Sunday, May 12, 2013

A less than pleasant adventure...

So I might, might, be ever so slightly inclined to exaggeration.  It's probably not the worst thing that has ever happened to me when I can't find my black tights in morning while trying to get dressed for work.  And it may not actually be the worst day of my life when I discover that the Peppermint Altoids I bought in desperation after running out of my Trader Joe's Sugar-free Vanilla Peppermints with nary a Trader Joe's in sight are NOT, in fact, sugar-free.  And I also probably wouldn't rather die than spend fifteen minutes in an Abercrombie and Fitch store.  Or maybe I would but suffice it to say that it was no exaggeration to think that world was over on Friday when I lost the key to the Honda Civic that Moses and I share.

Friday was kind of a crappy day to begin with, peppered with plenty of minor annoyances that built and built until I felt like I was one hitch hiker short of turning into Large Marge from Pee-Wee Herman's Great Adventure.  You can thank me later for the obscure reference.

Because I had worked late the previous night, I was planning on leaving early.  My etd kept getting pushed back from 3:30PM to 4PM to 4:30PM to finally at 4 f-ing 50 I shut down my computer, scooped up my purse, and told the world to suck it because I was going home.  Except that I didn't actually say any of that.

I was wearing a pair of wedges that I hadn't worn in a while, so over the course of the day, being the delicate flower that I am, I had developed some pretty ugly blisters.  I limp up the stairs to the parking structure and over to my car and I am about five feet away when I begin feeling for the key in my purse.  iPhone, wallet, plastic baggie full of bobby pins that I rarely use but somehow always seem to leave a trail of, sunglasses, house keys, book, receipt, coupon, coupon...but no car key.  (Keep in mind that as a carrier of a large purse, I perform a similarly choreographed routine every day.)

I heave my bag off of my shoulder on to the very unwashed trunk of my car.  I only cringe a little when I think of just how unwashed it is.  I begin weeding out all the larger objects, opening up zippers, feeling for that familiar shape but nothing.  Okay, don't panic.  You probably just left the key on your desk in your office.  So I hobble back down the stairs to the parking structure and up the stairs to my office.  I search my entire office: my drawers, my desk, under my desk, in the trashcan.  It's nowhere to be found.  I go down stairs to the lost and found.  The security guard pulls out a bouquet of car keys that I pick through hopefully only to discover that mine is not among them.  Where else could it be? I walk back up to the parking structure and start searching around my car and under the surrounding cars.  I walk the block to the Japanese restaurant where I had lunch and back (remember those blisters I mentioned earlier because I sure do).  I stop at stores along the way.  Anyone return a set of keys to a Honda Civic? No, no, no, and no.

Unfortunately, I am not by any stretch of the imagination graceful under pressure, so I did the one thing I always do when on the brink of a meltdown.  I call Moses.  It just so happens in this case to also be the call that I am dreading making because why?  Wait for it......wait for it.......we don't have a spare key.

When Moses initially bought the car, it only came with a single set of keys and although we had made grand plans to someday get a spare set, grad school (as it tends to do) got in the way of our hopes and dreams, so we never actually followed through.

Now I didn't and don't know much about the subtle nuances of key technology but I was fairly certain that Hondas aren't the type of car that you could just call a lock smith for.  So with aching feet and heavy heart, I confess to Moses that it seems I have lost our car key.  He is calm and understanding but I can tell just by the tone of his voice that this news is very distressing to him, which makes me feel like I want to die (no exaggeration) because I hate doing anything to upset anyone, especially Moses.

After some additional scouring, I call it off and hitch a ride with a co-worker back to my apartment.  When I arrive Moses and I attempt to strategize.  Friday night was the Senior Show at Otis, which is typically attended by 5,000+ people.  Not ideal searching conditions.  (Think one too many sardines in a whatever.) We decide it might make more sense to go to campus on Saturday after graduation, when the parking lot and campus would be emptier 

I call the Honda dealership and ask them to explain the process for key replacement.  The receptionist informs me that in order to get a new key we need to get the car to the dealership with the key so that they could reprogram it.  I explain that we don't have the key (thus why I am calling and asking you what to do when you lose a key, you expletive).  Unhelpful response, confusing information, goodbye.  Ugh.

So I relay this information to Moses who googles around and discovers that yes, we do in fact need to get the car to the dealership.  But the car is currently locked in the parking lot at Otis with the emergency break on.  Cue additional googling about towing cars with emergency breaks on.  Meanwhile, I have now gone from a 5 to 129 on the panic spectrum.  I begin tallying up all the expenses of getting the car towed, getting the key replaced, the getting the new key reprogrammed (service charges galore), and anticipating all the stress that will accompany the various steps.  I suggest to Moses that we go back to campus and search that night. Who knows, maybe we will find the key!  Judging from the optimism, I am clearly channeling my mother.

One tense 30 minute bus ride later we arrive at Otis.  We go into all the stores in between the Japanese Restaurant where I went to lunch and the campus.  We ask the same questions that I had asked not three hours prior and get the same responses.  We leave contact information.  We finally make our way to the campus which is p.a.c.k.e.d with people.  We check with the security guard again.  No honda civic keys returned.  We go up to the parking lot and crawl around and in between the labyrinth of cars using our smart phones as flash lights.  No sign of anything but oil stains and littered paper products.  As a last stitch effort before we call it a night, we go back and re-search my office.  We go over every inch that I had gone over before until....suddenly Moses triumphantly plucks the keys from out of a little strip of plastic on the back of my office chair.  Now.  To appreciate just how bizarre this spot is and why I maybe didn't think to look there in all my searching I am including the following image.

This is similar to my office chair. The red arrow is pointing to where we found the key.  Would you think to look for it there Sherlock?  I thought not.  So stop your judging.

Long story short (too late), that is how we spent Friday night.  And in case you were feeling really bad about yourself, you should know that the Friday night before that, Moses and I shared one beer and I fell asleep at 10PM while watching reruns of Castle.  I think I'll finally let the cat out of the bag and tell you that the Fast and Furious franchise was loosely based on my life.

In happier news, today is Mother's Day.  As you all know, I have the most incredible mother in existence (no exaggeration).  I always miss my mother--with us being on opposite ends of the country--but I especially miss her on days like this.  The older that I get the more and more I realize just how much she does and how much thanks she deserves but so rarely gets.  So thank you Mom for all the times we didn't thank you for holding us all together and being the most understanding, patient, encouraging, and loving person there is.

I got you your favorite type of flower, Mom.  One that doesn't smell.

And I want to wish a special happy mother's day to all my friends who are mothers or expecting mothers.  I was going to say thanks for keeping it real but that seems sort of inappropriate.  I will say that you are all nothing short of amazing.

And a special special happy mother's day to my Irish grandmother, Violet (who turns 90 this year and doesn't own a computer), my Polish grandmother Helena (who passed away almost five years ago), and to my for all intents and purposes mother Lynne (who is one of the most thoughtful and giving people I know) and grandmother Blanche (whom I adore and whom I have the privilege of spending today with).

Ugh.  Sorry to get so mushy on you.  Won't happen again.

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