The Door

There are times when it’s good to use your strength, like when opening a jar closed by a small man with biceps bulging out of his XL shirt. Then there are those times when thought should precede that mighty muscle flex, which I learned the hard way the other morning.

It all began innocently enough, as so many things do: when I came home from walking Poops my front door wouldn’t close. I needed the door to close since I needed to take a shower so that I could meet a friend for a walk. Now, I have two front doors: a glass/screen door combo and then the keep-out-the-predators front door. It was not enough to lock the glass/screen door and close the front door as much as possible, since I need the double-lock at shower-time. (Have I said that I’m from NYC?)

I used my arm strength to try to close the door. Nothing doing. I tried again. Nothing. It would not close all the way. Then I decided, with a brilliant lightbulb above my head, that only a full-body propulsion lead by the mighty shoulder would do. Voila! Success. Door closed.

Closed shut.


The joy of success was immediately followed by a drop of dread, and then a tug on the door.

Another tug.

Sealed shut.

I had just shut myself into my house. My first thought was that I have enough food to last a few days, followed by a glance at Poops, who had about another eight hours of holding it in in him.

A moment of claustrophobic panic arose, but I shot it down as I looked out to the sunny balcony. No, I told myself, you cannot go there.

Of course, my Mr. Fixit neighbor, with his big boy muscles, was not at home.

I texted the friend who I was supposed to meet and asked her if she could come over and save me by pushing open the door.

But more needed to be done. She might free me, but the door needed to be fixed. I was on it: yelping for handymen. Did I go with Jim, Doug, or Honey Do Guy? For the first time in a very long while I was choosing between men! How empowering.

Just as I was about to do my eeny, meeny, miny, mo, my friend called to say that she would come over and that she had a handyman who lived in her building, if I wanted. Thank goodness for friends.

Oh, the wonder of asking for help and getting it.

An hour later, she and Ted arrived. As Ted banged on the door, she called out, “We’re here!” Between Poops’ barking and the pounding of Prince Charming, I already knew that they had arrived. Within a huff or two, I was freed! Glorious sunlight and a clear path out.

Ah, but the door still needed fixing.

Ted took a look. Then he got a tool. As we have all learned by now, there is no fixing without the appropriate tools. I, myself, armed with an Ikea toolkit, have tightened many a loose screw.

He used sanding paper to try to sand down the bottom edge of the door, since it looked like that was where the door wasn’t closing. (Of course, since the door is not wood, he was sanding down the paint, even I could see that.) He rubbed some more and then tried to close the door again. No movement. He sanded some more. But still no closure. Then, just as I looked away for a moment, he pointed to a plastic bag that looked ominously familiar and said, “There’s the problem.”

There lay Poops’ poop bag. It had gotten stuck between the front door and the door jam.

Now it is important to understand that this bag is one of the ways by which I am saving the world. It is a bag from a newspaper that either my brother or a friend donates to my worthy cause of poop pick up so that I don’t have to purchase wasteful manufactured dog poop bags. But that is not enough, there are surely more ways a dog walker (especially one with a small dog) can save the world: rather than just put one of Poops’ puny poops into a bag and then throw it away, I reuse it, knotting as I go along, until it’s full.

Since I don’t want my neighbors to be disturbed by the sight of a poop bag in front of my house (though why I care, I don’t know, since they leave their very big dog’s bags strewn all over the front yard, but at least now they use bags), and since I don’t want the smell in the house, I have been putting it between my two doors. It was a great solution. Until now.

Now it’s in a little garden pot hidden behind plants next to my door.

Since it’s always important to look on the bright side, I am grateful that the bag was not placed in such a way that when I shoved with full-body force the poop burst forth. Then, surely, I would have needed a shower. 

Poops' poop bag