Sunday, February 16, 2014
Finding the lost key
This little story began a few weeks ago.
Like many people, I have a safe deposit box. I use that box to store important stuff - some valuables, some papers, etc. - that I want to protect in case my house burns down. I also get a kick out of having a safe deposit box; I like going into the basement of the bank building, pulling out the old-school key and unlocking my box, which is in a wall of boxes, all protected by a two-inch steel doors. The safe deposit vault smells like the bank of my childhood, metallic and slightly stuffy.
I had an important item that I wanted to put in the safe deposit box a few weeks ago. I went to the corner of the kitchen where I store the key, and it was GONE! I often shuffle things around absent-mindedly, so I wasn't too alarmed. I put it on my list of things to do ("find lost key"). It has sat on my list for a while.
My daughter woke up yesterday and decided she wanted to open a bank account. We went to the bank but couldn't finish our chore - the bank needed to see government-issued ID and my daughter doesn't have a driver's license yet. We went home to get her passport, but we couldn't find it. I thought, "maybe it is in the safe deposit box." "Find lost key" moved to the top of my list.
I turned the first floor of the house upside down, emptied out drawers, looked in the car, went through my coat pockets, etc. etc. This took a few hours and killed my Saturday, basically. I ended up feeling frustrated, dispirited and angry with myself for misplacing such an important item. Lack of organization has been the bane of my existence, and I truly hate it when I lose stuff.
So I gave up and tried to forget about it. I couldn't, of course. It is hard work to kick yourself all day for being a scatter-brained idiot.
As part of my effort to get more organized, I am going through each room of my house slowly to de-clutter, categorize and file. A good friend of mine used to do this type of work for a living, and she has been kind enough to lead me through the process. My friend came over late in the day yesterday, and we attacked one corner of my basement office. On the corner of my desk was a pile of papers that my daughter dumped into my office last fall. My friend and I attacked it - old bills (all paid), junk mail, 3-year old birthday cards, the usual pack-rat pile.
And in the middle of the pile I found.....
the lost safe deposit box key!
There is no joy on earth quite the same as finding an important item that has been lost. I was hopping up and down in relief and excitement. It is a huge hassle to drill into a safety deposit box, and they charge at least $100 for the service. A load of worry and self-loathing was lifted from my shoulders.
Now, it is tempting to insert a cheap metaphor into this narrative. I won't. All I am saying is it sure feels good to find a lost safe deposit box key.