A common misconception among the general public is that losing your keys is a subtle sign of dementia.
It has to be the other way around—at least in my experience, it’s the lost keys that cause the dementia!
Back at my parents’ house, there’s a message board hanging in the foyer of the house. Its importance lies not in the irrelevant shopping receipts and smudges attached to it, but in the four hooks at the bottom edge, from which all the house and car keys hang. Those hooks have prevented many a headache.
At my little apartment, I have no such message board and certainly no such hooks. I really shouldn’t need them, should I? Young as I am, with no one else in the house to “move my cheese,” my keys are always right where I left them.
In theory, that’s a perfect solution to the problem of lost keys. In practice, that’s as relevant as a pink buffalo. (Come on, when was a pink buffalo ever relevant to anything?)
Many mornings, I’ve awakened rubbing my eyes and racking my brain for where I left the keys the night before. On the dining room table? That’s a negative, but only after moving all the mass mailings, books and other miscellany that litters the table. Maybe they’re on the dresser… hidden among the jewelry, pocket litter and coins that obscure the wooden surface.
This is a small apartment. Finding my keys shouldn’t be this hard. They aren’t on the couch… are they? (Aha! There we are!)
And so I trot happily to work, keys in pocket or in purse where they stay nearly all day. At work I’m more organized and never lose my keys. I just leave them sitting on my desk as I walk out the door, that’s all. Once I had to return three times to my desk to get everything, including that pesky set of keys.
As if that weren’t enough, the changing weather complicates the situation even further.
Have you ever counted how many pockets are on your person when it’s cold outside? Me, I usually have six or eight. Two or four pants pockets; a couple more pockets in my blazer; and another pair in my coat. To compound the issue, I usually have an extra coat at work in case the weather turns colder mid-day. Who can tell which coat I wore last?
That’s six or eight more places to lose my keys!
And it’s embarrassing when you’ve lost your keys on your own self. Can you hear that jingle? They must be in this pocket… no, wait, maybe this one…
Once I sat in my car for at least half a minute picking through my four pockets and my purse, looking for that darn set of keys. After a nature hike, no less. I checked the ignition—not there. I even thought heard them jingling as I shifted in the seat. But they weren’t in any of my pockets. What, did I lose them in the woods? I can’t possibly find them after an hour of hiking! What am I going to do??
…Oh, right. Under my coat, I’m wearing a hoodie. With two more pockets. The proper procedure in this instance is to smack one’s forehead, exclaim “that’s where they are!” and drive off with all haste.
Note to self: Don’t go on nature hikes unless it’s eighty degrees out. It’s not worth the mental health risk.