My Mom’s Keys

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.

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