a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three cheers for the bobby pin.

Main Entry: bobby pin
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from bob
Date: 1926
: a flat wire hairpin with prongs that press close together

...What Merriam-Webster left out was ": sometimes used in amazing feats of ingenuity."

It was a matter of weeks ago when I mentioned to Justin one of Evie's latest developments that had occurred while he was away at work:

"Watch out," I said, "Evie likes to close doors now, only she can't yet manage to open them again and if any of the doors have locks on them she might be able to lock herself in."

I mentioned this especially because I have vivid memories of my brother, sister and I playing with the door locks growing up. In one memorable instance, John dared Denise and I that he could escape, Houdini style from being bound in a chair and locked inside the hall bathroom. I'm going to go ahead and say that he dared us. It is possible that we just tied him up and locked him in the bathroom. He was having a good time though, until it became apparent that he, in fact, could not escape the knots we'd secured and he started wailing for help. We, of course, panicked, realizing the trouble we'd be in since the door was locked from the inside. My mother rushed down the hallway, alerted by John's shouts to the situation, and assessed the situation.

Now, I think to most children, their parents seem to know everything, but my mother really had some neat tricks up her sleeve. She can sew, build, or solve just about anything you need her to, and armed with a credit card and a bobby pin, she jimmied the lock open on that bathroom door within about a minute.

Fast forward twenty years or so. Friday night, I'm getting ready for the opening of the LCT Benefit. Justin's in the kitchen fixing dinner while I tease and spray my hair and apply gobs of stage makeup. Evie is running back and forth between the two of us, giggling her head off. Every few minutes I take a break to chase her down the hall, sending her squealing. We both have an eye on her, but only one eye each, which of course, leaves room for trouble.

She began playing a favorite game of hers: she goes into her bedroom, pushes the door closed then goes and climbs into the rocking chair. I come, open the door and peek in, and she, miffed at the intrusion on her privacy, climbs down from the chair, crosses the room and shuts the door once more, closing me out.

There I go, back and forth, getting ready, peeking in, until the time that I go to turn the knob and it won't budge. Locked. I momentarily panic and kick myself for KNOWING BETTER, but E hasn't yet figured out that she can't get out. I call to Justin to find--what else, a credit card and a bobby pin--and Evie starts trying to open the door, realizing that she can't.

Justin arrives with the bobby pin and credit card and looks at them doubtfully.

"Doesn't that sort of thing only work in the movies?" he asked.

"No. I know for a fact this can work," I replied. And sure enough, after a few moments of fiddling with the lock with my trusty bobby, I managed to unlock the door. Evie came out and hugged us both, although I have a feeling the ordeal wasn't enough to deter her from trying that sort of thing again.

For my part, I felt both a little like MacGyver...and also an idiot.


Write Softly said...

Ok. So your next assignment is to PLEASE videotape the motions you go through to do that, and post it here. Because boy does the SAME THING. So far we've dodged the bullet of him locking himself in a room, but that can't go on forever. And my youngest brother J can pick just about any lock -- a trade he perfected as a hobby while studying mechanical engineering -- but it would take him 40 minutes to drive here from home, even if I could get him right away.

Sheesh. I'm going to have dreams about this one, I can tell. Thank GOODNESS you were so resourceful. YAY for you, girl.

Brad said...

haha Michele, you're awesome!

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