The key to life, a happy wife … where’s my beer

As you know my wife is the organized one.

She keeps our life organized.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

If Dagmar ruled the world.

Bills are paid, obligations are met and we’re solvent because she’s organized.

I, on the other hand, consider it a good day if I remember to wear pants.

That said — into the lives of even the most organized among us a bit of chaos must occasionally fall.

My wife spent several hours Saturday in a semi-controlled panic because she misplaced her house key.

Due to the fact that I’m currently our household’s only driver, she hasn’t had to use her house key once since early November.

Literally, every time she’s entered our house since that day I’ve used my key to open the door.

Really, since Nov. 5 our house’s key hole hasn’t been penetrated by any other key but mine, which is about as dirty as I can make that sentence.

To add to this story’s build up, I need to mention that she also has some weird obsession with not keeping more than one key on a key chain. Really, it’s fucking weird. There’s the key ring with the house key on it. A separate key ring for her now unused car key and a third key ring for her (gasp) two work keys.

Her logic regarding her strict key segregation is that circa the 1920s or something her mother had a lot of keys on a key ring and this extra weight, pressure or, for all I know, “space alien black magic” caused her mom’s car’s ignition to function without a key. You could just turn the key receptacle and it would start.

The extra weight, pressure or whatever certainly could’ve have caused the problem with her mom’s car. I don’t pretend to know. (Todd, Dagmar isn’t crazy. You may have been stoned at the time, but that was the big myth going around in the 80s. A heavy key ring damages your ignition. I scoff at it and continue to lug around my 25-pound key ring with no adverse effects. But Dagmar’s mom’s-ignition-switch story seems like a good reason for her to be cautious. Case in point. So get off her jock. ~Fran)

Considering that Dagmar’s car starts not with a key, but with a plastic disc that she inserts and never twists like a metal key, I find her logic regarding key rings on par with someone refusing to use an umbrella because it scares horses when you open the umbrella.

I mean, it might be true, but it’s completely irrelevant.
It’s just one of those married things you just eventually ignore about your partner. Sure it’s a bit weird, but we’re all a bit weird, and if that system works for them who are we to argue?

My wife’s key habits are important because I’d be a few hundred words short of a blog post without them and because they factor into the lost key story.

On Friday, for the first time since Nov. 5, she had to let herself into the house. I had to go on a day-long business trip and wouldn’t be home until late that evening. A friend agreed to give her a ride home. I came home at 7:30 p.m., let myself in and found my wife in bed with a satisfied look on her face, two margaritas deep and a half pint of some chick-flavored Ben and Jerry’s ice cream utterly destroyed in the trashcan.

Interesting to know I can be so easily replaced actually.

Fast forward to the next morning and the ritual of grocery shopping.  In the driveway she discovers not only that she forgot something inside the house, but that her house key isn’t in her purse. She borrows mine while I impatiently wait in the car in the driveway — grocery stores are such a pain on a Saturday if you don’t go early.

I’ll spare you the details, but through the course of several hours, the key search escalated into one of those “holy crap where is that important thing I really need,” moments for my wife, and admittedly, not at all for me.

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I misplace my wallet, keys, passwords, dignity and whatever all the time. I call that shit Tuesday. I do it so often I’ve become very good at hiding the fact that I’m looking for something from my wife.
She, on the other hand, never does this, so the shock of it tilted the axis of her world view.
It’s anarchy for her and not the good kind that Johnny Rotten sang about either.

Let’s review.
1. While she keeps all her keys separate, they are all on a key ring of some sort. This one has a little beer opener attached to it.

2. She hasn’t used the key for almost six months, but she did use it the day before when she was dropped off after work.

3. This doesn’t happen to her. She’s anal retentive to the point that she would literally keep the keys in her ass if that was physically possible, along with her wallet, her phone, our bank account holdings and you can see the logistical problems this sort of storage system would present.
And finally.

4. Her husband is of no help in this situation.

Let me explain four.  See I’m of no help because I know where I would leave something like my keys — in the beer fridge, on the ironing table in my closet, behind the foot powder in the medicine cabinet, in the backyard on the self where I keep the hatchet next to the woodpile — these are all real places I have left the important, yet mundane, items we all use to function from day to day.

What she would have done with them, I have no clue.

All I can offer her in way of assistance is, “Honey they’ll turn up, or they won’t.”
Not really helpful I know, but it is a realistic approach.

Also I was sitting in the backyard drinking beer and key searching just was bumming me out. I mean, really, this is the first nice Saturday we’ve had since last fall and you want to spend it searching for keys?

A few hours of her frantically searching for the keys and me enjoying some wonderful spring weather later she presents me with her missing key hypothesis.

This, friends, is where two minds that have been together for many years split radically apart. Each understands where the other is coming from, but each disagrees with the other about the idea.

Of course I was right.

Her theory? Someone stole the keys out of the lock after she inadvertently left them in the door when she came home Friday night. We live next to a family owned hotel and obviously mobsters had been stalking our place in hopes of this very thing happening.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

See, crime and wine go hand in hand as beautifully reenacted here in this episode of Law and Order.

Between the time she arrived home at 5:30 p.m. and the time I arrived home at 7:30 the criminal masterminds struck. We would have to arm ourselves with weapons, buy a vicious attack dog and replace all the locks with retinal scanners because the criminals were coming, much like winter — or whatever the catch phrase from Game of Thrones is, I haven’t watched it yet.

My theory? The fucking keys are in the house. Chill out and have a glass of wine. They’ll show up or they won’t. Use the spare key in the unlikely event you need the key again anytime soon. If my theory isn’t good enough for your peace of mind fine, I’ll have the lock changed Monday. It’s a hundred Euros at best and if it puts your mind at rest all the better, but the fact remains that the key is in the house and we will someday find it.

My theory was mocked.

Living next to a hotel in wine country, we have groups gathering in the hotel parking lot on Saturdays to take wine-tasting trips on fancy wagons pulled by tractors.

This is an every-Saturday occurrence.

Dagmar pointed out the window to this Saturday’s group (parked closest to our house) and explained that they were the likely culprits.

“See, they’re changing their clothes,” she said.

I pointed out that if taking off jackets to enjoy a warm Saturday was an indication of criminal activity we were ourselves guilty at some point or another.

She was not convinced. They were sure to, at any moment on this wonderfully sunny Saturday afternoon, bust into our house in order to steal everything that wasn’t locked down, mock us for our poor key control and then they would violate the pussy …

… cat.

I again pointed out that a gang of criminals was unlikely to conjugate in broad daylight outside of their criminal target while drinking wine, carrying on loudly and boarding a fancy wagon towed by a tractor. If this was in fact an elaborate ruse, it was a stupid elaborate ruse and for fuck’s sake the keys are here, somewhere, in the house.

She was having none of it. It was part of their plan and she was serious.

Changing the locks Monday morning, as I had offered to do, gave her no solace.

Those criminal drunkards were to blame for her lack of keys.

I engaged her as much as I could for a laugh or two, she got a little mad every time I did because I wasn’t taking her innocent-wine-tasters-turned-home-invaders theory seriously and eventually she found the fucking keys.

They were in her purse the whole time.

They got stuck in a corner by some thread and she literally had to empty the purse, turn it upside down and shake it like a baby that wouldn’t shut up (was that too harsh) in order to free them, but for the rest of our days in this house I get to watch wine tasters boarding a trailer for a fun day of wine tasting and whisper to my wife, “be careful, they’re probably going to … ”

And that’s the kind of shit that makes life worth living.

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