Locking, unlocking

I’m not referring to LJ posts. I mean actual keys.
I thought I’d lost mine the night of the pentultimate Sleater-Kinney show, but they turned up. However, just the thought that perhaps I’d lost them made me think about keys.

Here’s what my key ring looks like:

House key, car key, gym locker. I got the ring, with its coffee cup charm, at Middle Earth, back when I still lived in Ann Arbor. I’ve been in Portland for almost nine years, so I’ve probably had this particular key ring for close to fifteen. This is deeply weird to contemplate, because I think of myself as someone prone to losing small objects.

Where do you keep your keys? How many keys do you have? What are they for? How long have you had your key-storing system (ring, chain, whatever)? Post pictures if you want…

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  • sarazarr
    September 8, 2006 at 9:28 am

    I took a picture of mine but then realized I don’t have my camera cable with me. Right now there are 6 keys and 4 “use this and save money on our products while we collect info about you and send it into the government” store card thingies. I think I just realized that there are 2 keys to a car I got rid of 2 years ago.

    I tend to stick with key chains for a long time. My husband got me a San Francisco Ballet key chain that looked like a gold lock, and I think I used that for a good 6 years. That broke, and my friend John (also my boss at the time) brought me back a gold medallian key chain from Greece. I still use that key chain even though the medallian fell off about a year ago. It’s just very sturdy and the closure is tight. (Maybe too tight – hard to get open, which is perhaps why those old car keys are still on it.)

    We have a bunch of other key chains sitting around in our key bowl, but it would take a lot to get me to switch.

  • sarazarr
    September 8, 2006 at 9:29 am

    MedalliOn. Medallion.

  • badfaggot
    September 8, 2006 at 10:00 am

    I now have two key rings.

    Main (with little leather boot):

    building key
    apartment key
    mailbox key
    apartment back door key
    handcuff key
    parents’ front door key
    parents’ back door key
    parents’ garage door key
    ‘s outer door key
    ‘s inner door key

    Secondary (with little rubber boot sole):

    building key
    apartment key

    In its first incarnation, the secondary key ring was a utility for houseguests but now I often use it myself when I want to carry less weight around. The main keyring I found at Leather Pride Night a year ago. The secondary one was a gift from a friend I got last week.

  • signifier
    September 8, 2006 at 10:56 am

    Key-ring in pocket:
    House key
    Garage key
    Bike key
    P.O. box key
    Car key
    Two keys to NYC apartment
    Random key that I picked up on the street over 15 years ago and always thought of, a little weirdly, as “the key to [my now deceased ex-girlfriend’s] heart”–it’s stayed on my keychain ever since; I mostly use it for opening packages

  • jennekirby
    September 8, 2006 at 10:58 am

    I keep my keys on a ring on a purple clip that attaches to my beltloop or bag strap or else to a lanyard around my neck if I’m in lab. There is also a keyring on there with my memory stick (my thesis lives on it) and my student ID on it (campus has proximity readers, so I wave my keys at the reader or walk very close to it, since it’s at hip level, to get into my building). I have, currently, nine keys on there, in this order: my car key, my house key, the old key to the house (need to take that off), the key to my parents’ houses, to my office, to the lab where I keep my materials, to the lab where the furnace is, to the lab where my hood is, and to the lab where the evil machine of doom that I hate using lives. I feel important. Or something.

    I keep my school keys organized by room number (233, 235, 270, 271, 2501), since they all look the same. The lowest number is my office, so it’s next to my house keys, since house and office are similar, and the lab with the evil machine is the highest number and because it’s a big machine, it is similar (in my mind, anyway) to my car, so it’s next to my car key. And the key to *my* house is next to the key to *my* car, so I can tell it apart from the key to my mother’s house, since we use the same brand of locks. I find this system more useful than color-coding and the like: although I have to count, I can do it by feel, which is useful when I’m carrying a lot of stuff and it blocks my view of my keys.

    I’ve had this general system going for about three years, though I’ve replaced the clip once or twice. It works pretty well for me.

  • habiliments
    September 8, 2006 at 10:59 am

    Here’s mine, and I apologize for the size … the work computer does not have image-editing software, alas:

    Top to bottom, that’s my mom’s housekey, my housekey, my mail key, my work key and my dad’s housekey. Since I moved into town and walk to work, I keep my car keys (mine and my feller’s) separate, rather than lugging thick black Toyota keys around at all times.

    The keychain is kind of funny. At least to me. Years ago, I had a Swedish boyfriend who had a keychain with a fat little pig on it. The fat little pig had funny horn-looking things (in the trumpet, not wild animal, sense) and the boyfriend told me it was from the Swedish postal service. Later, I went to Sweden with him, and while I think we may have missed out buying our own Swedish postal service keychain pigs, I did somehow wind up with my own. I lived in NYC then, though, and was much harder on my keys, i.e. often dropping them on the tile floor outside my door while trying to open said door at four in the morning. So eventually my little fat pig broke – the tail detached.

    I was very sad.

    Three years ago, I was working in a record store here in Eugene and noticed something shiny on the floor. Hello, little fat pig! Where did you come from? The little fat pig had a bank logo on the side – U.S. Bank, I think. We stuck him up above our promo CD shelves, but I reeeally wanted him, so I took him, scratched the logo off the sides, and put him on my keychain as if he too were a little fat Swedish pig.

    Clever bank, that.

  • moriath
    September 8, 2006 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been to Middle Earth. My stalking continues…;-)

    I have roughly a bajillion keys on my keyring. Or seven. A key to my parents’ house (so-called because I spend maybe a month out of my year there now), keys to my dad’s car (I really don’t know why), then keys to both locks of my new apartment, the front door and the mailbox.

    My main keyring is an EMU lanyard that has a handy-dandy wallet/ID holder attatched to it. I got the basic set up at the beginning of Freshmen year three years ago, but have since had to replace the cheap plastic ID holder the school gave me with a higher quality pleather. I also now have one of those mountain climbing-esque clips that came with my apartment keys. In short? It should be really hard for me to lose these keys, what with all the extra stuff on them. However, I still manage.

    Usually when my kitten decides that the lanyard makes a fun cat toy and drags them away to a hidey hole.

  • lkeele
    September 8, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve got two keys, the one to my house and the one to the car. Just another way in which it’s lovely being unemployed.

    My keyring is a small Paddington bear, which I purchased in Paddington train station, when taking a train from London to Oxford, about four years ago. That’s the last international trip I made, other than the one from Egypt, where I lived for several years, back to the states.

  • pameladean
    September 8, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve had lots of wonderful key-ring thingies over the years, but the wonderful bits invariably either break off or tear holes in my pockets. So now I have a very thick plain ring that is hard to pry open, containing a Leatherman Micra, an emergency whistle, a key to our house, a key to a car I own part of but don’t drive, a key to the lock of a bicycle that I’ve never ridden, a key to a house where I used to do a lot of cat-sitting, and one of those minute squeeze-to-turn-it-on flashlights, with a dead battery.


  • anonymous
    September 8, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    No key chain, but have three key rings hooked together.

    My car keys- 1 for door, 1 for trunk, plus remote lock
    Wife’s car keys- 1, plus remote lock
    1 key to house
    6 keys for school- 1 for outside, 1 for my classroom, 1 for locker room and variety of other rooms, 1 for gate around soccer field, 2 for cabinets in my room
    2 keys for lock on locker (only need one…just never seperated the two that came with the lock)
    2 keys I’m not sure what they are for…

    -Jeff C

  • nerdpony
    September 10, 2006 at 11:34 am

    I have my two keys (house and bike lock) on a green Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capital Camp carabiner (sp?). I also have a really cool spinny lanyard that one of my friends sent to me while I was in Germany and a really tragic looking Biene Maya key chain that my first host family bought me while my host parents were in Prague.

  • nerdpony
    September 10, 2006 at 11:39 am

    I just realized that I should probably clarify what I mean by lanyard- I mean something that lots of other people call “boondoggle key chains.” As Deb from Napoleon Dynamite said, “a must-have for this season’s fashion.”

  • intendent
    September 11, 2006 at 5:18 am

    Where do you keep your keys? On a ring (that hooks to jeans) on a hook on my door. It also has a furry black ball from Books-A-Million. =)
    How many keys do you have? 6
    What are they for? My front door, my back door, my brother’s back door, my aunt’s back door, my dad’s car, my car.
    How long have you had your key-storing system (ring, chain, whatever)? Since 2004

  • puella_17
    September 11, 2006 at 11:57 am

    i have the key to my parent’s no longer drivable car (the tire may explode any second) attached to the blue whistle/flashlight/compass that i got after i was forced to sign the “prom promise” three years ago. i didn’t go to prom, but i had to sign one for some odd reason.