There was a time when my husband, Mike, declared that some of my purely accidental “mis-steps” looked a lot like episodes of I Love Lucy. Here’s one of them.
Way back when Mike & I were planning our first wedding, we were out apartment hunting. We spotted a small complex of one-story apartments and pulled into the parking lot to check it out. There was no resident manager, but there was clearly an empty unit. We peeked through the living room and kitchen windows and then discovered that the kitchen door was unlocked. We considered for about two seconds and in we went. It’s not breaking and entering if the door’s unlocked, right? It was a surprisingly small apartment. You couldn’t even open the back door if the oven door was open. On the other hand, it was freshly painted and the carpet looked new. We left it on our list of possibles, but before leaving to check out the next one on the list, I decided to use the bathroom there. Mike determined that everything was operable, so there I went. For some reason, I flipped on the doorknob lock as I closed the door behind me. As I started to exit the restroom moments later, I found that the doorknob didn’t work. It had no traction. Just turned aimlessly. Naturally, that somehow affected the lock and I couldn’t unlock the door. So now we’re trespassing AND I’m locked in the bathroom. I tried everything I could think of to get out, but nothing worked. I finally had to call out to Mike. Now it was his turn. None of his attempts worked either. The hinges were on my side, but they wouldn’t budge, and I had no tools. Last resort. Mike said to check out the window. It was above the tub and sort of high. It was horizontal and not very tall. But it would open. Mike told me to crawl out and that he’d go around the building to catch me. That was going to be easier than me getting out there.Stepping on the edge of the tub, the only next move was to step one foot on the small side of the tub’s rim and what little of my foot I could get into the built-in soap dish. I could open the window. I put all my weight on the soap dish and elevated myself a little.Mike saw the window open and called up to assure me that he was there. I told him the window was too high. “I can’t get up there!” No choices, he said.Fortunately, I was only 20 and not a weakling. I managed to pull myself up so my head, shoulders and arms were out. I was hanging from the window sill. But from there, I could see that the terrain sloped down, and the distance was much greater than I expected. I wondered if my broken neck would heal in time for the wedding.I continued to pull myself up and scoot myself farther out the window until I was half in and half out. I felt like a kid’s see-saw. But I had faith. I continued to scoot and held out my arms. Mike grabbed my arms, then my shoulders, and dragged me the rest of the way out. I did not die.My feet finally hit the ground, and we ran like hell for the car. We rented a different apartment.