The Open and Shut Case of the Stubborn Man{21}

Boz, a proponent of the open door policy

In case you are unaware, men have fragile egos. (Please keep this under wraps or else I’ll be booted out of the club.) As slightly evolved hunters and gatherers, we like to call the shots and be right most (nah, make that all) of the time. Thank goodness for GPS; now we really don’t have to ask for directions and can still be right.

That said, I had a recent “discussion” with my friend and on-island Annie Oakley, Tamara, a woman who can hunt, fish, cook, play a mandolin and build a chicken coop. Resourceful she is, shrinking violet she is not.

Several days ago, I helped (make that forced) my back porch and most-used door into place. After hearing an unusual click, I discovered the doorknob would not turn. The shut door was now a barrier, blocking Boz, Gracie and yours truly from our favorite escape route. Unfortunately, there is neither a key to the door nor access to the locking mechanism.  I tried everything to free it, but the doorknob was frozen in place and not giving a inch (much like me in the debate to follow). Did I mention we have no locksmith on the island?

The door before Tamara McFixit entered

That evening Tamara dropped by and bounded up the stairs to the door that normally allows her entrance without the inconvenience of having to knock or ring of the bell. She tugged, pushed, and rattled the doorknob. I yelled from the kitchen, “Come in through the front door.” Within seconds of explaining my closed-door dilemma, Tamara, said “Oh that would be easy to fix.” As she started reciting fifty ways to release the lever, I stopped her, “Tamara, I’ve tried everything, so don’t worry about it. I’m going to try to find a skeleton key.” She smiled, and continued to tell me how she could fix it. (I feared one of her plans may have included a saw-all and dynamite.)

For a quick distraction, I changed the subject to dog care, and reconfirmed with Tamara that she would drop by on Saturday to feed, water and walk Boz and Gracie as I was going to be in Seattle that evening.

Saturday night, I returned late only to have my truck’s headlights illuminate Miss Tamara’s handiwork (and unflinching tenacity). The back porch door was wide open and held in place by a brick. (Nice touch, Tamara.) I couldn’t decide what was worse, having a blocked entrance or having to say, “Yes, Tamara, you were right and I was wrong.” There would also be the indignity of having to repeat that line over and over again in the presence of friends and strangers with Tamara supervising the finer points of the story.

To add insult to injury, Tamara left a handwritten progress report of the day’s activities, including a no-poop entry for Boz. (Oh the indignity, Boz.) Notice the 3:00 – 3:45 time slot. Congratulatory, but not giving an inch, I said, “Nice work Tamara, but I guess the door really wasn’t so easy to fix; so it took you 45 minutes to free it from the jam, huh?”

She replied, “What are you talking about?  I fixed the door in ten minutes, and could have fixed it in five if I had another set of hands available. The rest of the time I spent hanging out with the dogs and prodding Boz to get with it and do his thing.” (Ouch, that hurt. Boz concurs.)

The only thing that made the conversation bearable was my closing inquiry, “So Tamara, when would you like me to come over to set up your new laptop and wireless router?”

I smiled. She smiled.

Ah, a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. No doubt if I asked Tamara, she would qualify it as a draw.

Okay, this may kill me Tamara, but thank you for fixing my door. Boz on the other hand has not forgiven you for the insensitivity of your earlier remark.