGS OUT OVER THE EDGE OF THE FLOOR! The back area floor is a good two inches lower! So I had to sort of throw the door toward the hinges, and hope it would miracously catch all four at the same time!!!!!!! Somehow I manged to do it, and felt pretty smug until it came to replacing the last joint into the last hinge. I couldn't understand how the door could be on ALL the hinges, and this one WAS  STILL NOT IN LINE!!!!! How crooked can a door be? I thought, maybe it will be okay without this one...nope! I could barely get the door open and it screeched and protested! Not one to give up, I began heaving and banging enthusiastically, with no small wear to the door frame. It wouldn't work. Finally, I jammed a nail up into the hinge from the bottom to hold the hinge assembly in place, and then hammered the hinge joint in from above, knocking out the nail, and slipping the joint in nicely. All this was done while standing on top of a gas tank, and trying to avoid the spigot where the gas comes out!

At last the ordeal was over. I felt like ordering pizza and going to the grocery after lunch. Somehow that didn't seem heroic enough, so I started to head out the door. Whoops! I must have left my glasses and watch out back! I will need those to go out. I went out (this time with my cellphone in my pocket), picked up the glasses and keys, turned around LOCKED OUT AGAIN! Can you believe it!!!!! I triumphantly whipped out my keys with a snicker, and WOULD YOU BELIEVE THIS WHOLE TIME, I NEVER HAD THAT KEY ON MY CHAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, I had to do the whole thing over again! Ha Ha Ha! At least I had a hammer the second time around. The first time it took me about twenty minutes, and the second time, it only took about five!!!!!! Groan!

At the grocery store, I sent my husband a text, telling him that lunch would be later than usual."

The moral of this story is as follows:

1. Laugh! It releases endorphins, and makes you ready to accomplish more. Don't take yourself too seriously!

2. Yes, make sure you keep the keys you NEED on your chain, and have a "home" for your keys when you are at home!

3. When you cook, make extra and put it in the freezer, so when "things" happen, you can relax!

Enjoy, and remember the only thing you can control is your attitude!

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