This morning I decide to take Chuck and Leta for a walk and I need to get her stroller out of the back of the truck. After poring over the contents of my purse and inspecting every surface in the house I cannot find my keys, and then I remember that I had taken them with us to the park last night. Upon arrival home from the park I told Jon I needed to get my keys out of the truck and I thought I heard him say, “I have them right here.”
So I call him at work and ask, “Where are my keys?” Coincidentally, this happens to be the second day in a row that he has received this exact call from me, except yesterday I finally found them in the crotch of the couch buried under two books about ladybugs and an embarrassing amount of Ritz cracker crumbs.
He answers, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have your keys.”
“You said last night that you had them. Where did you put them?”
“I never said I had your keys.”
“Yes you did. You said, ‘I have them right here.'”
“I said I had my keys right here.”
“Why would you say you had your keys when I asked you about my keys?”
“Why do you keep losing your keys?”
“YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE ME A LECTURE ON LOSING MY KEYS.” I have to let the blood crawl back down from my temples because my brain is about to explode. My husband, King of Key Loss, is going to harangue me about misplacing my keys twice in the span of a three year marriage when just last week he searched for a missing lighter for over four days only to find it IN HIS BAG WHERE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE? Let’s recount how that episode played out:
Jon looks for his missing lighter first in his bag and then in every drawer, closet, and corner of the house. Four days later while sitting at his desk at work he stumbles upon that lighter in his bag and calls me at home to ask, “Did you find my lighter and put it in my bag? Or are there lighter trolls living in our house?”
Instead of calling him back I send him an email that says, “Must be trolls, because I assure you that if I had found the lighter I would have made a point of telling you that I, HEATHER, THE ONE WHO HAS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR KEYS WHEN THEY ARE IN YOUR HAND, found the lighter. P.S. I love you.”
So empirical evidence shows that he is the one in this house who needs to have his things, be that his wallet or his keys or his troll-stolen pipe lighter, stapled to his body. And yet, this morning’s lecture continues:
“You really need to get a grip on this key issue. This is two days in a row you haven’t been able to find your keys. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, BLAH BLAH…”
During the third slide of his PowerPoint presentation I walk out to the truck and notice my keys sitting in the passenger seat. I cross my fingers hoping that maybe we were stupid enough not to lock the truck before going to bed and I try to open the door. Thank God, nine times out of ten we are stupid enough to do anything. The truck is open and I grab my keys.
“You can stop talking now, I found them.”
“Where were they?”
“In the passenger seat of the unlocked truck.”
“Someone could have stolen the truck last night.”
“But no one did.”
“But they could have.”
“But they didn’t.”
“You really need to be more careful about your keys!”
“BUT YOU SAID YOU HAD THEM RIGHT THERE!”
“NO I DIDN’T!”
“I’M NOT HAVING THIS CONVERSATION.”
During the walk I realize that we have just participated in the most stereotypical married-couple fight in history, on our anniversary for Christ’s sake. It’s what the comedian Dane Cook would call the Nothing Fight. It’s what our therapist would call If You Two Don’t Shut Up Already My Eyes Are Going to Get Stuck in the Back of My Head.
When I get home I call him immediately and say, “I’ve done a lot of thinking and we need to put this key thing behind us.”
He says quietly, “I agree.”
“Do you think we can start with a clean key slate?”
“I think we can.”
And that’s what we’re doing. We’re starting over. We’re going to give this all we’ve got. And DAMN YOU! if you think we can’t do it because we totally can, AND WE ARE.