A tip of the hat to the person who found and returned my keys at Dollar Tree

keysMy four-year-old grandson adores Dollar Tree. For that matter, so do I. We always find intriguing, colorful, challenging items. This time a magnifying glass that actually functions, perfect for studying ladybugs and arm hair. My regular supply of birthday and get well cards. Wine glasses for the block party.

If you’re not familiar with Dollar Tree, clones exist across the nation. Nothing there rings at the cash register more than a dollar. I won’t vouch for the quality necessarily, but my wallet rejoices.

I recently discovered an additional good point about Dollar Tree. One of my life mottos is it’s hard to see what’s around you with your head up your ass. That’s where mine was when I hauled my grandson off to Dollar Tree, keys in hand, not in my bag, their normal location. As I got to the register and scrambled for money, I also reached for the keys. Not there. Not in a pocket. Not on the counter. Not even on the soft drink machine immediately next to the counter.

I never, repeat never, leave my car unlocked, but perhaps in my haste to release my grandson from his seat belt, I’d abandoned the keys in the car. No. And no and no and no. The number of times I searched the car.

Ditto no, no, no in my circuit of Dollar Tree, patient and good-humored grandson in tow, puzzled as he was by our delay in the store. No series of metal objects under display cases, nothing buried under the toys we’d fingered. On each venture, I asked clerks if anyone had found my keys. No.

I finally had to admit defeat, and I confess what stuck in my craw (if people have craws) wasn’t the $350 I’d have to pay to replace my car key nor the unknown amount for my PO box. It was admitting to my husband that I’d once again lost something essential.

Some people seem never to lose or misplace a thing. Other people do so habitually. My entire family falls in the second category. I remember once when my mother, brother, sister and I all were wandering an apartment looking for our lost keys.  Is it genetic? Perhaps. Or it may be the location of our heads firmly up a certain orifice.

There now are apps to be purchased that will help you track lost objects, but since they require a smart phone, and since phones are something else I lose, I’ve purchased neither a smart phone nor the app.

Strange to me, my husband wasn’t furious. Perhaps he likes the reassurance that I’m ditzy in this way and need occasional help. After I left my phone number with the employees, he rescued us with his extra key. As we drove away, my grandson asked, “What happened to your keys, Grandma?”

“God only knows, I replied in throw-away fashion.

The next day, prepared to replace all my keys and code cards, I called the store just in case someone had found them. A miracle! Someone had and been kind enough to turn them in. Hooray!  A little shallow research online reveals that about 50% of lost items never get returned, and that percentage plummets if the lost items are money, wallets, or purses. I was lucky that a collection of keys to unknown items held little appeal. And that losing something in a location with a stable population, such as a store or café in which employee turn-over is low, increases the odds.

I announced the joyful news to my grandson. His response—“Did God bring them back?”  Hmm.

So here’s a shout-out of thanks to the unknown customer who returned my keys. Appears Dollar Tree customers and employees are willing to take that extra step to help someone else out.