Last Tuesday evening when I got home from volunteering at the Food Bank, I discovered the latch on the sliding glass door was no longer working. That's just what every paranoid borderline insomniac needs: a door that doesn't lock. Thinking it was just stuck, I got out the WD-40 and sprayed it. That didn't help disproving in my mind the theory that WD-40 and Duct tape will fix anything.
I went to bed knowing I was not going to sleep well as I would be convinced any little sound I heard was someone breaking in. Although I guess technically it isn't really breaking in if they can waltz right in. I think it is just unlawful entry at that point. I then remembered that when I moved the magazine rack to paint the bedroom, it broke so I tried to use some of the "spokes" from that to put in the door channel to keep it from being opened. They were way too short so I got out two pieces of the Swiffer handle and used them. It wasn't perfect, but it prevented the door from being opened more than about 6 inches.
My original plan was that I would just get the piece to fix it on Wednesday. The more I thought about it, the more I realized if I ended up needing help it would be better to fix the door during the day on the weekend than go knocking on my neighbors' door late in the evening. So I decided to get a dowel that fit the channel to provide some measure of safety until the weekend.
Wednesday evening after my volunteer shift, I stopped at Lowe's to get a dowel. That seemed simple enough: 1/2" round by 24" long. I found the 1/2" dowels but they only came in 36" and 48." The gal at the desk asked if I was finding everything okay. I said yes and no-I found the right width, but not the length and asked if they could cut it for me. She asked the guy sitting with her and he said he couldn't because it was too small. (Translation: I don't want to get off my lazy ass and cut that because someone might swoop in on my turf in the 2 seconds it will take me to cut that in half. Hate to break it to ya, buddy. She didn't sound that interested in you from where I was standing). Not able to get Romeo to help me, the girl was all too eager to sell me a mitre saw which is "super easy" to use. I bought it because it was already going on 8:00, I was hungry and I didn't want to go halfway across town to see if Home Depot was more accommodating. (Note to girl: have you ever tried to saw a round object in half without someone to hold it for you? NOT super easy!)
I got the dowel cut into two almost equal length halves (without chopping off my fingers, thank you very much). The door still opened about 2 inches, but that was better: enough to set off the alarm but not enough to let the dogs out. Still, the door wasn't locked and I knew that the dowels weren't going to be enough of a safety measure for me to sleep peacefully. (That and I was excited because I sort of asked Volunteer Guy out and not only did the ground not swallow me whole, he didn't exactly say no so I have a potential future date to play Frisbee golf with him. Yea me! Even if it doesn't happen that was a pretty bold move on my part. However, now that I have thought about it I have decided that I have no reason to believe he has any interest in me and until he gives me reason to believe otherwise, I am going with the assumption he is not interested).
This morning, I finally got a chance to fix the door. I took the handle off so I could get the latch mechanism out of the door. I took all the pieces to Lowe's so I could get the right piece to repair the door. As I was driving over there, I was thinking about how much I hated having to go to the hardware store with Dad when I was a kid. Our parents divorced when my brother and I were still too young to stay home alone so if Dad had errands to run, we had to go too. The hardware store was greasy and it smelled. And to a 9-year-old girl, it was pretty much the most boring place on the planet. Today I realized as a result of those trips, I am now a 36-year-old woman who knows her way around a hardware store, which comes in quite handy when you are hell-bent to make it on your own. (Thank you, Dad).
I couldn't find what I was looking for among the locks so I found an employee. It did not take long for me to realize that hardware is not her department as she kept trying to sell me parts for a closet door despite me showing her the part I took out of the door and telling her that it was for a sliding glass patio door. Luckily, just about the time I was about to tell her I was going to a competitor, another employee came up who knew exactly what I was looking for (made easy since I was still holding it), where they were (above my eye level) and who also gave me tips on how to install it having had to do it himself. I appreciated that.
Forty-five minutes later, I was happily locking and unlocking my sliding glass door and feeling quite proud of myself for accomplishing yet another boy chore. And Volunteer Guy said I needed a handyman. Silly boy.