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LUCK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT
I've been lucky so far—I don't have a lot of wrinkles and have hopefully inherited the youthful skin my mom and her mom were blessed with. However, having blurry eyes day after day and a job that requires staring at the computer for 8 hours, plus wanting to keep up with my online life at home in the evenings has meant nothing but SQUINTING for what feels like ages. I can't see a damn thing. It's a good thing I know how to touch type. ARGH. And I'm giving myself wrinkles to boot!

***

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.

UNTIL TODAY.

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.

Nothing.

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?
 relieved
mood: relieved
music: Joe Jackson—Me and You (Against the World)


Comments

I had to do the shopping one time for a big office party. I was at City Gross in Rosengård - you know - the biggest freaking grocery store ever. Almost finished, cart full, I left the cart at the entrance to an aisle while I went back to look for something I'd forgotten.

Dumb.

Of course the cart was gone by the time I came back, stolen by some jerk (or kids probably) who wanted the 10 crowns I had naively used to free the cart. I found some of my groceries scattered here and there along the quickest path the the out door, but not enough just to gather them up again. I had to do the whole hour-long shopping trip all over again.

Since then I got myself a plastic thingy, but have never attached it to my keys. If they'd steal my 10 crown coin I can just imagine the joy they'd have stealing my car.

I had an extra plastic thingy in the kitchen FOREVER. Just a couple of days ago I got tired of looking at it and I threw it into the recycling bag. I wish I still had it so I could send it to you.

How awful!!! I actually don't know why I thought someone was stealing the car: in S. Sandby of all places. Now, in Rosengård I don't think I would have let go of or EVER turned my back on my cart.

And damn...I can't believe you threw that doohickey away. Did you already take the recyclables? Can't I come over and root throug the bag??

What a nightmare! I would be shaking too. We have a special little drawer in our car where we always keep a 1 euro coin for grocery carts; maybe a viable new option? So glad you got your keys back at any rate!
(P.S. - I love that you made Martin come because you enjoy his company. That ::pointing:: is the kind of motherhood I aspire to.)

I have to use every bit of my expertise at cajolery these days to get a kid to come to the store with me. Usually I end up resorting to threats or bribery. Talk about good parenting! I got the mad motherhood skillz.

Perhaps you need special computer glasses. I know some of the nurses at work have them, otherwise they squint. I know I had a problem with squinting two years ago and thought my eyes were getting worse, which at my prescription is bad enough. I actually needed weaker glasses! He said the lens hardens with age and eyesight will actually be someone better, although I need bifocals...meh.

I have special computer glasses, actually. (and progressives, too). Bah humbug. I think I just need new eyes.

Funny how we rely so heavily on these little things and when they go awry we can't think straight. Keys, wallets, cards...our access to our lives. Glad you found the keys no problem.

The writing project looks intriguing. I'll take a look.
xo
erin

Oh good! It's definitely worth a look, and then some!

Edited at 2010-02-16 06:54 pm (UTC)

From Megsie

My heart was beating fast as I read this. I took Sarah to the doctor recently after we ate dinner. We had the last appointment of the night. When we were leaving I put my hand in my coat pocket for my keys, and you're right, they weren't there. We looked all around the doctor's office and in the slush in the parking lot. I was getting ready to call Jeff when Sarah found them: In the ignition. Nice. Hope you can find another doo-hickey.

Re: From Megsie

That happened to me while I was in Boston!! We went to lunch, the whole marketing gang and I drove and I left the keys in the ignition and had a pure shot of adrenalin panic AN HOUR LATER when I realized my keys were not in my pocket. Insane feeling.

Wait, this is good,,,

So when it flashes through your head that some dangerous car thief might at this very moment be scanning the lot for your Audi, you send your child out to see. Oh, Liz - we must be twins separated at birth! Let's see, losing child: X amount of grief; losing car and having to explain it to husband: X to the second power of grief. At least you didn't lose the magic coin.

Re: Wait, this is good,,,

SNERK. Shut up! It was totally the right thing to do. He was innocuous, I tell you! *giggles madly*

I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this. My heart racing a bit while reading is a good jump start to my day. Oh! that feeling of discovery that you've lost something. Don't miss it at all. This was a fun trip to to store though, something I also find boring and can NEVER get my boys to come along with me. Martin is a gem! I'll have to try the 'no food' trick.

I feel like I'm at the grocery store EVERY DAY. Was there again today, with my broken bit of plastic!

Perhaps you can innovate the detachable doohickey? Something that usually sits on your keychain, but with a simple click-snap comes loose. Then when you are finished shopping, a simple click-snap attaches it again.

(Anonymous)

We've got that system for carts in Spain too, but no plastic doohicky for me, it's digging for change every time. A good system though, I always wonder--why doesn't the US do this? Such an easy way to make people return their carts.

Hilarious telling of the story, you had me laughing out loud!

Willow

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