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I’m wearing sweatpants at work

January 27th, 2010

With a banana republic merino cardigan that’s three sizes too big for me.

Today hasn’t been all that smooth. It started out fine. I woke, some time around 6:20, with a dog’s face on my neck, tucked in for snuggles. I got out of bed and enjoyed a lovely half cup of freshly brewed coffee. I checked the internets and decided to go for a run shortly after Sandra left for work.

That, my friends, is where everything went wrong.

The run itself was lovely. -5C with snow lightly falling. Little wind, except on Argyle on the way back. I did an easy 5km around Trinity Bellwoods and decided I wasn’t done. I pushed on for another 1.5km, enjoying the feel of going just a little bit faster, a little bit further.

I remember being exceptionally proud of myself, for not only running outside in January, but being quite comfortable running outside in January. See, my first few winter runs were either overdressed or underdressed, but I think I’ve finally figured it out. Running tights + sweat pants + l/s tech shirt + running jacket, a hat, and lightweight gloves. Perfect layers that can be unzipped and vented, or kept closed on days like today, with wind chills nearing -15C.

Remember this. My outfit will become kind of ironic later on.

I eventually made my way back to the house, fumbling in my usually-zipped jacket pocket to find the spare key.

No key.

Wait, that’s impossible. I’d zipped it in there before I started. It’s a new jacket – there are no holes. I checked the pockets again, then checked inside the pants pocket just in case.

No key.

It must have fallen out at some point along the route. I was locked out of my house. In the middle of January. With snow, lightly falling. Wearing basically indoors clothing.

I thought that maybe – maybe – I’d forgotten to lock the back door the last time I’d let the dogs in. After all, I had been expecting to be back inside, getting ready for work, before doing the final walk through on the house.

Our house doesn’t exactly have an alley, but it has a path that stretches from the street to our backyard. I jogged around the block, and that cold sweat felt absolutely awesome in the chilly breeze. I fiddled a little with our back gate. Totally stuck. Completely stuck.

So, I decided to climb over it.

Not my finest moment. But not the worst moment of the day to come. I made it, and nearly avoided several fresh batches of dog poo.

Unfortunately, I’d been safe earlier, and properly locked the back door.

Back over the fence again. I sat on the front deck for a few minutes, debating what to do next. I had my iPod Touch with me, so I fired off a couple of Twitter DMs to get someone to phone Sandra to phone our dog-sitter. Maybe April could come by with her key? And let me in, so I could get warm, shower, and finally get ready for work?

I check the time. It’s 9:15. I’ll be late, but not terribly so, all things considered.

Just then, my iPod battery dies. No way to get a return message, or know if anyone got ahold of Sandra.

I walked down to the Drake. It’s three long blocks facing the wind, and I was now coated with several layers of ice where my sweat had frozen. I stumbled inside and told a short version of my story to the gal at the desk. She looked me up top to bottom. I was wearing my green ear flap hat, my pink shirt, and my yellow jacket. I looked like a frozen rainbow. She laughed a little, mostly in sympathy, and showed me the phone and gave me a glass of water.

I have never been more grateful for a phone, so of course, I immediately asked her for another favor – to look up a few locksmith numbers.

Within seconds of the first conversation, I realized the locksmith plan was not going to pan out. Not only did I not have any money on me, I didn’t have any ID either. My wallet, like my keys, were safe inside on the foyer bookshelf. The locksmith snickered a little when I explained, then eventually agreed to come open the door. In two hours.

I took a deep breath. Two hours. During which time I do what? Sit like a lump on the couch in the Drake’s lobby? Bum a cup of coffee and some food and twiddle my thumbs?

After a second (really, what were my options?) I agreed. At which point he told me that the fee would be $150. Fine, I said.

“And it’s cash only. No debit. No credit card.”

I thought about asking if he’d wait for me to run to the closest ATM – six blocks or so – and return with the cash, but then decided it wasn’t worth the cost or the wait.

Since I hadn’t tried retracing my steps yet, I decided to take another run to the park and back, following the same route. The key may have just been one, but it had a red shiny tag on it, and maybe I’d be able to spot it on the sidewalk or along the road.

3.62 incredibly cold kilometers later, I was back at the house, still key-less.

I stepped over the city guys working on the water pipes outside our house and went up to the door. There was a tag hanging from the doorknob, and I’d hoped it was April, or some other offer of help.

Instead, it was an “Advanced Warning” notice from the City, letting me know – quite helpfully – that our water would be disconnected beginning at 10am on the 27th.

It was the 27th. And it was well after 10am. And that notice had not been there at 9:15. I spun around on my heels and shouted, “Hey! Is my water turned off right now?”

A large surly man raised his head from the ditch and said, “We knocked. You weren’t home.”

“That’s because I was out running 10km. I need to shower. How am I supposed to shower with no water? Not to mention the total lack of ‘Advanced’ Notice. 20 minutes is NOT Advanced.”

I may have continued for a few paragraphs. About common courtesy, the disruption to my work day. At some point, he stopped listening and just went to work, and I remembered that even if there was piping hot water just inside, I still had no keys to get in.

At this point, my day actually improved a little. I couldn’t do anything about anything. I couldn’t shower. I couldn’t change. I couldn’t get my TTC pass so I could take the bus. But what I could do was head back to the Drake again. It was warm there, and the very helpful and sweet desk clerk might have another idea.

When I came into the lobby, she greeted me with a cup of coffee and mentioned that April had just phoned for me. Perfect! She also mentioned that if I needed bus fare, she could spot me the $3. She’d been locked out before, and she knew how much it sucked.

I phoned April and we chatted for a few minutes. She couldn’t come for 45 minutes or so, and I decided to just get on the streetcar and head to work.

Remember, for a second, what I’m wearing. Sweatpants. Bright yellow jacket. Bright pink top. Bright green ear flap hat. And also, let’s remember that I work for the Ontario Government in Cabinet Office. While I generally wear jeans to work, it’s not a sweatpant kind of place.

When I got to the building, I had to check in with security. Obviously, my official badge was also at home. He looked me up and down once, then twice. I spelled my name for him and assured him that I worked in the building. Room 4610, to be precise.

He squinted at the screen and then back at me.

“Can you take off the funny hat, miss?”

I should have said yes immediately. All I could think of was that I had showered the morning before, had slept on my hair, and without brushing it, had shoved it into the funny hat so I could go for a nice little run with minimal fuss.

Basically, I looked like crap. Frozen, sweaty, crap.

My hesitation must have spoke volumes. “Oh, it’s got to be you. I can tell. Here’s your badge.”

Once safely upstairs, my coworkers were nice enough to not openly mock or laugh. Ten minutes later, I’d changed into backup clothing and shoes; an old pair of black uggs, my sweatpants, a black tee and this too-big maroon cardigan. Not exactly chic or work appropriate, but a step up from the tech gear. My hair got shoved into a serviceable pony tail. I washed my face and generally freshened up. And then went about my day.

I used to be the kind of person this never happened to. I was organized to a fault. In fact, just yesterday, I was explaining my beloved Eagle Creek Packing Cube system, and how I love that I can keep track of everything I need when I travel. And yet, something about 2010 is making me fear for my brain. That maybe I’ve lost that part of myself that has helped me function all these years.

I’m forgetting plans. I’m forgetting tasks. And now I’m losing keys.

The whole thing could have been prevented so many ways. Stashing a backup key somewhere hidden outside. Securing the key to my necklace. Running with a $20. Buying an iPhone so I can have the phone AND my Nike+ when I run.

Or just not being stupid.

On the good side, I managed to get in a 10k before work this morning. On the downside, I got to work just before 11. I inconvenienced at least five people plus my dogs, who probably wanted another trip to the bathroom before I left for work. I walked around the office in totally unflattering and unprofessional attire. Getting home from work will involve borrowing more money for the streetcar and braving the elements in well ventilated running gear.

But despite it all, I am laughing quite hardily at myself for this gaffe. It’s such a noob mistake, to lock oneself out.

And I’m really going to enjoy that shower when I get home tonight.

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11 Responses to “I’m wearing sweat pants at work”

  1. Leigh Says:

    You aren’t alone. I’ve locked myself out post running too, no money, no phone, no travel card, no suitable clothing, and sweaty.

    You’ll never do it again, and what a great excuse for an iPhone. (Try the Run Keeper app.)

  2. Kim Says:

    About 7 years ago, after a particularly bad bout of insomnia, I was informed about the city turning off my water by the GIGANTIC backhoe digging a hole at the end of my driveway.

    While I was able to put on decent clothes, I was particularly smelly after having done heavy duty cleaning the night before. And had the bonus of troll doll hair.

    Work was particularly torturous that day.

    Enjoy your shower! It will be the best of your life.

  3. Tom Says:

    At least you can roll with the situation, sit back, and laugh at it. And be thankful it wasn’t any colder!

  4. Jocelyn Says:

    1. This is a great opportunity to justification engineer the iPhone!

    2. I’m proud of you because you’re able to laugh at yourself for it. Sum it up to “one of those days” that you’re allowed to have. Also? HILARIOUS.

    3. I totally have jeans-at-work envy.

    4. I love your blog. You did a GREAT job on the redo and I want you to make one for me.

  5. Judy G. Says:

    I’m glad you’re able to laugh- it sounds like a crappy way to start your day. As far as your brain goes, I heard a theory that after a certain point, your brain is full. If you want to remember anything new, you have to jettison something old. The only problem is that you have zero control over what you delete. My own observation is that you keep what’s really important to you- knitting and weaving stuff, the dogs’ birthdays, and so forth. Practical matters like keys and combinations? Not so much.

    You’ll have a better day tomorrow!

  6. Maja Says:

    Yup, everyone has done it once. I try at least once a decade. My best so far was with R & A halfway to Halifax. At least it was summer.

    Just laugh, it’ll get even funnier with each telling.

  7. Mary Says:

    I’m so in awe of your run that, to me, nothing else matters!

  8. Dr. Steph Says:

    Ah man that is rough. Some day I’ll tell you the story of my getting locked out with the kids and now id or money and how it turned into a humiliating free meal at Mc Donald’s.

  9. maureen Says:

    It’s funny, you say you were never like that before (being the kind of person that loses their keys.) We’ll, I used to be that kind of person, then I got all Hank Hill and now I’m ridiculously organized and particular about everything. And now my blog is really boring and your misfortune made for a good post. I miss the old days of my frivolity…

  10. Eramblings Says:

    I’m sorry about that happening, but also (hate to admit) I am laughing too because this kind of thing happens to me all the time. I literally cannot leave the house without doing a quick check on what I have and happened to forget. I am not forgetful. Not. I am just usually going too fast. I am proud of you. Sounds like you made lemonade. I usually throw a bit of a fit, first.

  11. Lora Says:

    I find during times like this, that it’s helpful to mutter to myself “this will be funny one day, this will be funny one day, this will be funny one day, etc”

    Sounds like you found the funny. 🙂

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