One night late last year, a car plowed into the side door of our favorite morning coffee place. Insurance companies being what they are, the door isn't fixed yet. The yellow hazard tape is down but the "Please use other door" note is still taped up. That's the important point. There is a sign.
The nice lady kept trying the door. It won't open, but she kept trying. The server explained and pointed to the working door, through which the nice lady had entered in the first place.
She kept staring at the locked door. The one with the sign on it.
She tried it again.
That's what got me. She tried it after someone explained it was locked. After the sign was pointed out. After she had tried it half a dozen times.
It's the impulse to press the already lit elevator button, to think that those five other pedestrians didn't activate the walk signal. It's the "Here, let me try" phenomenon.
What do you think, neurosis or The Little Engine That Could? I'm waffling. No, smarty-pants, I didn't have waffles this morning. I only had coffee. This is philosophical or psychological or something like that.
Do we do it out of a conviction that we can make a difference, or to make sure that it was done properly, or to fill the waiting time with something to do, or what? Because we've all done it.
Except that once, I didn't. And that one time was also this morning, hence the repetition of the word "lock" in the title of this post.
Also this morning, the deadbolt on our front door broke. The door won't open. Robert tried the latch on the inside and the key on the outside. I phoned the nice man who installed it, and he said he'll come over next week, but the thing is that Robert suggested I try it and I demurred on the grounds that he already did.
That was before I saw the nice lady in the coffee place persist in attacking her locked door. That's why she became symbolic, why I started thinking, and why I'm putting up (what is now a very rare) blog post about it.
What was it that caused me not to do that thing we all do? Oh, it was probably an urgent need for that first cup of coffee, but maybe not. Maybe I've gotten a little more wisdom than I thought I had. Maybe I've reached a point where I can accept the world for what it is.
Then again, after we got home but before I called the door guy, I did try it myself. So never mind.
(*Read it to the tune of "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels". Well, it cracked me up anyhow)