Last Monday, I drove home for lunch like I usually do (I live 1.5 miles from work and yes I eat lunch at home everyday and sometimes even play on the Wii a little before going back to work) At my door, I looked for my keys in my purse and couldn't find them (My car keys are in a separate key ring. Don't ask why, no reason). No biggie, I figured I had just forgotten to take it in the morning since S had left for work after me. I went to my favorite sandwich place for lunch and didn't worry about it.
Tuesday morning, when I was scrambling to leave for work, I groped around in the little bowl we use for keys and I couldn't find them. I started worrying then. That night, I searched in the usual places that I find my keys, in my coat pocket, my other purse, in my gym bag, in S' coat pocket and so on. No dice! I remembered that I had gone to the gym on Saturday morning and I had my keys then.
On Thursday I went to my apartment office and asked about a temporary key. They gave me one, but said that I would need to change my locks if I had lost my keys which would cost $75. My heart skipped a beat, because I was planning a shopping trip that weekend and my entire budget was around that much. I convinced myself that I had left my keys at the gym and asked the nice lady at the front desk if anyone had turned in a set of keys. She told me that if they key ring contained the gym access card, they would look up the phone number and call. And if I hadn't been called, they didn't have my keys. She also mentioned that replacing that access card would cost $10. I knew that my shopping trip was doomed.
When I came home I started thinking about my key ring. It had a MVP card from Food Lion, a grocery store chain in Raleigh, NC which was where I landed in the US in 2007. I didn't understand why they would give discounts only to people with cards, but if that meant a little lower in food costs, as a poor grad student I would take it. I didn't know that this was how most grocery stores worked. I also had a NC State Wolfpack Rules key tag (is it what it is called?). I have not attended any game in college ever, but I felt so proud to get that. It meant that I was a part of NC State. After that Food Lion incident, I went a little card crazy and I had a nice little bunch from a myriad of stores. One time when S had a stopover in Minneapolis, he found this keychain at an airport store that looked like a small licence plate and said "Jan". That gift meant a lot to me because after a two hour flight and with a three hour flight ahead of him, if he can stop to buy something because it had my name, it means he loves me right?
When you think about it, a key ring is so much more than just keys. At first I felt bad because I didn't want to spend the money to replace my keys. But then I started feeling sad about losing all of this. And just as I was typing the last sentence, S threw a bunch of keys at me. He found it, gentle readers! I think he is a keeper. I have never been happier to hold keys in my hand. Isn't this a beautiful sight?