I was reading through one of those viral notes on facebook today, and thinking about similar quizzes, chain letters, etc. that I've read/done over the years. One question that has never come up, but would undoubtably generate some interesting stories, is this: Have you ever broken into a house?
Now, I was a good child growing up. A model citizen, if you will. But my answer to that question of questionable legality is yes, four times.
Most of them are boring, and I will recount them in reverse order, because they get progressively less exciting.
Most recently, it was a Sunday morning sometime last year. I had been asked to give the opening prayer at church, and though we are usually on-time kind of people, it was now required, not just advisable and preferable. We got the kids all ready and out to the car. I locked and shut the door and turned around to help load the kids into the car, when Tom asked if I had keys. "No, I figured you had them," followed by an awkward silence.
Alrighty then. I had my cell phone and a phone book in the car, but the locksmith said it would be at least an hour before we could have someone come out. I knew all the windows were locked, and so was the front door. After a few minutes of deliberating, we settled on the credit card trick. We actually used Tom's license, and within a few moments I was inside.
The previous time was also at our current house. We keep our diaper pail outside, because, quite frankly, the aroma is unpleasant. One morning in early fall, I stepped out the back door to deposit a particularly potent parcel, and the door swung closed behind me.
I had not physically unlocked the handle, and when I turned to go back inside, I found that it was locked. The kids were right behind the door, but could not as of yet open doors. I knew that all the windows were closed, but circled the house trying to find one that was unlocked. I finally located one and bent the screen trying to get it off. I could hear the kids inside freaking out because I had not yet returned. After several attempts, I got the screen off, the window open and myself launched inside.
Here is where the stories get a little more interesting.
In high school I had an after school job at a daycare near my home. Though I had a house key, I generally didn't carry it to and from school for a couple of reasons: A) my mom was always home, 2) we had an automatic garage door opening with one of those key-pad thingies, and D) if I had, I would probably have lost it. One day I didn't have 7th period for some reason, so I had an hour to kill at home before going to work. I got home planning to eat and hang out with my mom before heading to work, but when I got there, her car was not in the driveway. I tried the door anyway, and it was locked. Not worried, I promptly entered the 10 digit password into the garage opener and pushed #.
I tried it again.
I checked the back slider as well as the one on the deck, but alas, they were both locked. At this point I was beginning to get a little concerned. I tried the garage door opener again, but without any luck. (It had a bit of an attitude sometimes, so while I was frustrated, I was not particularly surprised.)
Then I started checking windows. All five on the ground floor were locked, as was the one on the deck. After trying the garage door opener on last time, I repositioned the ladder, which was for some reason leaning against the back of the house.
Let me be clear on one thing: I h a t e ladders. They make me super nervous. However, I knew I was running out of time before I needed to be at work, and my car keys were inside, so I clenched my teeth and climbed toward my parents' bedroom window.
I repositioned the ladder to the other window in their room and tried again. This time I was in luck. I gingerly removed the screen, pried the window open and toppled into the room, just as my mom pulled up.
The first time I ever broke into a house, it was not my own. All through jr. high and high school I was good friends with Abby, and she lived not too far from me. One year on her 3/4 birthday, Max, Josh, and I decided it would be a good idea to attack her room with candy. I'm not sure where she was, but we knew no one was home, and I was privy to the fact that the back door was vulnerable to a well placed kick. (This has since been remedied, so don't try it if you know what house I'm talking about.)
We walked up to Bartell's, bought some of her favorite candy, and posted Max and Josh guard out front while I went in to do the decorating.
I made it in without mishap. I moved quietly through the kitchen around to the front door and up the flight of stairs. I sprinkled the candy haphazardly around her room, included a card that we made, and heard a key in the lock downstairs.
I was caught.
While her mom loved me, I wasn't too sure how she would feel about me being in her locked house. The front door was right at the bottom of the stairs, so I couldn't get out easily without risking being seen. Max and Josh were still out front and Wendy (Abby's mom) stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes (no doubt wondering what they were doing loitering in her front yard). They distracted her long enough and well enough that I snuck down the stairs back through to the kitchen and out the door unnoticed. But not before I nearly had a heart attack. Once they guys saw I was out safe, they bid Wendy farewell and met me around the corner, and we all burst out in nervous laughter.
I felt so guilty that I swore to myself I would never do anything even remotely illegal again.