Chuck and I each have a Toyota Camry; his is silver, mine is grey. In Utah, my car is a silver Hyundai, a sedan very similar to the Camry, to my undiscerning eye. I cannot tell you how many times I've walked up to some random silver car, thinking it's one that belongs to us, and hearing Chuck say, "I think we'll take this one over here, since it's ours, if it's all the same to you." A silver car is a silver car in my world. And occasionally, a grey car is a silver car, too, if I can't remember if I'm driving the car in Utah or Illinois.
So last week when I approached a silver sedan, and pressed the remote unlock button on the key fob, I wasn't too shocked that nothing happened. I looked around the nearly vacant parking lot to locate my car, only to discover that this was the only choice available to me that was silver sedan. It had to be mine. Yep, there was the gold aspen leaf hanging from the rearview mirror I gave Chuck when we first met in the Smokey Mountains, and there was Chuck's tan windbreaker in the back seat. It was definitely Chuck's Camry. I tried it again. Nothing.
Luckily, there is a traditional key at the end of the fob, and I inserted it easily enough into the door's keyhole. It wouldn't turn. More than a little frustrated, I texted Chuck about the non-working key. Since his office was only a couple blocks away, he said he was coming. Meanwhile, I alternated between trying the remote, and inserting the key a few more times. A local policemen was patrolling the parking lot, and noticed me. He slowed to a stop in front of Chuck's car.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Well, I think my remote key battery has died. I can't get in my car."
The officer got out of his cruiser, and offered to give it a try. He didn't have any luck with the key either, and offered to use his "slim jim" tool to unlock the door. In a matter of moments, the car door was open and I was back in the driver's seat. I texted Chuck, "Never mind. A policeman unlocked the car!" When I inserted the key in the ignition, though, it wouldn't turn. "I need you!" was my followup text.
The policeman seemed puzzled that the key wouldn't start the car, and I told him my husband would be there in just a minute with his spare key. He wished me luck, and as he was pulling away, he stopped, and asked, "Is there a chance your other car is a Camry, too, and you're using the wrong set of keys?"
Well, DUH. There was SUCH a good chance. I retrieved CHUCK'S set of keys from my purse, and what do you know? The car started up like a champ. Guess who had the embarrassing task of explaining the whole situation to her very understanding husband when he arrived moments later? Ugh. I tell you; any day now my family is going to have that Dear Old Mom meeting to figure out which facility will meet my needs. It's not like our key chains are identical. I was trying to use the set with MOM inscribed on the heart to open Chuck's car.
Apparently, not only can I not tell our cars apart, I have trouble identifying our key chains, too. It was another embarrassing case of mistaken identity.