The Quickest Way to Spend $100 Before 11am

By Louanne Woznicki**Guest post. Contact if you are interested in guest posting.

I recently moved into my own condo and with Pinterest-fueled inspiration decided to paint my bedroom. All was going smoothly until it was time to take out the blinds to finish painting around the windows. Fed up, I decided that could wait for another day.

bruised finger

After about a month in the new place it was past time to do battle with the blinds. A very helpful YouTube video and one black-and-blue fingernail later, all of the blinds were gone and I was ready to finish painting. The last remaining hiccup was my puppy. Paint and puppies don’t mix.

My puppy, Walker, is very good about his crate, though there is zero chance he will stay quiet if he knows that there is someone else in the apartment. With that as option one, and him scratching the closed bedroom door as option number two, I decided that I had to trick Walker into thinking he was the only one at home.

I would leave the condo through the front door like he is used to when I go to work. Then I would sneak back into the bedroom through the porch door that is accessible through the condo’s hallway. I got everything in the room ready for painting, unlocked the bedroom door’s deadbolt, and opened and closed the door once to test that it was indeed unlocked. I put Walker in his crate and even turned on the radio to cover any noise that I might make. This plan was foolproof.

At the front door I pause – the doorknob is the kind that still opens from the inside, even if it’s locked on the outside. I decide there was no need to unlock it, since the bedroom door was open. I had double-checked the bedroom door. As I round the corner to the porch I have the biggest grin on my face: Walker is going to feel pretty silly when he sees me come through the bedroom door once I finish. My grin vanishes as soon as I put my hand on the bedroom doorknob. It’s locked.

There have been some close calls with locking myself out of the front door before. So close that I have thought about hiding a key on the porch or giving a spare key to a friend. Alas, I had debated about whom to ask for this inevitable favor and added it to the long list of things I still needed to do. Why did I not think about the possibility that the bedroom door would also open from the inside, regardless of it being locked? This shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet there I was, standing outside in the winter cold in my pajamas and slippers.

As I’m debating what to do, I hear Bruno Mars’ voice drift out of a neighbor’s apartment. My hand to a Bible, I swear it was ‘Locked out of Heaven.’ I could relate. Big time.

In a lucky turn of fate, I see my neighbor come out onto her porch. Still new to the building, I’m not sure of her name, but there is no better time than now for introductions. In my own version of a Saturday walk of shame, I walk to my neighbor’s apartment to use her phone. I call the first locksmith that Google provides and wait. I warm up inside her apartment, and when I start to feel like I have overstayed my welcome, I retreat back to my porch.

I will give it to the locksmiths – they do come to the rescue quickly. He has what looked to be a small square blood pressure cuff, complete with the bulb-like pump. After sliding two of these on either side of the lock and inflating them as much as he could, he was able to pop the lock. I was back inside, and it was Walker’s turn to grin.


Resigning to defeat, I began painting the windows with Walker in the room. My genius plot was all for not, as Walker had zero interest in the wet paint. He was perfectly content to lie in the sun, watching me as I finished painting around those damn windows.