Column - Help! Let me in - or out!If opportunity ever comes knocking on my door, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to let it in.
By: Jo Colvin, Alexandria Echo Press
If opportunity ever comes knocking on my door, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to let it in.
My front door won’t open. My back door won’t close. And the bifold closet door in my entryway? It doesn’t even try – it’s off its track and is propped up against the wall, exposing the pile of shoes and coats within.
And that’s just the inside.
My garage door opener doesn’t work. I have to park the car in the driveway, go to the door of the wooden fence, maneuver my hand through a secret little hole to reach inside and undo the latch that is broken from the outside, throw all my weight against the gate because it sticks at the top, go into the garage, push the door opener, then get back in the car and pull it into the garage. And when I leave, I back out the car, get out and go into the garage, push the button and run as fast as I can out of the garage so the door doesn’t crush me.
Thank God the small garage door will shut – but only if it’s not too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, too humid or too dry.
The front screen door was banged against the wrought-iron railing during a ferocious wind storm. Its bent frame won’t close unless it’s pulled really hard. Ditto for the back screen door – it hangs there lopsided, taunting me with its refusal to glide to an easy close, forcing me to use all my strength to yank it shut. The good thing is, once it’s shut, it’s near-impossible to open.
To get the big front door open from the inside, you have to push as hard as you can on the knob and turn to the right. To lock it, you have to bang it shut hard with your left hip as you simultaneously turn the latch with your right hand. The timing is crucial. To get it open from the outside? Not possible. You have to trudge around the house, through the gate in the chain-link fence (that one actually works, sometimes), pick your way precariously through the snowdrifts and doggie do to the back door – where another obstacle to entering my home taunts me.
Beyond the wonky back screen door sits the main door. It’s extra-special because instead of a knob, it has a gaping hole that has been injected with space-age impenetrable foam.
The knob is missing because the old-fashioned latch lock got stuck and I had to unscrew the plate and hack away at the latch mechanism with a hammer and screwdriver until I could remove it so it would open. The foam injection is there keeping out the cold and the draft. Sort of.
In case you wondered, shutting a door with a blob of foam is easy from the inside. But from the outside, I have to grip what little bit of foam is sticking out and pull really hard and fast so the momentum causes the door to shut. Then I push the bent screen door into place and lock it – but the key has to be jiggled around for at least three minutes until it hits the exact position it requires to secure the latch.
My house is a virtual fortress – you can’t get in unless you have a two-hour tutorial, impeccable timing, really skinny wrists, strong hips, and the ability to lift and twist while, at the same time, maneuvering a key into a lock. By the time I get in, I’m exhausted.
My kids have an easy solution to the problem. Get the doors fixed. But they don’t seem to understand that every time you say, “get it fixed,” there is a hefty price tag attached. A garage door, two screen doors, two inside doors, a wooden fence door and a bifold door? So much for their college education.
Or course, I could attempt to fix them myself, but if it requires more than a screwdriver, a hammer, a butter knife or duct tape, it’s outside my realm of constructional capability.
So I finally had to do it. I broke down, mortgaged my house, sold a few pints of plasma and sold my soul – all so I can get the doors fixed. Because you know what they say… “If one door closes, another opens.”
Unless you’re at my house.