Monday, July 5, 2010

The Keys: A Thirty-Year Saga

We lost our mailbox keys this weekend.
Duane mentioned it to me on Sunday morning.  I think he was hoping I would know exactly where they were.  Sometimes that happens.

He last went and got the mail on Friday, as we were picking up for guests.  Maybe I moved them.  I didn't remember that, but sometimes I just move things without thinking about it.

And so we looked through the trash.
And we looked through the cars.
And we looked through the odds-and-end drawers.

It really got to me, and I was late to church because I was looking for keys.
And I was a little bit sad because I was afraid that perhaps I really had lost the keys.
And I was a little bit mad because I felt like Duane blamed me for losing the keys.

Not that he acted mad or anything, but deep in my heart I thought that he thought that I put them someplace.

And so the whole day was a little melancholy.
And I stayed home from the fireworks to look for the keys, but I didn't find them.
I did go through the recycling and pull out the cans for the youth.
They're collecting recycling to send kids to camp.
And I did wash two loads of clothes.
And I prayed a lot.  For keys.  And for other things.

So it wasn't a complete waste of an evening.

And in the midst of the sorting and the searching, I kept thinking about another incident that reminded me of this one.  In this incident, we lost a set of motorcycle keys.  Or some other kinds of important keys.  And Duane kept asking me where they were because he really did think I lost those keys.  And months later he found them in his coat pocket.  And he never apologized for making me feel so bad.

And if that doesn't sound like the Duane any of you might know, I'm not surprised because this incident happened at least thirty years ago.

And Duane has changed a lot in the last thirty years.

And I asked myself, how much of what I'm feeling right now comes from the lost mailbox keys or the lost motorcycle keys?  (Again, it's been so long that I'm not even sure what kind of keys they were.)

And I asked myself, did Duane really suggest that I lost the mailbox keys, or am I responding to the episode thirty years ago and assuming he did because he did thirty years ago?

I couldn't really answer that question.

And so I asked him this morning, and sure enough, Duane really didn't think I lost the keys and he wasn't nearly as upset as I was.  And am.

I don't really have any profound insight to close out this blog.
But I am stunned that old wounds still have so much power in my life, even after thirty years.

On another day, this might have been a big fight.
And that fight would have been about nothing.

And I'm asking how many of our arguments and hurt feelings are really about things that happened last week, lat month, last year, or three decades ago?


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