2.11.2006

"Keys, Glasses, Billfold?"

My grandmother, may she live and be well, always used to say to my grandfather, ztz"l, "Keys, glasses, billfold?" before he left the house. Every single time. I don't remember the exact order of those three objects, but the point was, it is not a good idea to leave the house without your keys, glasses, or wallet. "Billfold" must be the term of choice in Omaha, Nebraska, where my grandparents both grew up. I've never heard it in the East or West, I don't think. Or maybe it's a generational thing.

These wise words of my grandmother's came back to haunt me a few weekends ago, when I left my keys in someone's house in Boston, and didn't realize until I was on a bus halfway back to New York.

Now I understand why she asked it. Because it really sucks to be coming home to a locked house without your keys on you when both of your roommates are out of town. Luckily, my kind brother housed me for the night, and one of my roommates was home the next day.

I often say that I make first mistakes terribly often, but I never make the exact same mistake twice. (My other grandmother says that I shouldn't say that so much, because it is possible to make the same mistake twice, you know.) For your amusement, mistakes that I have made so far, in addition to the one above, include but are not limited to:
  • losing a plane ticket (when I was 20--I found it upon my return from Israel--it was on my bookcase and it fell behind the books, flat against the back of the bookcase! what are the odds?)
  • making a plane reservation for the wrong day because it was a red eye that left right after midnight and I was stupid and it was during Pesach and they wanted me to fly on Yom Tov or Shabbat because it was always Yom Tov or Shabbat for, like, eight days
  • misremembering the time for a flight and missing it entirely (I didn't forget the time--I just remembered 4 pm as being the time that I had to leave for the airport when, in fact, it was the time that my plane was taking off--whoops!)
  • cutting my hand while preparing food (this past Friday afternoon)
  • fracturing my thumb while exercising in a stupid manner (when I was 18)
Feel free to mention other mistakes like this that I have made.

I am quite lucky in that all of incidents worked out in the end and none cost me more than $100 and a trip to Terem (not the same mistake, those were two different ones). Plus, that first trip to Terem prepared me for a later trip to Terem when I tripped up a stair and tore something in my hand! (The second trip was an accident, not a mistake. There is an essential difference. An accident is something unpreventable; a mistake happens because of stupidity or, more accurately, lack of care/attention, which is preventable.)

I'm hoping that by making them when it didn't matter a whole lot (wasting $100 and a trip to the emergency room hurt a lot, but neither one was the end of the world for me, thank God), I'll prevent myself from making them at some later point when it matters more. This theory is still in the testing stages.

1 comment:

shamirpower said...

i went to terem a bunch of times during my last trip to israel, but luckily no times for myself. i was leading a birthright trip and the visits were for my participants; neither major emergencies. the funniest was when i had to explain to 5 different people in my mediocre hebrew what was a 'yeast infection' since they weren't familiar with the english phrase. somehow just saying "pitriot" worked. crazy place!