I’ve been forgetful in some genuinely annoying ways the past few days. Last Thursdayactually, it was the Thursday before that. Time sure flies when you’re forgetful! I was dealing with the car. Nothing special, just checking the oil because of a burning smell. I decided to top it off as it was a little less than half a quart low. I keep the extra oil in one of the compartments in the rear. To get to it, I have to use my key in the tailgate to lower the rear window. When I do that, I frequently leave the keys in the tailgate because I’ll need it to put the window back up. Only I had a container of oil that was about half a quart. So, I put that in, checked it again, threw away the container, put away the rag, and I was done. Time to go back upstairs and make dinner or something.
Carolyn teaches MWF earlier than Sam and I wake up, and I bet you can see where this is going. She got in the car Friday morning, and thought “Huh, that’s odd. The rear window’s not usually down. ” So, she raised it. But she raised it from the console next to the driver’s seat. She drove off to teach and have her day. With my keys hanging out of the back of the car.
It wasn’t until a little after noon when I happened to pat the pocket that my keys usually reside in. They were missing. I had a momentary flash of not worrying about it — maybe they were on my dresser. Then, I had a much longer time of actually worrying about it, as I remembered where they probably were.
Since Carolyn was teaching much of the afternoon, I decided that Sam and I were going for a walk. So, we walked to campus (about a mile?) on the same route that I know Carolyn usually drives. I kept an eye out for shiny things along the road, or in the gutter, but saw none. I was relieved when I arrived at campus and saw that the car was still in the parking lot. At least no one had seen the keys and driven off with the car! However, I was worried when I got to the car and saw that the keys were no longer dangling from the back. As it turns out, campus security had found them and put them in a safe place. They’d called around — the car was still registered with them as mine from when I taught there, and eventually they called Carolyn. She got the voicemail upon getting back from her class and thought “WTF? My keys are right here in my purse.” Of course, then she had several increasingly panicked voicemails from me that made it all make sense. She was in the middle of those when I arrived with Sam.
So, fortunately, I got the keys back and Sam got to see campus.