I was eighteen that day. I was FINALLY going on a date with this boy I sort of liked. We had tried to go out a couple of weeks before, but it had been a failure, with all kinds of misunderstandings and not meeting up in the right places. Too bad we didn't have cell phones then, or at least I didn't have one yet. This time, I was supposed to meet him after a concert that he and my brother were playing in, and then we were going to do something afterward. We stopped at my house first. He went inside first, and the door shut because it was super windy. When I went to open the door again, the whole doorknob came off in my hand. The door had locked somehow, so I couldn't open it, and neither could the people inside. No problem, I thought, I'll just go around and go through the garage. When I got into the garage, I discovered two things. First, I learned that my sister, who had come home from college for the weekend, had wrecked the car I usually drove. Second, I found that the wrecked vehicle had been pushed so close to the door that it was impossible for me to open the door to go inside. The back door was out of the question. It was pretty high up, and the house did not yet have a deck or stairs to access that door from the outside. Also, it was freezing and snowy, and I had not brought a coat. It took them probably half an hour to get the front door open. When I finally went inside, someone took me downstairs. There were maybe six to ten people there. "Um, surprise?" someone said.
Frozen. Date ruined. Realization that I didn't have that many close friends. Sad that my family and friends weren't smart enough to throw me a coat from a window when it was well below freezing. Luckily, I could see the humor in the situation even then. I should have known by that time to follow my grandpa's frequently told advice, especially in southeast Idaho. "A wise man always carries his coat."