We had a play date yesterday. With a nice little 3 year-old boy and his stay-at-home dad. It was our first play date with these folks, who are very nice and who also happen to be fairly new to the U.S. by way of India. As such we wanted to be prompt, polite and fun. Make them feel comfortable and avoid being the Ugly Americans.
We agreed on a time. High Noon, playground, swings. "No, slide first, THEN swings. No, swings first." The Peanut was in charge of the scheduling. We were at least a half hour late. As for polite, the Peanut refused to say hi to anyone until I threatened to leave for home. As for fun, it took me about 6 minutes to get involved in a debate about whether the current administration's policies for jump starting the economy are Communist. Go U.S.A. Land of the douche, home of the bag. I suck
Where the wheels first came off was when we were trying to leave the house. I couldn't find my keys. They were just gone. This is a big deal.
It used to happen to me all the time, losing my kets. I thought I had a handle on it . . .
Losing my keys is a process. I start like everyone else.
"Shit," I thought mildly, "Where are my keys?" I looked on the table, the bookcase, the kitchen table, my pockets. No dice. Looked on the counter, the changing table, baby bag, on the chair. Nothing. Now, I start to get nervous. "Fuck," I mutter, "What did I do with my keys?" This part happens every time. Now I have to look in the crazy places. Because for me, "what did I do with my keys?" is a question with infinite answers.
I check the door knob. No. My pockets again. No. My coat pocket. No. Under the couch, on the ground outside, in a basket of laundry. No, no, no. They could be anywhere. Literally anywhere. I once left my keys in a snowbank.
"Fuck!" I growl, where are my fucking keys? I check the refrigerator, the inside of the stove, pants I haven't worn in three days, my sock drawer, my wife's sock drawer, the fucking trash. No, no, no, NO.
Sometimes, I put them in places I think I will remember because they are odd and I am oh so clever. "I know, I'll seal these up in a white envelope, put a stamp on it, write phone bill on the front, and put them in the pile of outgoing bills. I'll know what I mean."
I check the box of envelopes, my coat pocket again, my pants pocket. Again. I check the peanut's pants, the Pumpkin Man's chair, the dog's bed. NONONONONO! I'm swearing freely now. I stop to whine to my daughter, "Honey, where are daddy's keys? Have you seen them sweetie?" She regards me soberly and continues to gnaw on her chocolate munchkin' . "Sweeeetie, daddy's keys, have you seen them?" Silence.
I check inside the car ( left unlocked) , the litter box, the kitchen cabinets, inside a jar of peanut butter, the top of the washer which is in the basement which I hadn't been in that day, the inside of the washer and the dryer. In a box of still packed christmas ornaments. No. Inside the dog's bunghole? Well, that's just stupid . . . and no.
Maybe if I just take a moment and stop. Stop and breath and look deep inside myself, that's where I'll really find my ke . . . Ahh Fuck! We're already late and there's nothing in there anyway except for some Doritos and an old Moonlighting rerun.
Back upstairs, I ask my daughter one more time. Again, she regards me stonily. I sink to the floor on elbows and knees, thinking maybe they got kicked under the rug, fell between the floorboards, I'll find a wormhole . . . ?
I am so close to admitting defeat when from the kitchen I hear it. That unmistakable key sound. Jingle jingle. I scrabble in, sweaty, disheveled, un-tucked. Mentally I mean. Not my shirt. My shirt had come flying off 15 minutes before that when I suddenly realized the keys could be stuck in my belly button or lodged under a love handle. No. So I crawl madly into the kitchen and there is the Peanut, picking my keys up off the floor. "Great job Peanut!" I exclaim, joyously. "Where did you find them?"
"In the box," she says, like I'm a moron. There is a small, toy/activity box in the kitchen that she uses when I'm in there cooking. Someone had put the keys in there. Could've been either one of us. It was probably her though. I never put those things away in a sensible place.
The play date actually went pretty well in the end. We'll hang out again and everyone left smiling.
Does anyone know where I can take organization lessons?
This is a recycled post. The Peanut is feeling a little under the weather today. Oh and, P.S. We uh, we never did have a second play date with that SAHD and his nice little boy. Sigh.