During the year that we dated before we got married, my husband quickly learned about a few of my most prevalent quirks. Namely, I lose my keys and my cell phone a minimum of three to four times a day. I have some other more endearing idiosyncrasies, but the loss of the cell phone and keys is a constant. And yes, I have tried the clap-your-hands-to-locate-the-key-ring gadget, and the simple bowl by the door where I could easily deposit these items when entering the house so they can be effortlessly located later. But no matter what, all attempts have failed to rid me of these issues.
Luckily, as I have said before, my husband is patient and is pretty constantly amused by this phenomenon. And I don’t use the word phenomenon very often. But I have managed to lose my keys and/or cell phone within seconds of holding them in my hand, taking HOURS to find them after. I have been late or had to be a no show to dinners and gatherings because of my inability to locate my keys. And if you are still doubting my use of the word phenomenon, I present exhibit A, a photo of my keychain. The fact that it resembles a janitor’s key ring is no accident. I did this on purpose. My thinking was that SURELY if I put my keys on this HUGE keychain, I couldn’t lose them. I mean, seriously. HOW can you lose this set of keys? How can they not remain in plain sight wherever I leave them?
I have tried to blame a lot of things: stress (probably a factor), my busy schedule (possibly, at times, also a factor) and then, when I am desperate, I blame our dog Bear, or some other innocent bystander, including my husband. This usually draws the reaction of a raised eyebrow from Shea, and maybe the reminder that at NO time since we have been together have my lost keys been anyone’s fault but my own. This reminds me to shut up and keep searching, because as I am honestly aware, this is my issue.
I have also occasionally run out of gas. However, this hasn’t been as frequent, at least within the last 6 months. So, I am going to write that one off to issues we DID have with the gas gauge, and the fact that the majority of those occurrences took place while I was working and trying to plan our wedding simultaneously. You can blame a lot of things on the stress of planning a wedding, it comes in handy, people actually do sympathize if they have done it before. I have done a much better job of monitoring the gas level in the car after the third time my husband had to pick me up, stranded by the road, with one of the many gas cans he had to buy in preparation for these occurrences. But, like I said, the last time that happened was over six months ago.
So, if you are thinking, wow, her husband is AWESOME and patient and wonderful, you would be right. Most of the time. But he was all of those things last night when I topped my own record of absent-minded activities.
We were both a little excited that our favorite breakfast restaurant was hosting a pancake supper to benefit a local charity. We were also happy to be able to see Shea’s cousin and her boyfriend and get to visit and chat with them, which we don’t get to do enough. So, we headed to the restaurant, arrived and parked, walked inside, and were immediately seated and enjoying the conversation and pancakes. I should probably mention here (in my own defense) that I was having a migraine last night, but I was determined to power through dinner.
So, after dinner, we walked out of the restaurant, and I had difficulty locating my keys. This is not an unfamiliar occurrence, so everyone was giggling a little as I dug through my purse. My husband was shaking his head, and without any prompting, went back in the restaurant to look for my missing keys at our table. He came back empty handed.
I knew that the keys weren’t in my purse, and that sinking feeling in my stomach hit. I knew that I had locked the keys in the car. Shea shot me a sideways glance as he led the way to the parking lot. He was walking a little ahead of me, and in a somewhat irritated voice said, “Honey, you left the lights on!” I cringed. Then, he stopped in his tracks. I am not sure I will ever forget the look on his face at that moment- a combination of horror, shock, anger, and amusement. I was standing a few feet away in the parking lot, Shea was beside the car. “Honey,” he said, “THE CAR IS RUNNING!” Everyone got quiet for a second. I honestly shocked myself with this one. When we had arrived, Shea had gotten out of the car and walked ahead, waiting for me closer to the edge of the parking lot. (It sometimes takes me a few moments to get my things and get out of the car). I had followed behind him, locking the apparently running car with the lights on, behind me.
Again, in my defense, I was battling a migraine that I didn’t want to keep us from one more event (this happens more often than I would like). AND, I have some family stuff going on that is worrying me these days. But, to be honest, I battle migraines two or three times a week, and there is ALWAYS something going on that is worrying me.
To make the rest of the long story short, there were two police officers who were also enjoying the pancake supper (at least before I came back in the restaurant and begged for their help). They tried to help us get into the car, with no luck. They were so incredibly kind and stayed with me in the parking lot while my husband was driven by one of our dinner companions to our house, where he was able to break in through a window and get the spare keys and come back to remedy the situation.
The policemen were kind and funny and enjoyed giving me a little grief while we waited for my husband to return.
So, it all turned out fine. This is just a little snippet of life with me.
I once mentioned to my husband that perhaps there was an upside to all of this phone and key losing nonsense. Perhaps there was some award I could receive for the sheer number of times this sort of thing happened. My husband, without hesitation, looked at me and said. “Honey, you would then lose the award”.