When I was a kid, my mom and I went shopping pretty regularly. Most of the time, it was for groceries or something boring, but occasionally it was for clothes, school supplies (which I loved because I was a nerd) or something really exciting like Christmas shopping. Regardless, if we got separated in the store, I could always tell where she was because of the sound of her keys.
They say that a baby penguin can tell which penguin is its mom or dad, of the thousands of mom and dad penguins in the flock, merely by sound. I often think of my mom dressed up in a penguin costume, me a baby penguin costume of course, traipsing through some big box store in search of one another. Of course, penguins aren’t known to carry keys, but Char (my mom) always did.
I often wondered why she didn’t just put them in her purse. I think it was because she thought if someone stole her purse, she’d still have her keys, so we could escape in the car. I love my mom, don’t get me wrong, but there is a conspiracy around every corner – I think this came from growing up in the 60s and listening to the Russians daily attack threats or something. Anyway, the keys stayed with her at all times, which was a good thing, because that meant that I could also always find her, regardless of where she was.
When I tell you that I could hear them across the store, I’m not kidding. They were like a homing beacon for me. Beep beep beep ching ching ching. I could always find her.
I guess it’s a trait I’ve carried with me. Even now, before people pass my door at work, I can tell who they are by the sound of their keys, footsteps, or shuffle. It’s funny and it really freaks people out, because I will say their names before I see them.
Anyway, just another nerdy part of my personality.