You know that Friends Thanksgiving episode, circa the first or second season? The one where Underdog gets away at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the whole gang gets locked out of Monica’s and Rachel’s apartment, because they both swore the other person had the keys? And Chandler and Joey dig through a whole drawer of keys, since they of course, have a spare, if they could just figure out which one out of the pile it is. Meanwhile, Monica’s turkey is slowly getting burned in the oven. Oh, and I think there’s an Ugly Naked Guy appearance or two.
Well I may have been in a similar situation this past weekend. Minus an inflatable cartoon character dog, well-timed laughter from a live studio audience and well, Ugly Naked Guy (thankfully).
What exactly happened then?
On Friday night, I unpacked my entire closet, shoes and all, finishing up around midnight. Feeling awfully proud of myself, I decided to head downstairs, with Elvis in tow, to get some of the moving boxes out of the way and down to the trash cans. I grabbed what I thought were my entire set of keys, Elvis’ leash and a stack of boxes, quickly closing the door behind me. The door, of course, locks automatically, upon which, I glanced down, just as the locks were clicking into place, realizing I hadn’t put my apartment keys back on my regular key set after my evening run. The only positive I could think of in this situation was that I had a good security system at least. I’d much rather have had a good lock on my door, offered from locksmith
‘s, than a bad system.
My actual apartment keys and phone were both left inside.
Cue heart sinking sound now.
I ran through all the phone numbers I knew by heart in my head (a whopping 3), none of which were for the one person who was going to help me get back inside, that being my building manager. This of course, would have made a difference, had I grabbed my phone before stepping out, which of course, I hadn’t. So I started knocking on everyone’s doors, praying someone would let me use their phone.
I’ll spare the rest of the details of this already long winded story, and say this: despite this being a really unfortunate experience, I had some incredibly nice people along the way. From my downstairs neighbor who not only let me use his phone to call the building manager that night (he didn’t pick up), but also insisted that I take $40 in case I needed it, to the guy walking his dog the next morning who let me borrow his phone to call my building manager yet again (this time, he did pick up). And Christine
, who happened to be out of town this past weekend, but had given me a spare set of keys to her apartment, where Elvis and I stayed that night.
Over a very intense 12 hours, I went through a roller coaster of emotions: anger, embarrassment, frustration, desperation, but each of these folks along the way took it in stride with me, most of them reacting quite similarly: “Oh you’re locked out? Ah, yes, welcome to New York. We’ve all been there” before offering to help.
And it made me feel grateful for two big reasons: 1.) that people do kind things all the time and 2.) that I had just gone through my first New York City rite of passage. I’m sure I’ll have many more of these to come, and in the whole scheme of things, this one wasn’t all that bad, but if I’m lucky, I’ll have some amazingly kind people around me when the next ones strike.