One of my coworkers made the mistake of saying he wouldn’t mind helping me wash rocks last night, so I dragged him home and shoved a toothbrush in his hand. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t mind scrubbing dirt off of hand samples while blabbering on about various and sundry, or it might have gone very badly for him. I now have many sparkling clean rocks suitable for shoving under people’s noses and saying, “Look! LOOK! Look at how awesome this is!”
This is all to the good, but it’s an incidental detail having nothing to do with geology that I wish to discuss here.
People new to the apartment have a variety of reactions. Many are surprised by the number of rocks and books strewn throughout, and get lost wandering through libraries of stone and paper. Others are a bit overwhelmed by the art, especially when they poke their heads into the bedroom and realize that, yes, I am that much of a LOTR fan. Some get enchanted by the kitty, and have difficulties understanding they shouldn’t touch. No, especially if she’s being friendly and cute. That’s her “Oooo helpless naive victim!” routine, and there will be pain. Some have a combination of all reactions, in varying degrees.
And some are intrigued by the door.
First, it has a trick doorknob. It’s elderly and cantankerous and has to be wriggled just so in order to achieve a successful opening. Second, it’s got two heavy locks. There’s the usual keyed deadbolt, and then there’s another deadbolt that can only be operated from inside. It’s entertaining to watch people try to navigate that door. Even after they’ve become familiar with its quirks, they either forget to unbolt the top lock or end up stymied by the doorknob. They get out in the end, and I figure it’s good exercise for their brains.
I love that second bolt. When I saw it, I knew this was the place for me. It adds a nice layer of security. I can bolt myself in and rest assured that no one with the master key will barge in. I’ve never liked that about apartments, that some random people can just waltz in my door at all hours of the day or night. This way, I get to control when people enter my premises when I’m at home. I’ve used this to good advantage when they insist on doing inane inspections at the buttcrack of dawn and I’ve been all like, “You can come back in the afternoon after I’ve had my sleep, thankyoueversomuch.” They’ve no choice in the matter, and that has made living here much more peaceful on the day-sleeping front.
It’s also nice to know that if some genius manages to pick the lock, they’re still stuck outside. I sometimes wish someone would try, just so I could stand on the other side of the door watching them through the spyhole and laugh my arse off. I’d be kind enough to shout some encouragement to them, too. After all, if someone’s putting so much effort into something, no matter how ultimately futile, and entertaining you so well, you want them to know it’s appreciated. Alas, there have been no such attempts.
This place has window locks as well, and it’s clear that whoever put all this in place had a healthy regard for personal security. Why make it easy for some yahoo to bust in and grab what they want? the philosophy seems to have gone. Why run the risk of getting the shit sued out of us by a tenant because we didn’t spend a few dollars per apartment on simple locks? the management probably thought. Also, you can charge more per month for such features. Happiness all round.
So my coworker sees this hefty second deadbolt, stops, and says, “Somebody was paranoid.”
Ah. A tall young white male. Yes, of course. It hasn’t occurred to him yet that there are reasons other than paranoia to have two locks on your door. He didn’t grow up under the constant threat of attack, and if he was attacked, it would likely just be someone robbing the place who really has no interest in hurting the homeowner as long as stuff is obtained without a quibble. He hasn’t had to live with the daily reality that the next person you encounter may be the one who sexually assaults you. He hasn’t hunkered down behind one flimsy door lock and wondered what would happen if you had to rely on it for your safety. He hasn’t had someone slip past the single lock on the door and turn him into a statistic. That’s not his world. And so, in his world, two locks means paranoia.
In my world, two locks means sensible security, and really, the bare minimum, because it’s not like that second lock does any good when you’re out of the apartment. It won’t stop that particular kind of predator that watches apartments to isolate the one with the single female, and then decides one day that it’s time, and goes to lie in wait. This happens. It happens all the time, and is why I always lock the door when I leave, even if it’s just to walk down to the mailbox. He probably doesn’t do that. It probably never occurs to him that leaving the door unlocked for three minutes could sentence a person to death.
This, my friends, is what’s known as male privilege. The vast majority of men don’t have to contemplate the value of two locks. Virtually every female on the planet does.
One planet, two worlds. That’s us.