I have very little experience dealing with keys.
Back in Harrison, the house remained unlocked, unless we were away overnight. And the car keys remained in the ignition, unless we happened to be leaving the car overnight. We lived in a town in the middle of the woods, with two traffic lights. I found that we were more likely to lose keys, than to be robbed. In fact, my classroom key was the only key I had any responsibility toward.
But, in the city, you get keys.
The day we moved into our apartment, we were presented with three keys each: our apartment key, the laundry room key, and the key to the gate. (The gate, which has been the source of much amusement, will be the topic for another post…) After we turned in our inventory, we were also presented with mailbox keys.
I added my four keys to the lanyard that holds my coin purse (replacing the rigging rope, that untied and caused our mishap in Ludington). I’m in the habit of wearing the purse when I go out, so these keys were immediately assimilated into my routine.
This week, a new activity was added to our routine: I drove to work. (Just training, not teaching, but it was a commute to work nonetheless). Upon arriving at my training session on Monday, I locked the car and carried the keys with me. The car keys presented an issue: they could not go on my lanyard and still make it easily into the ignition. So I carried them.
I did fine, until after lunchtime. I had gone out to the car, to get my lunch, then returned the bag (and locked the car) after lunch. I sat through my session, on the Texas IEP process (did you know they are called ARD’s here?). When it was over, I threw away my soda can (that STILL seems weird to me), visited the ladies’ room, and proceeded to my next session.
Halfway through this session–fortunately it was on case management, a topic I already know well–I realized that I did not have my keys. I searched through my papers, retraced my steps, checked my car (locked) and every bathroom stall. I asked both information desks, and peeked in the room I had been in previously. Not only were these the only keys to our only car, but the car is still registered and titled in Michigan, so getting replacements may be difficult.
There was only one place left, that I could think of, and it wasn’t pleasant. It may have gone into the garbage, with my soda can. I let the concerned administrators know this, and said I would have to look there, after I checked the parking lot once again. Alas, it was not in the parking lot.
When I was back in the parking lot, the admins had, for me, the garbage can, and an empty one for me to place the items in. By now, the training was done, so I had a sympathetic (and probably secretly amused) audience. One by one, I removed the items, which were mercifully mainly soda cans. Finally, I got the the sludge at the bottom. As I plunged my hand into it, I heard the clank of metal! I removed my (rather grimy) keys, to the cheers of the crowd.
And so, lesson learned. My keys are only on a small ring, so they immediately go into my coin purse, as soon as I lock my car’s door.
This Country Mouse is going to make it in the city!