Monday, November 14, 2005

Key Party

I can raise both of my eyebrows simultaneously. I appear to have the same degree of fine motor control I have always possessed. My speech, while largely inconsequential, remains ungarbled. And yet I think I’ve had a stroke. Or, more accurately I choose to believe I’ve had a stroke because it is less embarrassing than the alternative.

Sunday, Consort and Daughter went off to run errands and then visit my mother while I stayed home and attempted to write. In case you’re curious, my attempting to write bears an uncanny resemblance to me browsing through vintage hairpin websites. After a couple of hours, the only thing I had accomplished was resolving that I was, in fact, too old to wear a ceramic cat in my hair. At which point I glanced at the clock and realized I needed to leave to pick up Daughter from her Nana time. I gathered my purse, my cell phone, my iPod, and my keys.

Where are my keys?

Methodically, I took apart the entire house. Thanks to years of daily practice, I have a certain knack for second-guessing my own weird missing-key hiding spots but the Christmas ornaments carton yielded nothing but an unfamiliar bathing suit; the woodpile offered up only a tiara; and the low metal storage cabinet (which some people refer to as an oven) grudgingly gave up a lone ankle weight, but nothing else.

Then, suddenly it occurred to me. Consort and I had gone to a neighborhood party yesterday afternoon and Consort had returned home first. He had taken my keys to get into the house. Consort had my keys! Consort had my keys…with him!

No problem.

I called him, got his voice-mail and left a cheerful message along the lines of, “Hi, I think you have my keys, you handsome lunatic. Pick up your kid, come home, and give me my keys so that I might roam freely. Love you.”

I drifted back to the computer and stared at more hairpins, confident in the knowledge he would call back in a minute or two. Consort’s relationship with the phone is passionate verging on the unsettling. (He swears it’s a platonic relationship.) Even if its ringer were set to mute, it would loyally vibrate on his hip, he’d see the home number and call me right back.

A half-hour passed. Having become bored with hairpins, I became all too educated on Bakelite bracelets. This might have been useful if I liked bracelets. Or Bakelite. But I don’t.

I left a new message, “Hi, I still need my keys, can’t pick her up without my car. Call me as soon as you get this, we’ll figure out the rest of the afternoon.” I suspect my tone wasn’t as winning as the first message.

As I waited, I made one exceptionally thorough pass around the house, both inside and out. I got down on the ground to look under the car, in case I’d dropped them while leaving. I crawled along the ground around the garage, in case Consort dropped them while leaving.

Twenty minutes later I left a third message. For the purpose of keeping my blog family-friendly, I will not relate it exactly. Suffice to say, I was very anxious to hear from him. I felt some agitation that Consort had not had the sense to make sure he didn’t have my keys when he left the house. I might have used words like You always, You never, and I’m not keeping score, but…

Feeling like a battery hen, I hung up the phone. Without my keys, I was trapped. Without car keys, I couldn’t pick up my kid. Without house keys, I couldn’t leave the house for a nice head-clearing walk. I paced the living room a few times, but it really wasn’t the same. On circuit #3 of the House Tour, I spied my purse and thought, “The first thing he’s going to ask when he finally stops pilfering my mother’s Halloween candy and turns his phone back on is whether I looked in my purse. Well, I’ll just show him, I’ll be able to say ‘Ha ha ha, Mister Smarty-Shorts, I just looked in my purse and they weren’t there!’

I crouched down to look in the purse and while I was thoroughly checking any possible crevice, no matter how small, I began to feel a certain weight in my hip pocket and something sharp digging into my leg. I put my hand into my pocket, slowly, gently, deliberately.

And pulled out my keys.

I had put them there at some point, and then promptly forgot. I crawled around on the ground, looking under the car, and didn’t feel them. I lay down on the ground to check under the dresser, and didn’t feel them.

I sat at the computer for an hour and didn’t feel them.

And you know the worst part? From now until the day one of us dies, every time I accuse Consort of taking something, he’s going to look at me dripping with absolute composure and ask, “Have you checked your pockets?”


I can only hope my stroke eventually affects his memory.


Blogger houseband00 said...

I guess you better leave some milk and cookies out for the key elf. =D

3:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to leave my keys in my car--thats the only way I have a clue as to where they are at any given moment...thankfully my car wont lock if the keys are left in it or that would be a whole other problem. Chris

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel your pain! Worse one for me was when I roamed the house for several minutes looking for an item, only to realize I was holding it in my hand. We call things like that a doofus moment at our house.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My worst key moment was in a Boston supermarket parking lot, in winter, with my twins in car seats, grandma and groceries in my van, me in my wheelchair and no keys.

After going back into the store to look for them, having the grocery assistant look for them, having grandma look for them under the car, having my husband leave work to give me his keys, we returned home. Out went grandma, out went the groceries, out went my son. And then I picked up my daughter and there they were on her car seat! She had been sitting on them the whole time!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like the part where your husband had to leave work to get you the keys. At least you didn't leave increasingly snippy voice-mails for him, accusing him of having your keys.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are featured on a website that gets people to vote on whether the person is annoying.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

What a hoot! Husband and I laughed all the way through me reading this out loud. Are you sure you're not related to us?

9:26 PM  
Blogger Melodee said...

I can't even count how many times I've accused my husband of stealing my keys. And I haven't had a stroke. Or have I?

11:11 PM  

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