Boomerang karma: A story of habitual car key neglect

If you love something, let it go; it will return to you. I am straight-up abusing this concept.

I can’t say I’ve ever been madly in love with my car keys, that wadded-up five dollar bill, or the steel ball at the end of my old lip ring. I definitely have a love / hate relationship with my cell phone.

All of these things were lost, but then returned to me through chance, twists of fate, dumb luck, or happenstance. Whatever hokey term you want to use, there is definitely something at work when someone as cognizance-impaired as myself can keep losing stuff over and over and have it always end up back in their pocket.

For instance: car keys. Last Sunday, pulled into work. Walking inside. Reach in skirt pocket, find hole in pocket. Gasp! Keys gone. Retrace steps. Whew, they’re on the ground next to said car. Luckily no one had time to snag them up. No big deal.

Not so much when I was loading up my kayak after a day on Rocky River marina on Lake Erie. Go to open car hatch – keys gone. Surely they must be on the bottom of Lake Erie. Cell phone dead. Charger in car. Dripping wet, I use the marina phone to call my parents, working them into a tizzy. Locksmith quote – unspeakable. An hour later I wait for AAA next to my car, and spy a glint of metal buried in the grass. Really?

That was not much better than when I thought I had the key / kayaking thing licked and tied the key to a string around my neck. It still managed to wriggle loose and end up in an inch of water on the boat launch at Mill Creek Park’s Lake Glacier. I didn’t go much farther than supposing whether a locksmith or a new window cost more before I spied it, covered in slimy lake moss.

The faster they invent thumbprint car locks, the better.

I’m not much better with money. Yet somehow lost dollars, change, debit cards and wallets always find their way back to their neglectful owner. Whether it’s my debit card from the trash can outside Speedway back in my sophomore year of college, or a $20 bill that fell out of a pocket and blew away until it was wrangled by some errant bushes, I have more luck than I deserve. I found a $20 at the same Speedway just last week on the ground at 2:30 a.m. with nobody around. Surely that money was meant to end up at the feet of some Dickensian orphans?

Only I can lose the silver ball on my lip ring on a 1,000 square-foot gray carpet at Best Buy yet somehow manage to find it under a rack of CDs (this was when CDs were still a thing). My lost-junk radar is finely tuned after years of loyal service.

Sunglasses, scarves, wallet, cameras, cell phone; anything that can be left behind has been, and inexplicably almost always found. I haven’t been a very good stuff parent. The Stuff Protection Service really should come and take all my sunglasses and iPod away until I learn to take care of them better.

Why have the Stuff Gods shone on me so often? Maybe I earned some karma credit in getting misdelivered mail back to the former tenants of my apartment, or picking up a jacket dropped from the back of a chair for someone. Either way, amid all the hustle and bustle of my decidedly un-bustley life, I will run down the mental phone-keys-wallet checklist. Easier than teaching my car keys to swim.

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