I wanna hold your hand

Published 9:02 pm Friday, August 14, 2009

The “nosey” neighbor came by The Messenger the other day to inform me that I had told a tale on her.

She said the gifted cake that she toted out of my house that day years ago was not a seven-layer caramel cake. It was “just a plain ol’ pound cake.”

Well, in my memory, it was a seven-layer caramel cake, but I would have been just as proud of a “plain ol’ pound cake.” Put a little butter on a slice of a pound cake, run it in the toaster, and it’s every bit as good as a cake of any kind. So, seven-layer cake, pound cake, it didn’t matter. The truth of the matter was that, for a few minutes, I had a gift cake on my kitchen table, and then a nosey neighbor came in, retrieved it and walked it down the street to a neighbor’s.

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I still think it was a caramel cake, but these days, I can’t say for certain because my memory has gone on strike.

I’ve always had an uncanny ability to lose things, and recently it’s reached epidemic proportions. I’m close to holding the Guinness Book of World Records for the most car keys lost.

Other people find my habit irritating so I try to keep my looking under wraps. I’ve gotten pretty good at discrete searching. Bending and stooping in 1-2-3-4 rhythm gives the impression that I’m exercising. Twisting and turning with earphones in my ears makes people think I’m listening to music and practicing a new dance. Walking around the office from desk to desk, straightening things up shows that I’m a friendly and tidy person.

It’s only when none of those tactics work that I have to say, “I can’t find my keys,” and accept the ire of others.

My friend Squirmy bought me a key chain with a mid-size teddy bear dressed in an “I love Ohio” knit sweater.

“See if you can lose that,” she said.

I can.

Sis and I went to Hardee’s for breakfast last Saturday morning. On the way out, I realized I’d left my keys.

“Wait a minute,” I said as I turned to go back in. Sis sighed, loudly, drooped her shoulders in disgust and got that “for goodness sakes” look on her face.

My keys were in plain view on the table and there, on the bench, was Sis’ big, blue shoulder bag. I made sure I was dead center in her aggravated gaze when I casually hitched her purse over my arm.

Oh, the look on her face. Poetic justice, I think it’s called.

“Do we need to hold hands to the car,” I asked, laughing. My grandmother and her sister used to do that. I’m beginning to understand why.

Then a few days later, Squirmy and I were eating lunch at Zaxby’s and, as we were leaving, “My keys?”

Squirmy went into the “oh, my goodness disgusted” state of being.

I went back to the booth and asked the two gentlemen who had occupied it to slide out so I could look for my keys. The three of us looked high and low to no avail.

“You probably dropped them in the trash,” Squirmy said peering into the bin. “I don’t see them.”

I made a mad rush to the restroom, certain I had left them there. But no keys.

“They’ve got to be in the trash,” I said and opened the bottom section to pull out the trash barrell and go through Zaxby chicken scrapz to find my keys.

Suddenly, Squirmy pulled my sleeve. “Come on, let’s go,” she said, jerking me away from the trashcan. “Coooome on!”

“Wait, I’ve got to find my keys.”

This time she snatched me so hard I got whiplash. “Come on, you nut!” she said dragging me toward the door.

In a whisper she said, “We’re on my car!”

We took hands and held them all the way to the car.