Today I did something that ranks in the top three dumbest things I’ve ever done. Being something of a scatterbrain, I do a lot of dumb things. I lose my keys at least three times a week, put toothpaste in the refrigerator, go the wrong way coming out of stores in the mall, can’t find my car in parking lots and garages—things like that.
It’s Wednesday and so far the week has been rocky. I’ve been depressed and down, and kiddo hasn’t had the greatest week at school either. This morning both of us were moaning and groaning about facing the world. We got our act together though, and I managed to shower, get kiddo to school on time, and put the key out on the front porch for a friend who needed to come by during the day (this was a one-time deal, don’t come lurking around my house looking for a key, because you won’t find one).
Thirty minutes later I’m heading to work and dealing with I-24 traffic; we’re all going nowhere fast. A notification from our Ring doorbell pops up on my phone. Of course, I don’t check it because half the time it’s just someone walking their dog or a car passing. Besides, I’m driving. A few minutes later, traffic is stopped, and I decided to check the notification out of boredom.
There’s no dog walkers or passing cars. Instead, I watch someone bend down and walk into my house! Their face is shielded, and it’s a dreary day, so I can’t tell who it is. I’m in shock that someone is in my home, unauthorized and uninvited. I text my friend who was supposed to come by later to make sure it wasn’t her. It wasn’t. Now I’m running through scenarios in my mind of a burglar rummaging through our things and robbing us blind. Had they been watching us, saw me leave the key and then waited for us to leave, knowing we wouldn’t be back for hours?
My next thought is to call my husband at work immediately. He’s closer to the scene of the crime and besides, after 24 years with someone that’s just what you do, you call them. I blurt out that someone is in our house because I saw them on camera, and I don’t know what to do. He says, “call the sheriff” (like we live in Mayberry or something). I ask him to please do it because I’m in traffic, and calling the law seemed like something a husband should do, given that no one was in immediate danger. He goes into rescue mode and says, “I’m going home.” We hang up, and now my brain goes into dark spirals thinking of my husband confronting a prowler who’s probably found my secret stash of junk food money in the closet by now and ransacked our dresser drawers.
What can I do, oh, what can I do? I’m just sitting on the interstate feeling panicked and helpless, so I recheck the Ring video. Wait a minute, WHAT???? I know that person in the video!
Y’all, it’s me. I am the burglar.
Much like I-24 traffic, the Ring notification was slow, late, delayed, molasses-esque to the tune of 45 minutes after the “burglar” walked in my door using the key I so kindly left out.
Yes, I know. You have questions. How could you not recognize your own face on the Ring video the first time? Why didn’t you doublecheck it before you went berserk? Did hubs, in fact, call the sheriff? Why are you like this?
First things first. Another frantic text to hubs, “DON’T GO HOME.” Then a call that went something like this…
Me: Sooooooo, it was me on the video.
Me: The notification was delayed, and I just saw a shadowy figure go into our house, and I freaked out.
Hubs: I was on my way home and calling the sheriff!
Me: silence, because there are no words for this
Hubs: heavy sigh Bye.
Upon further inspection of the video, I cannot explain why I didn’t recognize what is—undeniably—my own face, except to say that the notification came well after I’d left the key on the porch, and my brain was caught off guard and immediately went to the bad place.
Hubs’ coworkers now think I’m more ridiculous than ever, and I’m sure I’ll be subjected to a creative retelling of this quite often. For me, I’m used to it. For hubs, it’s just another day of being married to me.
Yep, top three.