Locked Out at Midnight in the Bad Part of Town

I am a cheap thrifty person. 

Okay, maybe it would be accurate to say that I'm right up along the very border of cheap. I'm not crossing the line though. Only my toes are over the line. 

I have a story to share from my college years. I was 18 and working as a Pizza Hut manager and there was a time when trying to save a few dollars put me in a dangerous situation. Okay, there were several times, but we're just going to focus on one for this blog post.

I had a coupon for a free car wash. The regular price was $4.99, so without the coupon there was no way I would ever be getting my car cleaned. My Alero wasn't that dirty and I didn't want to waste the coupon, so I put off the car wash until the day before my coupon expired. 

After leaving work and nearly midnight, I took my Alero through the automatic car wash. It was the last day before the specials changed at the grocery store, so after the thorough washing, I decided to drive next door to do a little grocery shopping before going home. It was the middle of January, so I bundled up and ran into the store quickly because it was absolutely freezing outside. 

Do you see the problem yet?

I zipped in right before the store closed and came out about 15 minutes later with a basket full of bargains. I had a little trouble getting my trunk to open, but didn’t really think anything of it. Then, I went to open my car door.

The driver’s side door was frozen shut. So was the passenger door! 

After working a long shift (my usual day started at 6 am and ended close to midnight without any breaks), my mind had been too sleepy to ever stop and think, Gee, what happens when you pour water on something and stick it in the freezer, stupid? 

Okay, to be honest, I probably would have made this mistake even without working such a long day. After all, my $4.99 coupon was going to expire!

I hadn’t met my Sexy Nerd yet so I had no one to call for help. It really wouldn’t have mattered though, as I was too much of a penny-pincher to have a cell phone. (If Sexy Nerd hadn’t insisted on getting me one after another stranded/dangerous situation, I still wouldn’t have one. That's a story for another time though.) 

So, what did I do? It was after midnight in a part of Albuquerque straight from Breaking Bad. There was no one around except three homeless men and I was pretty sure they were doing some sort of drugs. (The grocery stores in the bad parts of town always have the best prices! Also, WTF 18-year-old me?) 

With one last failed attempt to pry open each door, I went with the only sensible option. I removed my groceries, climbed into the trunk, pulled the little strap to unlock the back seat, pushed the seat down with my legs, climbed over the back seat, wiggled my way over the tiny Alero center console into the front seat, used all my weight to shove the frozen front door open, went back around to gather my groceries and close the trunk, and hopped back in. 

With a nod to the drugged-out hobos staring at me, I was on my merry way, off to bed so I could be rested for school in 6 hours.

Funny college story
 Me being so cool (and so smart!) in my college apartment.

Sexy Nerd would like to add that my place reeked from my guinea pig, Mr. Ducky, who you can't see in the photo because he had free run of the apartment. Pets were not allowed and my older self is kinda understanding why.

Also, I remember being so proud of how nice my apartment was, so this photo has me a bit bewildered.

Ooh, and I'm typing this at the exact same dining set you see behind me! Only now the chairs are burgundy.

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