First thing Monday morning, I was delivered a real coal-raking when Lauren (of all people!) told me, “You know Erin, it’s not always all about you.” Granted, she said it in good fun, but it was still the best thing Glenn would hear all week. Ugh.
Later that day, I was on my lunch break, talking to Henry. I was whining because Chooch had a birthday party to attend later that week, at 5pm!! Who has parties on weeknights at 5pm!?!? And why did it concern me, you might be wondering? Oh, because it meant that since Henry was going to be dealing with that, he wouldn’t be able to pick me up from work, so I would have to TAKE THE TROLLEY, UGH. And when Henry said, “It’s not always about you, Erin” I had brief déjà vu and then said, “Weird. That’s the second time today that’s been said to me!” Henry asked, “Who said it first—Glenn?” YEAH YOU WOULD THINK.
Wednesday was the day I had to take the trolley home, which wouldn’t have been that bad except that I remembered I don’t have a house key, and here’s why: Chooch lost his house key so I let him borrow mine, and then he lost MINE, so Henry had to get him another one made, but never got one made for me!? So Henry was like, “When I go home to get Chooch, I’ll leave his key under the seat of his bike” and I was like, “Chooch has a bike?” SIKE NO—I know he has a dumb bike.
So I got home and of course it was dark out because WINTER SUCKS, so I had to turn on the flashlight on my phone while hunkering down along the side of the house, digging under a bike seat for a fucking key, and it HURT!! Henry had it jammed so far up there that my hand was getting all scraped! Finally, I got the key out but then I couldn’t get it to unlock the door because here’s another thing: my key was the master key. It slid in smooth like butter, like a well-lubed weener, every time. And way back when I had a key made for Henry back when we were “dating,” the dude at Daniel’s Hardware didn’t cut the key very well, so Henry’s been using a janky key for like, 16 years. So then when Chooch lost his key, and then my key, Henry had to get him a new key made using HIS JANKY key, so now both house keys are FUCKED. And now you know the history of my house keys.
Needless to say, I could not for the life of me get this fucking key to unlock my door. I tried all the tricks, such as leaning into the door while turning the key, and….OK, so I tried a trick. After 15 seconds, I gave up and called Henry. Try to picture me shaking with unbridled anger and also HYPOTHERMIA because it was cold out there, with rage beginning to present itself in the form of foam in the corners of my mouth.
Henry answers from the luxury of Dave & Busters, and I hiss, “I can’t get the fucking key to work.”
And here is where Henry says a string of patronizing things like “Are you turning it the right direction?” and “Is it plugged in?” and “Did you turn it off and on again?” Or whatever. I low-key cried into the phone, “You’re a motherfucker and I can’t believe you did this to me GO FUCK YOURSELF.” And then I quickly looked around to make sure no one heard because I am my grandmother’s granddaughter.
While struggling with the key, I looked over and noticed that the mysterious neighbors now have a lamp downstairs, so that’s a new development. Thanks, landlord. It sounded really quiet over there and I imagined that they were spying on me from their bedroom window like I do to them. HOW RICH. Now I’m the trashy neighbor trying to kick her door down while threatening to slit her boyfriend’s throat with a frying pan.
(Shout out to my new DGD friends!)
Henry had the audacity to call me back after I hung up him. I feel like hanging up on someone is a pretty clear cut way to tell them that you no longer wish to expel breath on them but I guess Henry’s too dumb to get it.
We would yell words over top of each other for 10 seconds before I would have to hang up on him again on account of the rage noodles boiling in my blood.
ALSO! Idiot Chooch has some metal Batman keychain and it was cutting into hand every time I tried to force the key to turn! Since when does Chooch give a fuck about Batman?! Oh my god, my hand hurt so bad! It was so red! I was too afraid to look long enough to see if it was bleeding too but it felt like it was. I kept dropping the key on the ground because I was shaking with so much rage, and every single motherfucker who walked past my house looked over at me because I LOOKED LIKE I WAS TRYING TO BREAK IN. So then I would have to stop, casually lean against the porch column, and whistle.
I really didn’t want to have an encounter with Boots or Phyllis while this was happening, so I felt even more stressed out, like I was racing against something….time or whatever. Like the Mormon missionaries were swishing their wool skirted way to my house and I had to get inside, draw the blinds and hunker down on the floor until they left their bible literature and moved on. LIKE THE PIZZA GUY WAS COMING. (Do you even KNOW me? I scream and run up the steps every single time we have pizza delivered. I was scarred by Freddy of Freddy’s Pizza back in the day. He got too friendly with me and my friends and then started to COME IN MY HOUSE?! I mean, the pizza was great, but nope, go away.)
It was clear that I needed help before I did something stupid, like throw a brick through my window/hit myself in the head with a brick/chuck a brick at the next car that drove by. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A BRICK IN MY POSSESSION COULD MEAN.
WHERE WAS I EVEN GETTING A BRICK!?
Hot Naybor Chris’s light was off, and I certainly wasn’t asking mysterious neighbors, and Marky’s mom would want to hang out and talk and I don’t make a habit of talking to neighbors. But then I noticed that Chooch’s nemesis Larry was unloading groceries from the weird-ass Yellow Cab van that he drives. Oh man, I really didn’t want to have to talk to him. But I couldn’t get in my house! And my rising agitation was threating to destroy any hopeful entry into my dumb house. And I had to pee! SO BADLY. Why didn’t I pee before I left work!?
So I did it. I swallowed my pride. I took a deep breath of compromised Brookline air. I started my slow march to Larry’s house, motherfucking Henry in my head the whole way. Larry had just gone back inside his house, but as I slowly climbed the steps to his door, he had turned to come back out. The sight of me startled him, so right away our interaction was fueled on suspicion and alarm.
I tried to be super friendly, like, “HI I’M ERIN FROM THAT HOUSE THERE” like he doesn’t know I’m the mom of Notorious Chooch. I dangled the key up high and said, “This is really embarrassing, haha, but I can’t get my key to open my door.” Insert self-deprecating shrug and cute sitcom laugh. “So, can you help me?”
He was still looking at me with that super-serious, concerned face, like he couldn’t tell if it was a trap. And I’m like, “Do I look like a burglar? Come the fuck on, man, help me.”
So then he made a “come on” motion with his hand and I followed him back to my house, where I stood on my porch with him for what seemed like a full half hour, enough time to reflect on the idiocy that clouds my life.
I tried to lighten the mood by making jokes, and all of them bombed. Like, “My 10-year-old can open the door, but I can’t, LOL.” And he was just like *no response*. Brookliners are a tough crowd, yo.
But I would just like the record to state that Larry even had a trying time with that defective key. Which made me happy because at least I’m not a moron, but it also meant I had to stand there awkwardly with him in a bubble of rape alert, arms crossed tightly over my boobs. TRUST NO ONE.
After about 5 minutes (OK probably 3), Larry finally got the key to cooperate and my front door popped open. I could see the twinkling lights of Trudy’s arm and all of Henry’s shit strewn about the dining room table and what appeared to be a package containing a vinyl laying on the chair, and I was like THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! And then, “Oh yeah, thank you Larry” as I shouldered past him to get inside. I gave him a few seconds of an audience while he explained to me the trick of opening the door and how I was probably turning the key the wrong direction because I Am A Gurl.
So after being all, “Oh OK. Gurl thanks Man,” I shut and double-locked the door, ripped open the vinyl package (it was the 10 year anniversary pressing of Alexisonfire’s “Crisis”!), remembered I had to pee so I peed, and then sat down to watch The Crown.
Ten minutes later, my phone rang, It was Henry.
“DID YOU GET IN THE HOUSE?!!?” he asked hysterically.
Apparently, he wasn’t getting my texts and proceeded to call Hot Naybor Chris to see if he could help, and when he didn’t answer, Henry was actually going to make Chooch leave the party early so they could come home and rescue me, lol.
God guys, calm down. I wasn’t dying.
(Henry for no reason just now told me he’s mad at me and I’m like I don’t care, I’m writing about my hero Larry.)
*OK cool is what I say when Henry doesn’t respond to me in .00000000008 seconds.
Never forget that time last summer when Chooch spied on Larry from the window:
Hey Larry – I appreciate you. I mean, now I do, anyway. Until you do something to piss me off, which will probably be soon.
Now Chooch REALLY hates Larry.