Please raise your virtual hand if you have a container of some kind that is filled with old keys. And, keep your virtual hand up if you haven't a clue what they open. Aha! I thought so!
I know we share the same looks on our faces when we find these keys. We pick up each one and stare at it as if this will jar our memories. We cock our heads and muse over what treasures may lie within the turn of this key. If it's a hotel key, we smile at that one night stand we enjoyed twenty years ago while wondering whatever happened to John Haney. This key we kiss gently as we lovingly put it back into the container and smile again.
There is usually a very small key and this one looks like it might be important. It may have opened the jewelry box that we had in our youth, in which case we're keeping the key for sentimental reasons because the jewelry in our youth was fake, didn't cost much and is now completely out of style. It may go to a piece of furniture that held a secret drawer, but that piece of furniture went to Good Will when we moved from one house to the next for the fifth time and it probably only held old makeup, lint, rubber bands and paperclips. We'll keep this key just in case we run into the same piece of furniture that someone else is recycling at a garage sale. You never know.
The last key reminds us that we did indeed procure a safety-deposit box many years ago. We've totally forgotten what is in the box at the bank, but our adrenalin rises at the thought that we might have riches we'd forgotten about. When we arrive at the bank and sign all the documents necessary to enter the chamber, we tingle with excitement as we open the box. Voila...there they are...all the love letters we've ever received from any paramour, our first pair of glasses in their stylish case, a last will and testament that we wrote on a cocktail napkin during a drunken evening at a bar with our best friend...leaving her all of our wordly possessions, which were minimal in monetary value, but rich in sentiment....and the last item we find is another unidentifiable KEY. Fuck.
On the other hand, maybe it's the key to the kingdom!
I know what all the keys are for on my keychain. I have a keychain that is a little, plastic, red pepper spray thingy. It sort of looks like a small dildo. It makes me feel safer when I'm walking around town at night.
Pretty soon there won't be any more keys. People will have key cards like the ones at the hotels. That's sad because I think keys are pretty. Old, metal turnkeys are cool and I still have a big, brass key from the Sheraton Santa Fe that opened the door to a room where I spent the night with a young, guitar player. It was really fun... and safe because he was on the road with his band and I knew I would probably never see him again.
Women need big keychains because it makes it easier to find them in their purses. (See Midlife Purse Contents) I've had many in my life including these:
A big, diamond studded 'S"
A troll doll with purple hair
A 2 inch, round brass disc with '3' on it (from the key mentioned above)
A plastic cupcake
A laminated, oversized 'Screen Actors Guild' card
A wooden, six-inch 'Ladie's Room' board from a Stuckey's on old Route 66
A roach clip that looked like an alligator
A white and black saddle oxford shoe
A red, plastic lobster
Since I keep losing and missplacing my keys anyway I think my next keychain will be a telephone book or a bowling ball.