I couldn’t find our mailbox key. I looked everywhere. I spent hours running up and down, searching every corner of the house. I grew more frantic as the hours passed.
I took the garbage from the kitchen to the garage, dumped it on cardboard and dug through it. I’ve been know to accidentally toss things away when I’m in a hurry or distracted, which is most of the time. But I found no mailbox key in with the banana peels. I looked through the drawer where we keep the dog leashes used on walks. The key has landed in there a few times when I get back from walking them and jumble the extra poop-bags up with their leashes and whatever else is in my pocket. It wasn’t in there.
So, what about pants pockets? I started the day with black jeans. It was cold. But after dropping my daughter off and walking the dogs, it was warm so I switched to cut-offs. Then, mid-afternoon I had a meeting so I put on big-boy-pants. Black dress pants so I looked semi-professional. (key word being ‘semi’ professional…).
After the meeting I switched back to shorts and picked my daughter up.
Hours were passing as I ran around. My wife got home. I was still looking. Cleaning out drawers. My daughter built an entire Lego camper van or something (these aren’t the legos I had as a kid!) and I was still looking.
Looking under car seats. I started to wonder how I even go about getting a new key. Does the post office help in such cases? What if by some miracle I actually get a check this week? What if someone found the key and takes that check? (after the disappointment of stealing a check from a kids book illustrator/author sets in the thieves would have a good laugh…)
I finally sat down and zoned out and realized something funny about the good old human brain and its short-cuts. I had worn two pairs of black pants that day. Each time I went upstairs and dug through the pockets I was digging through the black jeans, which were in the laundry basket in the bedroom. I had folded the dress pants up and hung them in the closet. Each time I walked into that room my brain checked off the ‘look in the pockets of the black pants’ and I never made it into the closet.
The mail box key was in the dress pants. So much for me trying to look respectable. All it did was make a mess out of my evening.