I’ve decided that if you want a quick way to gauge how complicated your life is or is not, you need only reach into your pocket or purse and take a look at your keys.
For the first sixteen years of my life, I did not carry a single key. I didn’t even have a house key, because we almost never locked our doors (and I’m talking about New Jersey). My parents would lock the doors when we would go away for vacation, but even then the door was locked with a skeleton key, which was cleverly placed under the doormat.
That changed when I was sixteen and someone stole the family car, and my father installed a real lock on the door. That meant that I had to carry one key. The following year, I got my driver’s license and a set of keys to the family car, bringing me up to three keys.
Here is what is on the key ring that I carry now:
One big, fat, computer-chip key for the big, fat capitalist car
One trunk key for the big, fat capitalist car
One computer thingy (unlocks the car, etc.) for the big, fat capitalist car
One valet key (works the ignition, but doesn’t open the trunk or glove box) for the big fat capitalist car
One fat computer chip key for the “other” car (a big fat Ford)
One trunk key for the “other” car
One computer thingy (unlocks the car, etc.) for the “other” car
One key to office
One key to outer office door
One key to outer-outer office door
One key to desk
One key to alternate office
One key to Veteran’s Post
One key to house (front door)
One key to house (back door)
One cigar-piercing gadget
One small penknife
One discount plastic thing for Shop Rite Supermarket
One discount plastic thing for Wegman’s Supermarket
One discount plastic thing for discount liquor store (well worn)
One dog tag (with name, service number, social security number, religion and blood type)
See what I mean?