Name: Megan Dunham
Offense: Burglary? Okay, how about ignorance?
The house we’ve been staying in since the beginning of April has an alarm system. I’ve never needed to use it because Craig’s always been with me to shut it off whenever it was actually on.
Well, last night we were away for an overnight 40th anniversary celebration for Craig’s parents and his aunt and uncle. The owners of the house were here taking care of yard work yesterday and when they left, they turned the alarm on. I didn’t know it. Craig took Maddie and Chloe to see Star Wars which means Katie, Millie, and I came home totally unprepared.
As soon as I unlocked the door I knew we were in trouble. The alarm started warning me with a gentle beep telling me I’d better hurry and enter the pass code or I would soon pay for it.
Problem. I only knew the first digit of the 4 digit code. So I guessed (I figured guessing couldn’t hurt – if I did nothing it was still going to go off). Well, my first guess didn’t work. Neither did my second guess (alarm companies really like it when you keep trying, right?). It only gave me two guesses before scaring the jeepers out of me and the little ones. Man, that thing was LOUD!!
So there I was, with my deer-caught-in-the-headlights eyes, looking at Katie as if she might actually be able to help me when Millie burst into tears and loud, frantic sobs. I picked her up and scrambled into the kitchen where I tried the two cell numbers we have for the owners to no avail. I then got the dreaded phone call from the alarm company to which I had the privilege of explaining with a shaky voice and much fear:
Yes, I realize the alarm is going off.
No, I’m not Mrs. X.
No, I do not have the pass code, although I tried two others (smart move, eh?).
I tried calling the Xs and couldn’t reach them.
Do you want to try calling them too? Oh, of course you will try calling them.
I only remember what I said. I have no idea really what they asked. Did I mention I was shaking with fear and that Millie was screaming?
So I finally got a hold of Mr. X who calmly tells me the code and what to do to get it off. Mission accomplished. Sort of.
The other thing I didn’t know about alarm systems is that the door needs to be shut in order for the alarm to deactivate. I got the sound to stop (which, after all, was my true priority in this whole fiasco, deal with the cops later, right?) but didn’t get the signal to stop flagging the alarm company. (I didn’t know this, of course.)
With the sound no longer scaring the jeepers out of us, I turned on some cartoons to settle the girls and I checked my email to try to calm down (this whole internet world really is an addiction, isn’t it?) when I got a call from Mr. X telling me the alarm company had called him and he cleared everything.
So then I decided to fold some laundry and got about 1/10th of the pile folded when I heard a vehicle in the driveway. Knowing it was too early for Craig to be back, my heart sank.
Fortunately for me he was super nice, but who likes being questioned by the sheriff as a serious burglar suspect?
He came to the door and my heart started racing again as I frantically tried to explain to him the scenario. He bought my story and said when he walked to the door and heard a crying baby he thought maybe things weren’t what they seemed. Indeed.
So he left and I returned to the laundry. 5 minutes later he came back. Apparently I didn’t shut the silent signal off. (See above).
One more embarrassing phone call to Mr. X in which both I, and the sheriff talk to him, a few more punched numbers later, and we’re clear.
Whew! May this be a lesson to me – when someone suggests I memorize a number for future reference, I’d best do it.