How the Tremont Convenience Store saved the day (or, how I walked five miles in the snow, unintentionally)

We woke up early on Sunday, around 7am.  I made breakfast, we watched some TV, played online, and soon got bored with the lounging.  I decided I'd go for a short walk in the snow, maybe take some pictures.  I pulled jeans over my yoga pants to keep me extra warm, and layered to the best of my ability.  I am coated and scarved, gloved and hatted.  Oh, and I am booted -- Very important in a foot of snow.  (Sidenote: if you find a pair of really cute pink and brown winter boots that have been marked down from $35 to $18, maybe try BOTH of them on before buying.  Maybe they were marked down cause the liner on the left one is all ripped up, and maybe the plastic ankle support thingamajobs bend into your foot like angry little knives.  Maybe.)

I grabbed my own keys, but then saw that Karen's CSU parking pass is waiting to be put in her car.  Her car has also not been started in about a month, since we've been driving mine exclusively.  I figured I'd grab her keys, the parking pass, and start her car.  Maybe even dig it out of it's cocoon of snow. 

Her car starts right away, and I then realize that I'm just sitting there, in a snow-covered car, with nothing else to really do.  The shovels are inside, and since her keys are in the ignition, I'm stuck.  I ponder leaving the keys in the ignition to let it melt itself out of the hole, but figure that'd be a really hard thing to explain when it's stolen.  So I turned off the car and went on my merry way, and figure I'll dig it out after I get home.  Or maybe tomorrow...

I remember putting the keys in my front right pocket, where I always put keys.  I remember specifically thinking 'nothing ever falls out of my pockets' (can you say foreshadowing?) and then I looked at my watch.  It was 11:30am.   I continue to turn and twirl, taking pictures and finally making my way down the street.  I crossed paths with many church-goers, took some nice cathedral shots, almost fell forty-three times on slush, and made my way back up the alley, maybe a mile total.  It's warmish in my many layers, and I am enjoying the snow and the cold and the almost-silence.

I ran into Greta and Danny on my way back into the building.  They joked about Karen's buried car, and we laughed.  They held the door to let me in.  I walked up the stairs, and at the top of the stairs, went to grab my keys from their snug, secure front pocket.  Nothing.  (O M G.  Seriously?)  I did that thing where you check the same pocket twenty times, sure that THIS TIME you'll find them there, hiding.  Silly, silly keys.  But nope -- nada.  It's now that I remember that not only have I lost keys, but I've lost Karen's keys.  (dun dun DUN!)  I immediately walk back outside and retrace my steps two more times -- staring at the ground, not really enjoying the snow or the slush or the semi-quiet anymore.  I kick around the snow by her car, on the street, the whole way around the block, but nothing.  I have to admit defeat.  I get Stephanie and Brendan to let me in the building, and knock on the second floor door.  She doesn't hear me.  I walk up to the third floor door, and knock there.  She's on the phone, and somehow doesn't think it's odd that she had to let me in.  I remove my many layers and listen to her talk to her mom on the phone.  This is not going to go well.  I write a note on a post-it (brave, aren't I?) that says:

'You love me?  Unconditionally?'
She puts her hand over her heart, and shakes her head yes.  (Still not wondering why I'm acting so weird -- silly girl.)  I motion that she should look at the next post-it, that says only:

'I lost your keys.'

She conveys this little story to her mom pretty calmly, and we venture outside to retrace my steps again.  Long story short, we went back around the block AGAIN, and didn't see them.  It's possible that they've been covered up by snow, or that someone picked them up.  Not a good start to the Sunday.  We're just around the corner from the house when I decide I'll stop at Convenient for beer on the way home, you know, since we're out...

'How are you?'  asks Mike, Mr. Convenient Store.  Most days, regardless of what's been going on in Susanland, I give the pat answer of 'I'm doing well, thanks.  How are you?', but for some reason, I answered honestly, and told Mike that I lost Karen's keys, and I've had better days.  He says, 'hmm.  someone dropped some keys off... let me look...'  I'm sure they're not ours, of course.  He turns around, and I reconigize the red bottle opener she keeps on her keychain.  Holy shit, what are the odds? 
After I show them to Karen, she throws me into a huge snow drift, and admits that she had already thought of the worst-case scenario...  someone steals the car, realizes we live there, since it's parked outside, and returns to steal all our things.  I didn't even care that I was covered in snow, I had never been more relieved in my life.

Next time you think of doing something nice for someone, don't.  Let this be a lesson! 
(Or, secure the keys in some way before you go for a mile walk in the snow.)

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