"On the coat rack, where I usually hang them,” I said talking into the intercom.
“They are not there,” says my husband.
“Are they on the kitchen table?,” I asked.
“I don't know where they are, Leo. I thought I put them on the little hook on the coat rack.”
“Well, they are not there!”
“Check, my purse. Maybe I put them in there.”
“I already did. They are not there either.”
“Why do you need my keys, anyway?”
“I need to switch cars because I leave earlier than you tomorrow morning.”
“Ah, geez! Are you sure you can't find them?”
“Really, Leo, if I have to come down to look for my keys and find them right away I'm going to be ticked!”
You see, once I'm upstairs, I've crossed the Rubicon. It's not just that I'm in a different floor of the house. It's that I'm on a different mental plane. I'd already checked off many tasks that form part of the nightly ritual:
- Water with ice on the nightstand . . .
- Changed into nightgown . . .
- Clothes hung up in the closet . . .
- Makeup removed, and much of the night's toilette already performed . . .
- Bed reading material selected . . .
- Mind quieting down for prayer/meditation . . .
In the kitchen, my husband is very irritated, and a little worried that I'll come down and find the keys right away. But it didn't happen! I, Maria, finder of all lost things, couldn't find them! Now I'm worried and second guessing every move I made that night! I usually hang my keys right away, but I do remember being distracted when I came in by a couple of UPS boxes that were waiting for me on the kitchen table . . . Did I start opening boxes before I hung the keys? Maybe I thought I hung them, but they fell into a fold in one of the coats on the coat rack . . .
My husband is feeling superior, and in a sing-song voice says: “I always hang up my keys.” “I never lose my keys.” Wait, is that supposed to be me??? We'll deal with the smug attitude later, mister, after I find my keys . . .
“Never mind,” says Lee, “I'll go get my keys upstairs.” And, testily, I think: “Well, why didn't you do that to begin with?” But I don't say anything because now I'm totally freaked out that I cannot find my keys anywhere!
While my husband goes outside to move the cars, I tear the kitchen apart looking for the keys - a real challenge since we are in the middle of floor remodeling. I did take a minute to say the St. Anthony prayer:
“Tony, Tony, look around,
Something's lost and must be found.”
(I've heard nicer prayers to St. Anthony, but in the heat of the moment, I could only remember this one which a co-worker taught me - and it's now stuck in my head.)
Since I can't find the keys, I start thinking about how I'm going to manage the next day: I can borrow Lee's set of car keys to get to work, but what am I going to do about the key to my desk? I won't be able to open any drawers . . . I guess I'll have to figure out something once I get there . . .
Lee comes back in and asks me: “Did you find them?” “No. I'll just borrow your keys to get to work tomorrow.” As frustrated as I feel, I'm ready to forgive him. I mean, it's NOT his fault that I misplaced my keys. I pat his pocket, and smiling, I ask: “Are you sure they are not in your pocket?”
Shaking his head, he reached into his pocket, and guess what he pulled out? My keys! The look on his face was priceless! He was completely flabbergasted . . . Oh, that look! I wish I could have captured it on camera! If there is a facial dictionary out there, his expression would have purely defined “bewilderment.” I could almost imagine a bubble forming on top of his head capturing his thoughts: “How did these get in here?” I just burst into laughter! What a relief!
I suppose I could have taken the high road and let the matter drop . . . Nah . . . this calls for some retribution . . . This story is about to become material for the blog.
Well, it did take me a while to settle down for the night . . . but I fell asleep with a smile on my face.