- Home Improvement
The Locked Door
The house I live in was built in the 1920's. The kitchen has been remodeled, new carpet has been laid and taken up, new curtains and furnace have been purchased, but the house still had original doors, windows and floors. All of the doors inside the house, with the exception of one, have locks on them that I wouldn't even know where to begin looking to find the key to use on them. The exception is the bathroom door, it had a usable lock that one would turn from inside of the bathroom and be fairly assured that no one could get in from the outside. However, as time passed and the lock had frequent use, it had begun to "stick" a little, needing a little jiggle every now and then to unlock it and open the door. And it's not just the lock that was having issues, the door itself had started to stick, something in the mechanism of the door handle itself was causing the door to become increasingly harder to unlatch and open.
The Stuck Door
I don't usually close the door tight, or even lock it, but for some reason, on this particular day - I did. I went to open the door ... and it wouldn't budge. So I twisted it and jiggled it. I tried to be quiet, so when I got it open no one would ever know, saving myself from potential humiliation and embarrassment. Sadly, this was not to be. I tried the door again, nothing happened. Hmmm.
My dad was doing dishes in the kitchen, my mom was on the phone, and I was all alone and stuck in the bathroom. I was really amused at first, I laughed. I thought about all the people I had ever heard struggle with the door, probably panicking a little at the thought of getting stuck in someone's bathroom. And then I tried the handle again. Still wouldn't budge. I laughed, thinking one of my parents would come and be able to open it from the outside, and we'd all have a good laugh about it, me being slightly embarrassed but more relieved to be out. The silly dreams we dream. My mom got off the phone, walked down the hall and said, "Who's locked in the bathroom?"
"Me," I quietly replied. We both laughed and she asked how it had happened. "I don't know, I just closed the door and now it won't open."
"Well, twist the lock really hard and then back again."
"It's not the lock, I think it's the little thingy that latches the door, attached to the handle."
"Can you see anything move?"
"I can see the lock move. The lock is not the problem. I think something is stuck in the door handle." I am becoming increasingly frustrated at this point, because seriously, who does this happen to???
What ensued next was an hour and a half of taking out the doorknob, using an expired drivers license to stick in the lock, spraying oil to loosen the hinges, me taking the pins out of the hinges to take the door off, the door not budging after the hinges were off, me sweating a lot and breathing in oil fumes, and f-i-n-a-l-l-y, through the combined efforts of both my parents and myself, we knocked the door off the hinges.
Let me tell you, stale, warm, house-air has NEVER smelled so sweet as it did at that moment! The joy! The relief! The look on my parent's faces! The idiotic feeling I'm having yet again as I write this! It was so good to be out! And that sad little door? The one that frequently got stuck? I'm sad to say we didn't learn from my episode, and two more people proceeded to get stuck in the bathroom (one of them being my very pregnant sister, oops!) before we finally came to our senses and took the lock out of the door handle completely, which was apparently the reason for the problems in the first place. And to this day ... we still haven't bought a new door handle.