No good deed goes unpunished.

I look out our kitchen window to see frosty air pressed against everything.

I turn the knob to the storm door and find the interior handle is frosted. I give our bulldog an aggressive nudge to hasten his speed out the door.

You should start your husband’s car for him.


I pull on my coat, speed walk to the car, start it, and hightail my hiney back to the door.

I reach for the handle to find the door has been locked behind me by my one-year-old who is now waving at me, grinning from ear to ear.

Turn the knob, I mouth to him.

He smiles, merrily pounds on the glass.

Turn that knob, I demonstratively explain, growing louder.

Minutes pass as we stare at each other.

My four-year-old is rooms away, in front of a screen.

My husband is taking a warm shower, one floor up.

My Pandora is blaring in the kitchen.

And nobody, but my neighbors and God, care that I’m beating down our back door.

I intentionally keep my back squarely turned to my neighbors’ window, though I’m certain by now they’re staring at me. She’s always near her kitchen window at this hour.

My hair looks like I stuck my fingers in an electric socket. It usually does.

But I had just been puking my guts up over the past two days with a bug, so my bird’s nest was more memorable.

I’m in my pajamas and sandals, and I’m not smiling.

It’s eight degrees; feels like negative five; feels like my toes might break off.

I could get in the warm vehicle. That means leaving my one-year-old in the kitchen without any eyes on him.

My husband regularly gets ready for work in five minutes. I’m certain he’ll be down in no time. I can’t wait to see him.

Minutes pass.

My blood pressure increases.

I should practice gratitude. Thank You, Lord, that I have a door to lock. Thank You that I have sandals on. Thank You that my eye fluid is not frozen, and I can still blink.

My one-year-old is now lying face down next to the storm door, upset about what he’s done. I’m growing increasingly concerned about my limbs and digits.

Where is my husband? He better pray he has a tummy ache.

I think I read somewhere that people stranded in emergent situations without food or water should suck on a button to stay alive.

Find a button. My jacket only has zippers. I’m a goner.

I finally decide to trek around to the front porch, so the entire neighborhood can watch a real-life King Kong encounter.

I feverishly ring the doorbell.

Knock, knock, knock, knock.

I clench my teeth, and I ring it again.

I’m about to angrily sink to my knees when my husband appears at the door, lifts the curtain to look out the glass, and finds a very disgruntled abominable snowman.

His eyes are as big as quarters.

I started your car, I growl.

He was caught up on a work call.

No good deed goes unpunished.

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