Sorry to get up and disappear on you like that. It wasn't because I was traveling (which I am) or because I was moving from my home office to a "real" one (which I was last week) but because I looking for my gosh darn keys. But I didn't say gosh-darn at the time. I said the F word. A LOT.
It was all starting on Friday morning when I was running late to catch the bus to the airport. I realized that I needed to leave my house at 8:10, not 8:30 like I had originally thought, and that lost 20 minutes was killing me. I was having to make uber-impossible decisions like "do I grab my iPod or get dressed or brush my teeth?" Let's just say my iPod is still sitting on it's charger and I was desperately seeking an Altoid from the bottom on my purse.
At 8:08, I pushed my suitcase out in the hallway and it looked like I was going to make it. I reached up to grab my keys from the key rack, and immediately had a panicked pause. There were no keys. What?! See, I have trained myself to put my keys on the rack, as I have a natural tendency to lose them (or anything really) with impressive speed. I have gotten much better and, besides the rare occasion that I leave them in the front door lock or underneath a pile of clothes or put away with clean dishes, I always put them on the rack.
Yet, with 2 minutes to spare, they weren't there. I ran all around the house, all the while thinking I-HAVE-TO-LEAVE-RIGHT-NOW-OR-I'LL-MISS-THE-BUS-AND-THEN-I'LL-MISS-MY-PLANE-AND-I'LL-JUST-HAVE-TO-FIND-THEM-WHEN-I-GET-HOME.
I ran downstairs, left the door unlocked, ran to the bus, and called Amos, frantic HI-I-LOST-MY-KEYS-SOMEWHERE-I'M-ON-THE-BUS-I-CAN'T-FIND-THEM-AND-THEY-ARE-SO-EXPENSIVE-AND-WHAT-IF-I-NEVER-FIND-THEM-AND-SOMEONE-STEALS-MY-CAR? Calm and cool as ever, Amos replied "It's okay, Sar. I'll take a look around. I'm sure they're there."
When I hung up the phone, I couldn't stop my mind from racing. In the interest of full disclosure, I bought this car, my first car, about 6 months ago, after 3 years of car-less dependence on mass transportation and the ol' bike. This car is a big deal. It's fancy. And pretty. And has astonishingly high-tech keys. Keys that cost $400 to replace. I know. $400. It's fucking madness. I almost didn't buy the car because of it. However, I am a sucker for pretty, high-tech things, so here I am, with a pretty car and missing high-tech keys.
The last time I remembered having them was Thursday evening, when I unlocked the door while simultaneously balancing my heavy CSA box and work bag. While it was an impressive display of multitasking, I clearly remember putting my keys in the lock but have no recollection of taking said keys out. I wondered if I had left them there? Would one of my neighbors grab them? Would a stranger walk up, grab them, and steal my keys and then identify my car and steal it?
Let's just say my 3 1/2 hour flight did not go by quickly. Obvs. I was obsessing.
I did one of the few things I could do while halfway across the country: I updated my facebook status. Sarah's keys are missing somewhere in The Shannon, probably left in the backdoor yesterday evening. Have any of my lovely neighbors seen them? It's a turtle keychain with a big Volvo key. It gave me a reason to check my facebook status every 30 seconds for the rest of the day, which made it feel like I was able to do something to look for them.
Over the next 48 hours I wracked my brain to figure out where they could be. My mom and I went through a play-by-play: If they were in the back door, maybe my neighbors grabbed them. I texted Amos: can you put up signs or ask neighbors? After I brought the box upstairs, I grabbed plastic bags from under the sink for the vegetables. I sent another text: can you pls look under sink? they might be by the plastic bags. I was putting away the groceries, could they have been mistakenly placed there? My mom once found her keys in the crisper (I'm thinking this losing key thing may be genetic...). Another: check in the fridge under all the veggies? Lesson learned: I have one of the loveliest boyfriends in the world. And I may have caused him to exceed his monthly allowance for texting. So sorry, Amos.
By the end of the weekend, I had resigned myself to that my super-duper-expensive keys were lost. I made peace with the fact that I'd be shelling out mas dinero to the Volvo dealership, and I'd be making a mega-culpa to my boss ("You know those office keys you gave me on Wednesday? I lost them on Thursday. Can I get another copy? And is now a good time to ask for a raise? I feel I have been really demonstrating my responsibility and dependability lately.")
As I was packing my suitcase, I heard a jingle. A jingle that sounded deliriously like keys. I had already searched my suitcase, but I hurriedly emptied it again and gave it a hard shake. This was more than a zipper jingle. Nothing in the main compartment, or, at first glance, the pockets. Wait a sec... in the smallest pocket, if I jammed my hand in, I felt them. MOTHER FUCKING BINGO! I had my keys. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I felt a ray of sunshine fall upon my face. I felt the presence of higher power...(okay, that's a touch dramatic, but you get the picture. Super happy).
I called Amos, sheepishly. "Hi there.... yes, found the keys... in my suitcase..." For all his hard looking and all my incessant text messaging, all he said was "I thought they might have been with you." Note to self: I should remember this moment when I want to tell someone "Told You So."
All in all, I have my keys, $400 back in my pocket, and only a couple more gray hairs on my head. One day, I'll learn to keep better track of my things, but until that day, I think I'm going to start carrying around one of the stretchy wrist keyholders -- my grandmother happens to have several. I'm sure she'd be willing to share.