Breaking and Entering, A Story

My first year of grad school in San Francisco was a lot of working and reading and writing and being very, very alone. It was not a lot of socializing or partying or doing much of anything worth writing about, really. And it was definitely not about exploring the city. I worked in Brisbane (and you will never hear of this small town again) and lived in the Sunset when everyone else lived in the Haight or the Mission. I moved here without ever visiting before, and I moved here without knowing anyone. I was isolated to say the least. So when I was sick of going to movies alone, eating waffles in my stupid little damp apartment by myself, I would travel. Sometimes by myself to new places (Paris), but mostly to places where I had people (Miami – way before I knew Kamel, Chicago, Seattle, Portland).

Portland was where Claire lived. She worked in the nursing department of the University of Portland where she had just graduated and was saving for her epic trip to South Africa. She was renting a room from a woman in her 30s who spent most of the time in her girlfriend’s house. So, for the most part, Claire had the house to herself. Claire is also the best friend who is up for anything.

When I go through a terrible, terrible break up and need something to look forward to? Claire and I book tickets to Disney Land. When we are killing time in the apartment we later shared, who is the first to suggest a movie, or running down to Walgreens for candy, or chasing the 10 year old boys we suspect of drinking down the back ally? Claire. So she was the perfect person for me to call up and say “I’m coming to Portland Friday – Sunday on these dates. I’m wearing my going out clothes on the plane, when you pick me up, we’re headed straight to the bars!”

So, after we successfully flirted with strangers, and I distinctly remember making out with some guy who had a tongue ring…odd the memories i dredge up… we dash off in a cab, back to Claire’s house. Just about a block away, Claire realizes: she does not have her keys. They are not in her giant purse with many mysterious folds and pockets (folds and pockets that have often been known to swallow keys, and sunglasses), they are not in the seat creases of the cab, or on the floor. We pay and get out of the cab, in the rain and cold of Portland winter, and stand on her porch as Claire frantically calls a very crowded bar to see if they can go check the booth we were sitting in, just in case.

In the mean time, I’m standing in the porch, yelling at her, “I’m not going to sleep outside, Claire… I will NOT sleep outside!!” and full preparing myself to call another cab and put a hotel room on my credit card. But Claire is yelling back at me, that she’s got this. She is IN CONTROL. After all of her phone leads (friends, friends of friends, the bar… again) have come to an end, genius Claire (and I mean that in the non sarcastic way) decides to check the screens on the windows for any looseness. By now I am laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation…. until one pops up and off, Claire slides the window open and we have victory!

Claire climbed through first. The only real issue with the position of this window was the rickety table directly below it, and the ghetto picnic chair we had to use to climb through it. I honestly don’t remember who did what, but I do remember that at some point, one of us (and it totally could have been me, I’m about 90% sure that it was) knocked over a beautiful glass lamp that was sitting on the rickety piece of shit kitchen table, that obviously could NOT take the weight of two well fed ladies. What a rip off. Claire was a little concerned about the lamp, but mostly elated that we actually made it inside the house.

And then later that night we discovered we had gotten the same pajamas for Christmas.

So let’s recap: Winter of 2008, lonely times in San Francisco, debauchery (tongue ring) in Portland leadsΒ  to getting locked out of a stranger’s house where Claire is now living, which leads to breaking into the house through a faulty screen and unlocked windows, which leads to breaking some sort of heirloom lamp (or was it a vase?), me documenting everything obnoxiously, and hey! look! pajamas!

Now it’s your turn, tell me a story.

20 thoughts on “Breaking and Entering, A Story”

  1. Ha! I love friends like this! No matter what – good times ensue. And these same friends are totally the people who you haven’t seen in months and then when you do you realize you have the same damn shirt/pjs/pants/dress/bed spread… etc. πŸ™‚

    Did she ever find her keys? Did she get in trouble for busting her landlord’s lamp? The things I think about at the end of this… haha – I’m worried about the outcome! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes! she did end up finding her keys – at the bar we were at! but it took a while to track down the person who had them, etc etc. I don’t think the landlord made a big fuss about the lamp… she was more of the passive aggressive type (totally infuriating at times) so even if she was pissed, she probably didn’t make a big deal out of it, just the proper amount of guilt. πŸ™‚

      And with claire, she always always always lands on her feet. Things just WORK OUT for her where for the rest of us, we would be at the holiday inn, calling the landlord on the hour every hour for two days trying to get back into the apartment. As my mother often says, Claire was born under a lucky star. πŸ™‚

  2. Goddammit, I love you. I’m sitting here giggling into my tea … NOT, mind you, because the story is so absurd, but because I’m 98% sure Skye and I have done this same thing. Minus the vase.

    Please tell me the vase was followed by gasps, and then drunken giggling that won’t stop. Because really, that’s how it’d go down with us.

    I’ll have to drag up some stories. For that matter, remind me to send you the toast she gave at my wedding. Our families cringed. I snorted. It was perfect.

  3. OMG I SOOOO remember this story. I am dying right now.

    It is true- Claire is always up for anything. That girl has an impulsiveness that always kept the planning/worrying/ocd driven me, sane. God bless that girl.

  4. Omg lauren you totally knocked it out of the park for me with this one!! I have SO MANY things to say and laugh about this story I don’t know where to BEGIN πŸ™‚ Such a great time!! Hehehehehe

    1) I remember distinctly how much LAUGHING was going on, that picture of me holding my hair was essentially me holding myself upright so I wouldnt fall over in my tipsy and laugh-attack state! Hahahahaha so much giggling!

    2) the bar never found my keys BUT I DID!! They couldnt find them, but I went myself and found them IN THE DAMN CUSHION that they were too lazy to look in! I could be mixing stories right now, cause lets be real, I totally left my keys at Kells multiple times throughout college, but I think thats how it ended up, but either way, great victory for me!!

    3) The lamp was NOT VINTAGE, it was totally a wannabe from ikea hahahaha so I just added 30 bucks to my rent

    4) she WAS totally passive aggressive, grrrrr but that didnt stop me from totally listening to her vinyl records on her record player when she wasnt home!

    5) there was so much happyness for me that weekend! Full of matching pajamas and lounging in bed and candy!

    6) TWO WORDS: Soco and LIME πŸ™‚ again SOCO AND LIME πŸ™‚

    7) Yay for faraway friend and trips to make these memories!!

  5. I totally remember you guys telling me that story! and i was SO jealous i wan’t there! hahahahaha love it. I also really loved the “chasing the kids down the alley” story…

    And claire stories are. the. best. can you please put the pickle in a bag picture back up? πŸ™‚

    1. oh man, but maris, when it was happening it felt more like panic and less like fun. Only because it WORKED OUT was this a fun story hahaha.

      AND HOLY JEEBUS. that is going to have to go up next week…. with a little dialogue for explanation. Good one!

  6. hilarious.

    my best friend and i broke into our high school once to smoke a cigarette inside (really conservative private school) and wear all of the football gear around for the night and goof off. we had the most amazingly badass, illegal photo shoot of all time together, ha.

  7. My fiance totally did this at about 2am on Christmas eve (i guess christmas morning at that point) at his parents house. We had swapped cars so they could drive his Aunt home, and in doing so gave them both sets of house keys! Usually his place is locked down like Fort Knox but there was a loose screen, followed by dragging a giant trash can from one side of the house to the other and a few minutes of jumping. Needless to say the dog kind of freaked out to see him coming through the window. It was a fun Christmas though πŸ™‚

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