Unexpected Consequences

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]

-From Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786


Obviously I’m not the first idiot in the world to lock myself out of my own apartment, but in the moment, it sure feels like it. It all started on Sunday night, when I decided that I needed to give up netflix and television completely for a trial of 30 days. I had become a little too zombie-fied in frequent binge-watching frenzies and it was interfering with my motivation to work of my thesis. So I took drastic steps to fix the problem; namely moving my netflix watching 24′ desktop screen to the back of my closet. And I cancelled my netflix and hulu accounts. (I hear you gasping in horror at the thought…) I like to conduct social psychological experiments on myself, what can I say?

So I woke up earlier than I normally would on Monday morning, fresh and excited about what I was going to do with all the extra time I was getting back from Netflix! I was super optimistic and in a really fantastic mood. I drank my earl grey tea latte leisurely, and read some papers for upcoming grad school classes. After lunchtime, I started getting ready to leave for an afternoon class. I got fully dressed and put shoes on (thankfully) and thought to myself, “I’ll just set my trash bag outside my door so I can take it downstairs on my way to class! Wow, look at me adulting and multitasking!” As I metaphorically patted myself on the back for my wise foresight, the front door shut behind me, leaving me alone in the hallway with a bag of trash to ponder my plans gone awry. I reached down to my jean pockets where my phone and keys would have been, but alas, they were not there. For a split second, I considered somehow breaking the door open… but then quickly realized that was crazy. I had 30 minutes to get to my class; a 15 minute walk/subway ride to campus. Shit!

I go downstairs to look for the Super… he wasn’t there. The building manager’s office was empty, but the computer screen was on, so maybe he was at lunch? I knocked on my neighbors door, who yelled through the door that she didn’t have a working phone when I asked, “Hi, it’s your neighbor, I locked myself out of my apartment, do you have a phone I could use?” New York neighbors are notoriously anti-social so I’m not surprised. After knocking on a couple more doors, I finally found someone who let me use his phone. At that point I was so grateful! I called my sister who has a spare key to my apartment. Had to call three times in a row to get her to pick up. She says she has a migraine. Argh, but I really need to get to class! Double shit! She reluctantly agrees to bring me a key, and I breath a sigh of major relief. I went downstairs to wait for the sis, but then I see the building manager come in! Yay! I’m saved! After explaining that I’m an idiot who locked herself out, he was able to let me back in to apartment… and frantically called my sister to say that she doesn’t need to come down after all! Hooray!

I’ve lived alone in my own apartment for three full years and had never, not once, locked myself out! Never! What happened? My working hypothesis is that since I’ve lost about 30 pounds in the last few months, I’m just not totally adjusted to my smaller size. When I need to hold a door open, I usually would use my luxurious hip to prop it open. What if my smaller hips tried to hold the door but they couldn’t! Either that or I’m a big dumbass. I like the former explanation best.


Erin Hughes is an irreverent writer and successful weight-loser. She's on a mission to stamp out the bad advice from well-meaning colleagues and make weight loss attainable for others. Get her free QuickStart Guide To Weight Loss for strategies to get started on the right track.

  • kwenzqoatl says:

    Well atleast it all worked out in the end. 🙂

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