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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 20, 2006

He's locked into blaming her for missing keys

By Ka'ohua Lucas

"Hey, Ka'ohua?" my husband hollered from the living room. "Have you seen my keys?"

I paused a moment, hoping that if I gave him a few seconds, he would be able to find them.

"Oh, Ka-oh-hoo-ah-eh," he said again, his voice agitated. "Where are my keys?"

At least three times a week, my husband misplaces his keys and wallet. He is quick to accuse me of cleaning up after him.

"Look, I left them right here," he jabs his finger at a spot on the kitchen counter. "You must have moved them."

My husband is a creature of habit. I tried to establish an area where he could deposit keys, wallet, loose change, business cards and crumpled receipts. But the hike to the dresser in our bedroom was too inconvenient.

So our dining room table became the repository of his items.

At mealtime, we would literally sweep his personal effects to one end of the table, then, crowd around the opposite end for our evening supper.

He has misplaced his keys and wallet so often that our kids have resorted to shrugging every time it happens.

"There goes Dad again," our 12-year-old mutters, glued to the TV set. "He's always losing his keys."

Hawaiians have an 'olelo no'eau, or wise saying, for someone who carelessly misplaces an item: Aia ia Ka'aikiola. (Ka'aikiola has it.) It's a play on the name Ka'aikiola, which means to throw away food.

One morning, we spent half an hour searching for his car keys. Frustrated, he grabbed the spare and stomped out of the house.

"I know you did something with it," I heard him mutter under his breath as he let the front door slam shut.

Two days later, I found his keys and wallet in the center console of my Durango.

"Hey, I don't remember putting them there," he said. "You must have moved them."

In our search, we have found his keys in the oddest places: the pocket of his surf shorts that had been recently washed; on the toilet tank; dangling from our dog's mouth.

I even resorted to designating a lauhala basket as the official key and wallet storage unit.

But even that has been found carelessly abandoned in other areas of our home.

I've even suggested investing in a key lanyard that could be worn around his neck.

He just glared at me.

"I'm not in kindergarten."

We still have not developed a solid plan to address the key and wallet issue.

My husband's response?

"We have no comment at this time."

Reach Ka'ohua Lucas at Family Matters, 'Ohana section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Hono-lulu, HI 96802; fax 525-8055; or at ohana@honoluluadvertiser .com.