Wednesday, June 23, 2010




1 a : the wife of a castellan : the mistress of a château b : the mistress of a household or of a large establishment
2 : a clasp or hook for a watch, purse, or bunch of keys

Sometime over the course of the last two years I became known as the "key master" of my household. This began because my roommate Bobbie Sue pointed out I always take the initiative to unlock the door when we return from an outing. I suppose this is true—I do usually remove my keys when I approach the front steps, prepared, ready to unlock. No hesitation. This could be residual paranoia—a reaction to being told a woman should always have her keys ready when approaching her car at night. If you stand by your vehicle searching through a messy purse for your keys, squinting under the light of a dim street lamp, you are as good as dead.

I keep my keys in an easily accessible location—my back right pocket, linked to an anterior belt loop, within comfortable reach of my dominant hand. I guess this designates both myself and the belt loop as CHATELAINE. I have worn my keys this way for about fifteen years, probably since I had any reason to unlock a door. There is something safe about this placement. I like feeling the keys against my body, a constant reminder they are still present. On the rare occasion when I wear a skirt, I find myself panicking in the absence of that weight, reaching for my right ass cheek, feeling only the soft fabric of the skirt, and then remembering the keys are in a bag. This cycle repeats itself over and over. It's just easier to not wear skirts.

I guess the contemporary version of a CHATELAINE would be a janitor, although this doesn't sound nearly as romantic. Since people don't generally live in palaces anymore, there's not much of a job market for "chateau mistress."

I have a headache. I'm stopping here to go pack for a trip.

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