Monday, March 4, 2013

We Found This at the Mall

I opened the mailbox and gathered the usual junk mail and bills.  There was one plain white envelope, no return address, addressed to my daughter, Katie.  I called Katie and told her about the mystery envelope and she told me that she wasn’t expecting anything in the mail. 

I suspected that I knew what was in the envelope because I know my daughter.  I know that Katie’s car keys are missing more than they are found.  I know that she’s left her phone on the roof of her car on more than one occasion.  I know that she has a habit of leaving her gas cap at various gas stations.  In fact, I’m surprised that she hasn’t driven off with the gas pump still attached to the car.

If there is something to be lost, Katie will lose it.  If something needs to be misplaced, call Katie.  Her car looks like a bomb went off inside.  Her room looked the same way when she lived at home.  Now, she lives in her own apartment and I get regular panicked phone calls from Katie asking me if she left this or that at our house.

The thing is; it’s got to be part of her DNA.  If there is a “losing, misplacing, disorganized, absentminded” gene, then it is dominant in our gene pool.  I wish I could say that it all comes from her dad’s side of the family, but that would be disingenuous.  I, too, tend to be disorganized but, frankly, I am no match for Katie’s father. 

There was the time when the van keys were missing and Katie’s dad told her to try and start the van without the keys – and the damn thing started!  Katie drove off with no keys in the ignition and no radiator cap on the radiator because her dad forgot to put it back on the night before.  I wrote a story about that adventure: “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” 

Once, Katie lost her car keys and I needed to use her car.  I took the spare key and drove her car up the street to the grocery store.  When I pulled the key out of the ignition, it flew out of my hand.  I never found the key.  It literally vanished into thin air.  To this day, the key remains missing.  We had to call a tow truck to bring the car home because that was the last spare key. 

Sometimes I worry about Katie.  Actually, I worry about her all the time.  That’s just a mother thing. I know that God looks after her.   Katie is the sweetest and most kindhearted person I know.  She would give you the shirt off her back – or a few shirts out of the back of her car…

”Open the envelope, Mom.”  

I opened the envelope.  It was a simple unsigned note wrapped around Katie’s driver’s license: “We found this at the mall.”  

A few months after I wrote this story a letter arrived for Katie from a dentist.  I knew Katie had just been to the dentist, so I called her and told her that her dentist sent her a letter.  

"Why would my dentist send me a letter?" She asked bewildered.  

"How do I know?  Do you want me to open it?" I asked.

"I'm on my way over" she responded, "I'll open it when I get there."

"Has anyone seen my phone charger?"  Katie asked as she came through the door about an hour later.

"Why? Did you lose it?"

"I think I left it here last time I was here." 

"I haven't seen it."   

"Well it doesn't matter anyway because my phone fell down between the couch cushions and I can't get it out."  

I handed her the letter from the dentist.  "This isn't even my dentist." She said as she opened the envelope.  

"There it is!" she exclaimed.  "I must have dropped it when I went with Sam to the western bar to line dance.  It's in the same parking lot as the dentist."

"What is it?" I asked.

She showed me her beat up and battered driver's license.  It was wrapped in a note: "We found this in the parking lot outside our office and thought you might be missing it."