Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Keyless Life

It's funny how quickly we humans can adapt to things. Years ago, we bought a van that came with one of those little square things that would unlock your car from yards away when you pushed a button. It was great, especially when it was raining and I had little ones in tow. It had a standard key to start it. Next we bought a hybrid vehicle that had a keyless system, using a little square thing that would unlock the door when you pushed a button but would also allow you to start the car by inserting it into a rectangular opening and pushing a big button on the dashboard. The next hybrid we bought (after selling the first one to the in-laws) had what is called a "smart" key. You just need to have the square thing on your person (or in your purse) and the car will unlock. To start the car, you just get in and push the big button on the dashboard. Way cool. It's the same way with the hybrid vehicle my dh just got for me. I have gotten so used to this way of starting a car that when I get into our old 1994 Ford Club van, I forget that I need a vintage Ford key to start the thing.

As cool as this is, I have always tried very hard to hide the fact that I am opening the car and starting it without the use of a key. In fact, it seems rather silly at times, as I've taken to swinging my purse at the lock in an effort to wake the car up and pay attention to me. Then there are the times that I leave my purse in the car and try to lock the door after I get out - the car refuses to listen and won't lock the door. It's smarter than I am! I believe the designers of the keyless system must have had wives (or husbands) like me.

Let me explain: For most of my life, I have had the misfortune of locking myself out of things. Bike locks. Cars. Homes. More amazingly, I have locked my car with the engine running, not once but twice (two different cars at that). And worse still, I locked Chad in the car as a baby, not once but twice and the second time the car was running. Later on, I locked Alec in the car as a baby. Please don't tell the authorities. I didn't leave the kids or anything. It was a matter of putting them in their car seat, putting my purse in the car and shutting the door. After I walked around to the driver's side, I realized that I had automatically locked the door before shutting it. Simple mistake - unfortunately I didn't learn the first time.

Then there was that memorable time when Chad was about 11 months old. It was morning, pouring-down rain and I was doing laundry in the garage. Wearing sweats, no make-up and bad hair. Chad had just learned how to lock the door between the garage and kitchen. Need I say more. I ran from window to window, trying to convince him to unlock any of the doors to let me in. He just jumped up and down on the sofa, giggling - good joke, Mommy! I finally had to leave him and go to the neighbors' and call my dh to come help. We kept a house key in the garage after that.

Finally, a few years ago, my kids and I were all getting ready to go to the beach late in the afternoon. After loading everything into the car, someone shut and locked the front door, not knowing that my purse was still in the house. We went to the neighbors to call a locksmith as my dh was out of town. You'd think after all this time, I would hide a key somewhere but I just never seemed to get around to it.

Well, my dh solved that issue. He put a combination lock on the front door. Seriously! I had no idea these things existed and I was skeptical at first. But it is SO NICE! My kids can get in easily and no one can be locked out of the house. NO ONE! We got ours at Lowe's but I'm sure they are available anywhere door locks are sold. It looks really nice, too. Not like a jail cell door or anything!

As a teenager, I remember having one of those big, fat rubber sandal key rings with a ton of keys on it. Now, the only keys I have in my purse are for the back door and that old Ford key. It's just amazing. One less thing to worry about.


Cate said...

Great thinking Todd!

My car key (which opens the car from a few metres away) has broken, & as they cost so much to get new one, I'm back to manually struggling with the lock - generally in the rain with arm fulls of grocery shopping.

Oh the sagas of modern life!

Have a great day!

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

I so badly need a combination lock for the house! That is such a great idea.

Leingang Family said...

OH, I would much rather have a key. I hate combination locks. I never used my locker in high school because I could never get it open. I still have nightmares about not remembering my combo. :o) I don't need to relive that again.

Anonymous said...

Wow. i didn't know those existed for houses! Great writing and good laughs. I too have many, many a "locked out of" story. Even the kids in the running car one too!! Yikes! Same thing!
Well, good to visit you, Kate!
Since I know you're a prayer warrior...could you please keep us in your prayers this week...DH is heading to Iraq in six days. Thanks!

appleleaf said...

This is so easy to do!
Looking yourself out of things is frustrating but locking yourself inside of things can be scary.
PS The combination lock is a great idea.

Mama Self said...

Wow, I don't know if I could get used to a keyless car...especially when I change purses so frequently! The house idea might work for us, though, as our current house key gives us fits getting into the front door. :)