MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: The key to downsizing

Our neighbourhood mail box was updated last week so we were issued a new set of keys

Glenn Mitchell is a columnist and managing editor with The Morning Star.

Our neighbourhood mail box was updated last week so we were issued a new set of keys, which maybe isn’t up there with ‘Trump wins election’ for headline news but it did disrupt my daily life a little bit just the same.

One was finding the time to get to the downtown post office to pick up the darn things, apparently between two busy adults it’s harder than it sounds, which I’m not sure reflects that well on our modern-day lifestyle.

Just the same my wife, not yours truly, managed to pull it off one day last week, although it should be noted her office is waaaaay closer to said post office, I’m just saying.

And it’s surprising how much mail actually piles up when you haven’t been able to check it for the better part of a week, even though they say it’s a dying proposition. Hey, they’ve been saying that about newspapers for awhile now too, so what do ‘they’ know anyway? Ahem.

So after I collected my pair of Maclean’s magazines explaining said headline “Trump wins election,’ or at least attempting to, I got home and thought now was as good a time as any to ditch the old mail key and put the new mail key on my trusty key ring.

My wife, as always, was willing to help.

Wife: “Why do you have so many keys on your ring anyway? Are you trying to look important or something?”

Husband: “What? No,” I said stammering but realizing maybe that was a small part of why I carried these keys around,  not to mention my reluctance to throw anything away in case I may need it someday.

Wife: “Okay, what’s this one do?,” she asked a little too aggressively for my liking.

Husband: “I’m not sure to be honest. It kind of looks like the key to my parent’s old house, I think.”

Wife: “And they moved, what, four years ago?”

Husband: “And this one looks like a bike lock key and I haven’t ridden a bike for, well…..

Wife: “I don’t think you want to go there big guy.”

Husband: “And I wonder if this one is for our old house? When did we move out here again?

Wife: “Well, let’s see, the kids were six and eight and they’re 20 and 22 now so..carry the one, that’s a long time to be carrying a key around that doesn’t open anything.”

Husband: “This key doesn’t even look like it’s from this millennium. What the heck is it for?”

Wife: “You’re asking me? It’s time to ditch some keys honey.”

Husband: “Well, there’s this one too that I have no clue what it’s for. So if I ditch all four of these mystery keys that leaves me with only four that actually do something. That’s like half. I don’t know if I can go that far. I’ll feel like, like…half the man I used to be.”

Wife: “Ha. I’ll still love you honey. Well unless I find a man with eight keys on his ring that actually all do something.”

Husband: “You’re funny. Okay I’m going to take these four off but I’m going to leave them on the counter just in case we figure out what the heck they might open in the future. You can’t be too safe you know.”

Wife: “Well, you can. In six months when you haven’t used them once you might get around to throwing them out, right?”

Husband (ignoring wife): “You know I can’t believe I’ve been carrying those keys around in my pocket for all these years for no reason at all. Do other people do that too? It’s funny how light it feels in comparison. And to think just the other day I was cursing how these keys had made a hole in my jeans’ pocket and I was going to have to buy new ones someday. Go figure.”

Look for more Mitchell’s Musings at


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