Martin and I went to the grocery store this evening while Karin was at soccer practice. I had to practically chase him off his chair to get him to accompany me; finally resorting to telling him that he would GET NO FOOD EVER AGAIN if he didn't come. I like company. Grocery shopping is boring and Martin is funny. Plus, I like an audience. I'm much funnier myself with an audience. Aren't you?
Anyway, the grocery carts in Sweden all require a 5 or 10 kronor piece stuck in a little slot to unlock them from the chains in the outdoor corral before you can take them and use them in the store. You get your money back when you return the cart to its chain. A long time ago, someone gave me a plastic piece that is the same shape as a 5-kronor coin that I keep on my keychain. It's one of those little things that make life so much better. You know the kind of thing I mean? Something you rarely think about but which just gives a little fillip of convenience and value to everyday doings. In this case, it means being able to get a cart even when I don't have the correct coinage with me. I always have it on my keychain and once in awhile I give it a smile because it's an awesome little piece of plastic.
We shopped and shopped and hey, don't let me forget to rewrite "rice" on the fridge list because they were out and then we were at the cashier and Martin started bagging while I was paying and then I helped him finish filling our 4 big black environmentally friendly Panda shopping bags which I am getting much better about remembering to bring with me to the grocery store in lieu of buying plastic OR paper and I lifted them and placed them in the cart and then went to move away from the conveyor belt and take the car key off the little plastic piece which sticks out the front of the slot in the handle of the cart because the Audi doesn't have a remote car-door opener; it has to be opened manually with a key, and the KEYS WERE GONE.
The little plastic doohickey had SNAPPED OFF and the keys were NOT THERE.
Holy shit, I think my heart stopped. I looked up at Martin and he looked up at me and we must both have had the same look on our face: sheer panic.
My first thought was: How could I not have noticed it snapping off?
My second one was: Anders is in Italy—how are we going to get home??
My third one was: OMG , someone snapped it off while I had my back turned and is STEALING THE CAR.
I told Martin to run out and see if the car was still there while I retraced our passage through the store to see if I could find the keys. He ran down the hallway and disappeared and I headed back into the store with the cart, searching the floor of every aisle we had been in.
After a panicky few minutes of rolling back and forth through the store, I finally got a grip on myself and went up to the post office counter where we had stopped before going into the grocery store and asked if anyone had turned in keys and she said "what kind of car?" and I said "Audi" and she smiled and pulled my keys from a drawer. HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF. I can't believe how lucky we were that they hadn't already closed their gates when they were supposed to, half an hour earlier. What would we have done?!!
I thanked her and headed out to the entrance where Martin was standing, not knowing whether to come back in for me or stay outside with the car. His look of relief mirrored mine. "Mom," he said, "I thought the car WAS gone...it was hidden behind 2 others and I couldn't see it for a minute." I sat in the car after we opened the trunk and stashed the groceries and shook for a few minutes.
I had no idea the battle of Liz vs. the inanimate was still going strong. And now I need a new doohickey for the grocery carts.
A Field Guide to Now
One of my very favorite people in the world, a blogger whose writing and art I greatly admire, has started a new project over at Kickstarter. Christina Rosalie of My Topography is one of those inspiring people that breathes beauty into everything around her. She's a teacher who is currently a SAHM but still continues to feed her muse with art and writing and motivational projects. Her words make you see the world through new eyes and her new project focuses on the small moments of everyday life. I hope you will check out her project, a book titled A Field Guide to Now, and consider making a pledge. In order to bring this project to life, she needs financial backing and every small bit, like every small moment in your life, be it smiling at a handy little gadget or the adrenaline of shock at an unexpected absence where something should be, will help. Won't you consider a small donation of funding for the arts?