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The Key(s) to a Successful Marriage

By - August 29, 2008 (Updated: November 27, 2014)


Thursday night – 11 pm

Location: The sidewalk outside our flat

Andrew (looking slightly concerned): Um, you have your keys right…?

Me: blank stare…What?… Noooo…

Andrew: Shit…

Earlier that evening:

I look at the tiny, impractical (but very cute) evening bag I recently purchased in San Francisco. This will go perfectly with my glasses and pretentious red cape, I think to myself. I then look at my keychain. It has more decorative items than keys. It’s heavy and big. It definitely will not fit in the tiny, impractical (but very cute) evening bag. Andrew always has his keys, I decide, and drop the keychain back into my large, practical (but very cute) everyday purse. I head downstairs, closing the door (which locks automatically behind me).

11:05 pm (after a bit of stunned silence):

Andrew calls our landlord and leaves a desperate (and very apologetic) message. Miraculously the landlord (who hasn’t returned our calls in three months) immediately returns our
call. Unfortunately he is 600 kms away from Brussels. His father also has keys. He will call and see if the father can help us.

11:15 pm (sitting in our car):

The landlord calls back. His father is 100 km outside of Brussels. They never both leave town at the same time… except for that night. The father will be back Friday at 6 pm. He offers to give us the number of the locksmith he uses and bids us good-night.

Andrew: Well…

Me: At this point, what is more expensive – a late-night call to the locksmith, or a hotel?

Andrew calls Priority Club and asks for their cheapest hotel rate in Brussels. 49 euro, right around the corner.


11:30 pm:

We arrive at the Holiday Inn and get our key. We have no bags. We are both dressed up, having come from dinner out. The hotelier is discrete but we know what he is thinking. We get into the elevator and burst out laughing.

What else can we do?

The key to a successful marriage – When there’s nothing else you can do about a situation, laugh together (and get duplicate keys made to leave at the office).

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