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I lose things. All the time. It’s a character flaw that I wish I didn’t have, but I have learned to be circumspect about it. I don’t get too attached to things (usually) because I am liable to forget, misplace, lose, or otherwise find myself not in possession of all manner of objects. Of course, the main culprits of my losiness are wallets, cell phones, and keys.
The stories of what I’ve lost are legendary: my wallet in a Paris airport in 1999, locking keys in the car with kids when they were babies, the old man at the antique store in Denver who held my wallet hostage just last year. I lose things as often as many people change their underwear, so I tend to not stress about it anymore.
The Greeks have a patron saint of found items. As a loser of many things, I was meant to find this culture that dedicates an entire saint to the acts of losing and finding things. Every time I lose and then find something, my mother-in-law bakes a cake for the lovely Saint Fanouri. Let’s just say that she’s made a LOT of cakes!
So, imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I was cleaning out my bag in preparation for a road trip and pulled out a set of keys that did not belong to me. In my bag. How the heck did that happen?!
This huge set of keys had a strong magnet and were attached to my own keys. Whose keys did I have? How did I FIND someone else’s keys?!
I felt a sense of urgency to return these keys that had multiple fobs with buttons and dozens of tiny keys. I emailed a photo and called all the people I had seen the previous day, to no avail. They didn’t belong to a friend I was working with, nor a friend I walked with, nor the contractor working on our apartment… whose keys *were* these?
Then, I remembered stopping at Kotsovolos, an electronics superstore, and thought, hmmm, could these belong to them? I had been there the day before to purchase a power adaptor, and the clerk didn’t know the Greek word for adaptor, so I passed the time playing on the laptops and tablets while he was looking it up. (As it turns out, a store the size of Rhode Island with every electronic device on the planet does not carry power adapters.)
Thinking the keys might belong to Kotsovolos, I called the number on the website. After 30 minutes on the phone and being hung up on when I asked for someone English-speaking, I got a human who said that, yes indeed, these keys belong to them, and they had been searching frantically for them. When I said that we would return them to the store immediately (a 45 minute diversion to our road trip), they were ecstatic.
I thought it was only right, and would balance the universe, to return them directly to the store. The manager was so grateful, and he said that they weren’t able to turn on the alarm the day before (yikes!) because they didn’t have the keys they needed, and that we saved them lots of money since they didn’t have to change all their locks (there were dozens of teeny tiny keys). He even gave the kids each a little calculator as a “reward.”
So, the universe seems to be in balance. This loser is now a finder. But not a keeper.