I must admit that there are few times when I felt truly panicked.  This morning was one of them.

It started our ordinarily enough.  We have a prediction of about 5 inches of snow falling throughout the day.  I thought about the new snow blower I have sitting in the garage.  This might be the first time I will have to use it.  But wait.  What good will the snow blower do if there is no gas to put in it.  I should have thought about this yesterday but didn’t.  Since the heave snow hasn’t started I will go get some gas so I am ready.  After all, if I can’t get the car out tomorrow that snow blower would do me no good.

Since I am going out anyway maybe I’ll make a quick stop at the store.  We could use some bananas and a few other things.  I had a plan.  Coat on, hat on gloves on I go out to the car and head for the store first.

I find a good parking spot, turn off the car and with keys in hand enter the store.  I always hold my keys since the store card is attached to the key ring.  I stop at the bananas and pick out two nice ones.  Then I go to check out the cashews, I like a handful a day.  At that point for whatever reason I decide to shift keys from one hand to the other.

Wait.  Keys aren’t there.  Where are they?  Are they in one of my pockets?  I check all of my coat pockets.  No keys.  Did I put them in my pants pocket?  I check.   No keys.  Where could they be?  I am always careful with them.

Did I maybe put them down on the banana stand while I was looking for the perfect bananas?  I retrace my steps.  I look around.  No keys.  A stock person was putting out new banana.  I ask him if he happened to find a set of car keys.  He did not.

I am panicking now because what will I do?  It was not only my car keys that I lost but the house key as well.  I had only been to two places in the store and retraced my steps several times.  No keys.

Did I maybe think I took the keys with me when they were possibly still in the car’s ignition?  Did the maybe fall from my  hand and and on the ground and because of the heavy gloves I was wearing I didn’t feel them slip.  I went out to the car.  I looked inside the car.  No keys.  I looked around the car.  No keys.  I walked back into the store looking down the entire time.  No keys.  Even though it is cold I started breaking out in a cold sweat.  What to do.

I didn’t take my cell phone with me so I couldn’t call Kathy.  I had one option left.  Go to the courtesy desk and see if someone found keys and turned them in.  I did and someone did.  A big sigh of relief.


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22 responses to “Panic

  1. Your writing created a panic in me right along with your words. Been in that same situation more times than I’d like to recall. Glad for the kindness of a stranger.

  2. i could really feel your anxiety! I can’t tell you how many times I feel that same feeling. My friend and I were out last week. When we got to lunch she thought she lost her Fitbit. We retraced our steps and asked at security – no luck! When she got home she found it on the sink in her bathroom!! We both swore she was wearing it…lol. Must mean our lives are out of control.

  3. Perfect pacing for panic! I haven’t done that with keys lately because I’m pretty good at adding the to the billfold on the lanyard around my neck. But my phone. AT least once a week for the last 3 weeks, it’s been lost. Lost to the point that someone is calling it for me and despite being “ON”, it does NOT ring! ARRRRGGGHHH! And it’s always in the seat or on either side of it. Takes about 3 tries to see it.

    • I usually slip the key ring around my finger like a ring so it is handy at checkout. I guess wearing the gloves just threw me off kilter today. I really felt like a dunce when I couldn’t find it and had no idea where to look.

  4. Terje

    A big sigh of relief indeed. A strange day. You lost your keys and LeAnn (elsie) couldn’t find her car. I am glad both cases ended well. I hope you got everything you needed.

  5. I totally get that sense of panic too! Glad it worked out and they were located, but you made me anxious to get to the end of the story. Well told!

  6. Judy C.

    I could feel that pit in your stomach and the anxiety that the loss of keys created. Glad that there was a Good Samaritan and you could happily be on your way.

  7. Erika Haak

    The same thing just happened to me and it was my wallet I was missing! Went to the grocery store, the library, and the movies all in one afternoon, but only paid money at the grocery (Chris paid for the movie). Called them all and searched everywhere I could think of! Someone found it in the grocery store and turned it in with everything intact. I paid my grocery bill, so must have dropped it when leaving the register or in the parking lot? Thank goodness for good honest people! So happy you have everything safe and sound 🙂

    • Thanks, Erika. I really felt like a dunce not being able to find them and not even being sure I had them when I entered the store. Glad things worked out for you as well.

  8. lindabaie

    Well written and like many stories, a happy ending! Whew! I dropped my small wallet one time that holds only the credit card & driver’s license. Ugh, I make sure not to do that again. And yes, some good person turned it in. Funny how we think we have a habit like your holding the keys especially, and then it doesn’t happen. And, still wondering if you got going with that new snow blower?

    • I know, you do things habitually and when something happens you are not sure if you followed your usual pattern or not. As for the snow blower, I haven’t fired it up yet, but I now have the gas I need to start it should I have to. We will see what tomorrow brings.

  9. Oh, I have done similar to myself numerous times. The panic is real and you told it well. Thank goodness they were turned in and you for them back. The feeling of relief was immense afterwards, I know.

  10. I was rooting for you to find those darn keys! Love the way you slowed the action so I could really feel your panic.

  11. I had a feeling this would have a happy (or a funny) ending, but I was panicked right there with you. I think you hit a nerve with your readers and brought up a lot of memories of the times we’ve done something similar.

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