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Lost in Suburbia classic column: It’s all in the bag

Tracy Beckerman
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Daily Comet

Like most women, I have handbag issues. No matter how big the bag or how organized I am, I can never find anything in it. It’s like one of those roach motels. In my case, lipsticks check in but they don’t check out.

For some reason, the thing I have the most trouble finding are my keys. You would think that something that jingles and jangles would be fairly easy to locate. But my keys always seem to temporarily disappear into a Black Hole in my bag, spend time on the other side of the universe, and then reappear only after I’ve finally dropped everything else I am holding, thrown a giant hissy fit, and turned my bag upside down. Another theory is that there are handbag gremlins that hide your keys just for grins in a sadistic game to make you think you forgot your keys and will have to break into your house … which, actually, is exactly what happened to me today.

Well, I’m not sure about the gremlins part. But when my daughter and I got home and I couldn’t find my keys even after throwing a giant hissy fit and turning my bag upside down, I realized we were going to have to find another way into the house. Little did I know it was probably going to involve a window, a ladder and a dog.

Why a dog? More on that later.

Normally we have an emergency key secretly stashed outside. But I had used the emergency key the first time I couldn’t find my keys an hour earlier, and had never returned it back to its hiding place.

“What now?” asked my daughter.

“Either we wait six hours until dad gets home or we break in,” I said glumly.

The good news was, I was fairly certain I had not set the alarm when I ran out to pick up my daughter from school so I was at least assured that I would not get arrested for breaking into my own house.

Why would I get arrested? Because naturally I had left my wallet with all my identification in the house, too. Yes, THAT’S how stupid I am.

After circling the house repeatedly, we determined that the only window that was open and break-in-able, was in my daughter’s bedroom. Second floor. Twelve feet off the ground.

This presented another problem. Two actually:

1. I am deathly afraid of heights.

2. Did I mention I am deathly afraid of heights?

Fortunately, the window was open wide enough to allow a teenage girl to crawl through which saved me from having to admit that I couldn’t climb the ladder because I am deathly afraid of heights (did I mention that?). More fortunately, my daughter loves rock climbing and roller coasters and that kind of thing, so she had no problem with the task.

We carried the ladder to the back of the house and set it up right under her window. Then my daughter pushed up her sleeves, turned to me, and said, “I’m going in!”

I held the ladder and spotted her while she zoomed up the ladder and wriggled in the gap in the window. Moments later, her feet disappeared and she popped up head first at the window.

“I DID IT!!” she exclaimed. I wiped my brow and looked around nervously. I was pretty sure I heard the theme from “Mission Impossible” playing somewhere in the background. And quite possibly, police sirens.

As my daughter skipped down the stairs to let me in, I walked back around to the garage door to collect my handbag. I picked it up just as she opened the door and the dog came bounding out to greet me, causing me to drop my bag on the floor … and the house keys to fall out of my bag.

This is a repeated Lost in Suburbia column, which has appeared in GateHouse Media newspapers since 2008. As Tracy Beckerman’s main column is shifting focus - her kids are grown and she has moved back to the city - we are rerunning her earlier work for readers who may have missed these the first time around. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tracybeckerman.