The governor of South Carolina made news, of sorts, the other day when she posted on Facebook that she had locked herself out of the Governor’s Mansion in her robe while seeing her kids off to school.
One of the kids she was seeing off was still inside the mansion, it seems, and so opened the door to let Nikki Haley back inside.
Some people said that episode shows how human it made Haley look. (I don’t know whether there had been speculation about that in the past.)
Others thought it seemed like a good way for her to work herself into the day’s news without doing anything governmental.
Still a third viewpoint came from my wife.
“Are you kidding me?” she scoffed. “Locked out of the house? I was locked out of our house and had to climb over our roof – in my swimsuit!”
It’s true. Several years ago, JoAn was working in the backyard and getting ready to take a swim. It was the middle of the week, the middle of the afternoon, and no one else was around.
She heard the doorbell and went inside. As she stepped out the front door to retrieve a package left on the porch, the door slammed, locking her out. She never goes out the front door in her swimsuit, but this time she had.
On one end of our house, a shed connects to the neighbor’s fence. On the other end is a 6-foot-tall fence and gate in it, but the gate was locked and she had no key because, you know, she was in her swimsuit.
JoAn walked from door to door in the neighborhood, but everyone else was at work or otherwise missing.
Finally, she spotted a 10-foot ladder leaning against a wall two houses down. She took it back to our house but couldn’t think of a way to use it to scale the fence and get down on the other side.
She carried the ladder to the other end of our house and leaned it against the shed, which has a slanted roof of green translucent fiberglass panels covering two-by-fours.
After climbing to the roof, she pulled the ladder up behind her and slid it toward the back as she inched along herself.
JoAn stopped halfway in her delicate trek across the roof to cast a nosy eye on the neighborhood from her high perch. It would have been a loss not to find some good in her situation.
There wasn’t much to see at that time of day, though, so she lowered the ladder into the backyard and climbed down.
She let herself in the back door and had a Coke to celebrate not falling off the roof and breaking bones.
A couple of days later, JoAn sheepishly returned the ladder to the neighbor and explained why she had stolen it.
All of that explains why she was unimpressed by last week’s gubernatorial news.
“Look, until the governor climbs across the roof of her mansion in a swimsuit, I don’t even want to hear about it,” JoAn said. “I would have killed for a robe.”