Friday, September 07, 2007

Keeper of the Keys

It is a simple truth of life that the more complicated your life is, the more keys you have.

When I started college I had exactly two keys on my keyring: Parents' house and dorm room.

As time went by, they expanded: Car keys, when a car came to campus with me after a couple semesters. Office keys for the newspaper. Locked bulletin board key when I ran a student organization that had the high holy honor of a locked bulletin board. (Woot!) And so on. When I got near the end of my senior year and started handing over all my responsibilities to younger folks, my key ring shrank back down.

When we moved to Peoria, I again had very few keys: House keys, car keys, and a Kroger tag. Then last year my life started getting abruptly more complicated, and I noticed the other day when I was putting the super-gigantic medieval-sized key to the adjunct office at ICC on my keychain that my keys were back to being out of control.

House keys. Car keys. Parents' house keys. Junior League HQ key. Adjunct office key. Business PO Box key. Some combination of file cabinet, gym locker lock, and bike lock keys, but they all look pretty similar so I always have to guess which goes with what. Scanny tags for Kroger, the library, Discount Shoe Warehouse (in Skokie), Men's Wearhouse, Hancock Fabrics (that just closed, I should take it off), Borders Rewards, and PetSmart. (Why doesn't Blockbuster have key tags? I'd spend way less time losing my card if they did.) And then there's a mini flashlight and a couple other things that seem to serve no purpose whatsoever.

The key-chain and all its components are now as large as my fist, and that's without the leash. (I keep my keys on a leash because otherwise I have a tendency to lock them in the car when doing things like loading groceries.)

Incidentally, the reason that my bike lock and gym locker lock are key rather than combo locks is that my brain has simply run out of space for passwords. It's so full now that I frequently go to type in a password to some site and find myself typing my sixth-grade locker combination or the register log-on from the job I had when I was 16 or something. As I had probably seven or eight different combo locks in junior high and high school alone, whenever I try to use a combo lock I find myself running through every combination I've ever had, plus my best friend's various high school locker combos, before I strike on whatever the current one is. I can't use an ATM card anymore for the same reason: I just can't remember the PIN.

How much crap is on your key chain? Does it shrink and grow in direct relation to the complication level of your life?


Anonymous said...

I have 2 key rings. 1 ring has only 3 keys, my truck key, my wife's Jeep key, and the house key. My other ring has 2 work keys, 3 small keys, and 1 key I'm not sure where it goes but I'm not ready to part with it yet in case I find out where it does go.

C. J. Summers said...

I've always held that the more important you are, the fewer keys you have.

President of the United States: no keys. Janitor: lots of keys.

I carry a lot of keys.

prepossessing said...

Blockbuster does have keytags. I have one. My library card is also on a keytag - pretty cool. I have several other tags like that.

I actually have two sets of keys. One for work and one for my regular life. Prior to seperating them people made comments on the insane number of keys that I have.

Eyebrows McGee said...

I think I'm rapidly approaching that point, when I have to split into two keyrings!

Ms. PH said...

I find that the number of keys has grown as I got older. High school - two keys. Now I have the following: car key and car remote; JLP key, house key, garage key, two work keys, and one unidentified key. I think that last one might be to my parents' house, but I am not sure.

Oh, then I have my Borders reward card and my Riverplex card and a Caribou Coffee key ring.