|I WILL APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE SPAZZY STORIES THAT YOU'RE NOT QUITE SURE WHERE IT'S GOING...SO IF YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE AND TIME FOR THAT, READ ON.|
When I first moved to New England from Ohio, I was a flight attendant based in Bangor, Maine. I was young, naive, bright eyed and innocent. I would go on long trips for work and be gone 4 days, home 3 days. Someone figured out my schedule and probably saw me leave with my uniform on and my pull along behind me and decided they would break in. When I returned from a trip, I pulled out my house keys when the cab dropped me off in front of my apartment, and casually walked in to find my front door ajar.
No tv, no answering machine (go ahead and laugh - those were the days of the big bulky answering machine with cassette tape), no books, no nothing. I was just starting out in my career - some of those things weren't even paid for on my credit card yet. I looked up at the window - shattered glass. I was devastated. They came in through the window and left through the front door. They took their sweet old time rummaging through my things. I was physically ill. I ran to the bathroom to vomit and noticed they took every last drop of makeup, perfume, lotion, etc. Gone baby gone.
I ran to a neighbor and called the police. They came by and asked me a load of questions - one of them was if I had renter's insurance. I didn't even know what that was. Of course, I learned pretty quickly what it was and how it would've helped me - but that did me no good. They wrapped it up pretty fast and were on their way. I stopped them, confused. Aren't you even going to take any fingerprints? And they mocked me and laughed. We don't take fingerprints for break ins like this - you've been watching too much NYPD Blue. Have a nice day.
There's something that happens to you when you've been a victim of a burglary. Almost like a PTSD thing. I was scared, I was paranoid, I was almost irrational in my thinking. I never slept there again - I moved out that day into my now-ex-husband's house, moving our relationship prematurely to the next level out of fear mostly. I became obsessed with locking my car doors, my house doors, always aware of where my purse was, where my keys were. Obsessed.
Years later, I'm still a fanatic about keys and doors. Along with constantly locking EVERYTHING, I have a huge fear of losing my keys. When I get out of my car, I check easily 3 times (OCD much?) to make sure I see them in my purse before I lock my car. My husband is constantly shaking his head at me, even though he knows I do not have the ability to stop this behavior. He frequently refers to me as the Key Nazi and pokes fun of me for it on a regular basis.
Yesterday afternoon, he drove 1 hr. 20 mins to his Men's Lacrosse League that he belongs to. I was at the park with the kids, while waiting for Eldest to finish up at his lacrosse practice. I got a phone call at 6:30 from my panic-stricken husband.
It's me - I can't find my keys. I'm at the practice field and I can't find my f-n keys. Anywhere.
~Ok, calm down a second (although the mere THOUGHT of losing his keys has gripped me like a choke hold).
I can't calm down - I am freaking out - I have literally looked EVERYWHERE. They aren't here.
(I'm hearing his voice telling my kids they didn't just grow legs and walk away but I refrain from funniness at this point because this is not good. I have to take control.)
~They've got to be there somewhere just breathe for a minute (ok so now I am thinking - I'm not there to look for 3 seconds and find them myself like I do every other day in this house when someone asks me where their crap is..so he's going to have to open BOTH of his eyes and actually look around.)
THEY AREN'T HERE. You are going to have to get the spare keys and drive down here after you pick up Eldest from practice.
(blood pressure rising)
~Ok, that's fine - just calm down and if you find them, call me right away.
Sidestory: It is the beginning of Motorcycle Week here in NH which brings 250,000 bikers to this area, causing delay, mayhem, traffic and other unpleasantries to our normally calm state. Getting anywhere safely and easily is a chore. Where we live is the center of all of it. Just getting down the street is a task. He couldn't have picked a worse time for this to happen.
|This is a glimpse of our city during bike week.|
I leave the park with the kids, go home, get the spare keys, water and bathroom the boys, go get gas, then pick up Eldest, who I find ready and waiting since they 'decided' to end practice early. &^%$
I explain to Eldest what's happening and that we will pick up Burger King on the way down - that makes EVERYONE happy and excited since we don't have a Burger King here anymore and haven't been in years.
BURGER KING; THE ORDER:
1- 5 piece Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard
2 Cheeseburger Kids Meals with JUST cheese Milk to drink - toys for boys.
One Chicken Sandwich meal with Hi-C (I was feeling fruity) and excited that the french fries might
ease the pain of the drive.
10 minutes in the drive thru line - nothing.
Another 5 minutes and she appears - finally. Obviously, they are short-staffed and since the place is infiltrated with Hell's Angels who don't want to wait for anything - they are the priority to not piss off - not a mom with 3 boys in an SUV in the drive thru.
BURGER KING; THE RESULTS;
We finally get our order and pull out into traffic. I leave Eldest in charge of getting everyone's order distributed.
"Mom - there's no honey mustard."
From the back seat -
"Mooooooooooom there are pickles, ketchup and grosssss mustard on my burger.......!!!!"
"MOM, I SPILLLED MY JUICE BOX ALL OVER MY PANTS!"
"Mom - they didn't put any napkins in our bag."
"Sorry mom, there's only one order of fries in here but I'll share mine with you..." says Eldest.
Youngest chimes in.."mamaaaa there's a pink toy for girls in my crown box!!! That's not fair!"
Tears are now welling in my eyes as I am on the highway surrounded by Hell's Angels. My mouth is dry - I need some Hi-C type sugar and food coloring to give me a good buzz again. I ask Eldest to get the straws and put them in our drinks.
"Ummm, mom? There are NO straws in this bag."
Just keep driving...
I begin weaving a tapestry of obscenities in my wake on I93 South. I am feeling twitchy and irritable and am picturing what I want to do to Hubs in my head for the next 1/2 hour, but not after a short film in my head of what I should've done with the Burger King eff-up.
Calm. Exhale. Breathe in. Ohhhmmmmmm. I have children in the car. There are bikes everywhere. Stay calm and drive.
Eldest starts complaining about his cleats and how much they had to run and how his feet are killing him like never before. He takes his shoes off and a smell that I can only describe as Death by Frito Inhalation mixed with boy sweat and bo hits me square in the face while I am driving.
JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT IS MAKING ME EYES WATER!
I roll down the windows - something I try to avoid during bike week.
Phone rings about 1/2 hour into the trip.
"I still can't find my g-d keys. Where are you?"
"I'm on my way - still have easily an hour to go - lots of bike week traffic."
I approach the tolls - gridlock. I look to my left - Hell's Angels. Who mouth the words.."show us your tits" showing no shame whatsoever.
I smile and wave - "no thanks!" I gulp.
"What did he just say to you mom???" Eldest asks me.
"He said show us your kids.."
"Why would they want to see your kids? They seem kind of scary."
Me: " Not all Hell's Angels are scary sweetie. They looovve kids too...they love seeing kids during their drive.."
Eldest: *shrugs* "That's kind of weird mom..."
We continue to drive through the craziness that is I93 and my blood pressure is settling. We are TEN minutes away from the Lacrosse Field. We hit the second set of tolls - gridlock.
Phone rings. I'm getting prickly. I tell Eldest to answer because I am focusing on traffic.
"It's Pop. He wants to talk to you..."
"One of the guys on the team found my keys on top of my car.."
Me: "Super. (sarcastic)"
Me: "I'm hanging up now before I call you something awful in front of our children. Do NOT call me. I will see you at home." CLICK.
|I don't often hang up on Hubs...but when I do, I do it with gusto.|
It takes 10 minutes to get off the exit and turn around.
My kids are cherubs. No whining, no complaining, no nothing. They are perplexed at this series of events but are troopers through it.
We get on 93North and head home. More motorcycles.
Apparently the tolls on 93 are a good place to see boobs. Kind of like a mardi gras for bike week. This time, going north, there is bike after bike after bike waiting to get through and looking for entertainment.
I wince as I stop at the tolls taking my place in a very very long line, drowning in a sea of bikes.
I look to my left. No one bothering me. I look to my right...no one bothering me. Good. Whew.
We aren't moving. At all. Suddenly the toll booth to my left starts moving faster and a new swarm of bikes appear.
"Mom, that guy with the beard is looking over here."
I look to my left. Dammit. Why did I do that???
"Tits?" he asks.
"What's he saying mama?" asks Middler who is in his car seat behind me. "Why is he talking to you mama?"
I answer: "They've been on the road a long time and they just want to talk to someone.."
Finally, my line gains momentum and I get the hell out of there. I keep my eyes focused on the road, and I think about the things I am going to say to Hubs when he gets home. (To be fair - he's never done anything like this before and aside from never being able to find anything - he's 98% perfect...and I love him despite this little event he pulled on me..)
I don't EVER want to hear about me being a key nazi again. Ever.
Until next time friends, do you know where your keys are?
~DG (who, for the record, and after 3 kids, still is being asked to show her teets...)