No, this is not a shot-out to all those choco-coated idiots in New Orleans stealing Air Force Ones and throwback jerseys for the entire world to see while their City and families lives are in ruins. Rather, I am referring to those of us that might be trapped in not-so hot situations - from bad jobs to poor relationships to unaffordable leases w/ slumlords (big ups to my fellow NYers). I actually really like my workplace, can't complain about my relationships with others and won't complain about my lease (at least not until I have to start paying for the heat, again). Nonetheless, as my life seems thus far, the only child forces that be refuse to let me feel left out of anything - including a serious bout of pre-workday stress at 7:30 in the morning...
Long story short: I got locked in my apartment. Yes, you read correctly, not "outside of," but rather "inside" my crib. Yet, since I have never been one to wear the "damsel in distress" gown (I just don't think it goes too well with brown skin), I tried to find a few ways to remain employed, low-maintenance and calm, while fully utilizing the (now) extra batch of time on my hands.
First plan of attack: Call Boss Lady
Choking back laughter, I informed my boss of my situation via voicemail and ensured her that it marks the first time that she has probably received said excuse (which she later confirmed once I arrived to work). Thank goodness for cool folk at work.
Second plan of attack: Call the Neighbors
I guess two single, straight, fairly attractive and pretty social men in their 20s do have better things to do than answer their cell phones at (approaching) 8a on a Thursday. Yet, I suppose that I also had better things to do at 430a, 130a and 930p, which marks the times that said individuals (and even a lady friend) rang my buzzer when locked outside of their place. I'll just chalk the difference in urgency up to the fact that as men they were locked outside, subject to the dangers of a dark, scary Harlem street, while this lady was locked in the comfort (and safety?) of her own home. I mean, it only makes sense, right?
Third plan of attack: Seek Out Good Samaritans
Contrary to what you may have heard, Harlem is not all that bad of a place. Many of the neighbors are friendly and will help a good-looking (haha) woman in a heartbeat. With that said, I threw open my window and tried to convince myself that it was really okay to flag down help from a passerby on the street. Yet, before I could really bring myself to do it (and perhaps holding out a little hope that my neighbors had not completely abandoned me), I summoned up enough courage to tap my unabashed black girl inside: from the 2nd floor of my townhouse, I yelled downstairs toward my neighbor's window, but quickly ducked back inside. It was just too damn ghetto and I was embarrassed. I started feeling like one of those women in rollers and an eight-color satin cap who dangle out their apartment windows with baby powder and a too-small tank top covering their DD'd chest. Yet, low and behold, I spotted a fan from the building next door, who kindly rang my neighbors' buzzer for me.
Fourth plan of attack: Wardrobe Change!
Judging by the fact that a fourth POA even exists, I should not have to say that last step was fruitless. Still locked inside, I decided to make even greater use of my time. And, since we're being totally honest, I can say without problem that I rose late this morning and ended up looking a hot mess. I did not like the hair and the outfit was not flattering. So, based on my predicament, I did what any urban, vain and concerned with the looks woman would do: I did my hair, makeup and tossed about a few different tops. Within 10 minutes, I was looking good, feeling even better and ready to get back to the task at hand.
Fifth plan of attack: Call the Property Owner
Yes, I know many of you are wondering why I did not do this first. Well, I am a woman, and, like we oft do, I guess I wanted to test the "I helped you, now let's see if you will help me out" waters of neighborly life. But we all know what our mothers taught us about testing people...
So, there you have it. The owner came, I slid the key under the door and after a few minutes I was free. Free to leave my apartment, free to go to work and free to fake sleep the next time I hear my buzzer ring at 2a or later, and I happen to be donning a multi-colored scarf, "libre" D cups and a too-small tank top.