To some people, summer begins when they open their swimming pool and ends when they close it. We don’t have a pool but we do have a screened-in porch that pretty much holds the same significance. It is from there I set out to open the large windows across the Great Room so the warm summer breeze could wash through the house. The distance I traveled was about 23 paces, a short saunter, a brief mosey or a minimal meander, depending upon your unit of measure. In that short distance, somebody stole my keys. I wasn’t mugged … I remained vertical the whole time and never once even saw anyone else. Yet, when I reached into my right front pocket, the keys were gone.
I knew I had put them in there because for decades, as soon as I put my pants on in the morning, I load the pockets: Keys and change right front; comb and pen-knife left front; handkerchief right rear and wallet rear left. Besides that, my change was happily jingling away against my thigh and would not have come aboard without the keys … they’re inseparable! “Okay.” I said to myself, “Self, let’s solve this logically.” You know, the way you pick the winner of The Superbowl or the Miss America pageant.
Did you ever walk into a room and get the feeling that whatever you were looking for was jumping up and down, waving its arms, shouting “Here I am! Hey Dopey! Over here!” I turned the house topsy-turvy like a burglar, resulting only in my skinning a knuckle and unearthing a couple of rusty old skate keys. When I was a kid, if I couldn’t find something my Mom would tell me, “It’s not there.” or “That’s not where it is.” I always wondered how she knew where ‘it’ wasn’t if she didn’t know where ‘it’ was. My favorite kid retort was, “Then where is it?” She would even invoke the name of St. Joseph, who I guess must have lost a lot of stuff in his day to qualify for his own prayer.
What I didn’t know at the time is that it was all a mask for her radar! Women have it, guys don’t. Eventually, Mom would always come up with the missing item and the only thing she’d say was, “See?” Back then I was just a kid and couldn’t see much of anything … now I understand. Through the years, I’ve even submitted to her theory of divine intervention but it doesn’t work for me. It can’t!
A few years ago, some PhD wrote a book called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It instantly confirmed my long held feelings about the differences in wiring between men and women … differences you don’t need a PhD to figure out, only a marriage license. Everyone has blind spots and, for guys, a big one is not finding lost stuff. Fortunately for Martians, one of the strengths of Venusians is the ability to find lost stuff. I used to think that maybe they had special vision and could actually see the object jumping up and down, but I’ve come to accept the more rational explanation that ‘finding’ is just as much a part of a woman’s chemistry as not asking directions is part of a man’s. All in all, these things make for a nice balance, as long as nobody suddenly gets off of the seesaw!
Anyway, like most other captives in the dark absent object abyss, my keys were not to be found anywhere between the porch and the windows … or anyplace else I had roamed. After retracing my steps two or three times, just to make sure, I even searched upstairs and several other places I hadn’t been, figuring they may have migrated! Nothing, nada, zilch, zippo.
At last my favorite Venusian arrived home from work. She listened to my tale of woe as she slipped into her comfortable clothes and morphed from mild mannered business woman and associate into the intuitive Champion Finder of Lost Souls … almost the way I used to change into my cape and flying togs with the big red letter “S” on the chest. “So, you were sitting over there?” she asked. I pointed and sheepishly muttered, “Uh-huh.” Veege paused for only a second. I could almost hear the radar switch on. Then, she confidently marched directly over to the chair, lifted the cushion and voila … the keys appeared in her hand as if by magic! Apparently they had wedged down in there next to the arm. I know I looked there … twice!
She does that all the time. Mom used to do that all the time. My buddy’s wife Barb does that all the time. They spend seconds, we spend hours. ‘XX’ chromosomes? Sometimes I guess the best move a guy can make is to man-up and ask a woman. Vive la différence!
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