I have spent the last month cat-sitting in an apartment with central air conditioning and a Roku. It was my New York City version of an oasis until a week ago, when I locked myself out while running to pick up my laundry. I stood stock still in the hallway in sleep shorts and a tank—no phone, no bra, no wallet to my name. After buzzing every apartment in the building, a good Samaritan lent me their phone so I could blubbering-ly call the superintendent.
I haven’t locked myself out of an apartment in over a year. After a quick Olivia Benson-esque assessment of my predicament, I identified my fatal flaw: I hadn’t attached my standard obnoxious keychains to this apartment’s keys.
Normally, on my house keys, I have a beaded ear of corn, a laminate of Meryl Streep sitting in a bowl of Fruit Loops, and a plastic replica of salmon roe sushi. Pieced together they make for an absurd self-portrait but, more than that, they serve a crucial function: they are extremely hard to misplace or forget.
Whenever I’m running out the door, the plastic salmon roe glow at me in the dark. At the bottom of my tote bag full of groceries, the shape of Meryl Streep’s cereal bowl fits memorably in the palm of my hand. By making my keys a chunky, bizarre collection of things that take up a considerable amount of space, I’ve cracked the code on never forgetting my keys again.
For those who have the memory span of a bumblebee when it comes to where you last sat your keys, allow me to suggest some of my favorite fobs, chains, rings, and small pieces of art that you can attach to your clés to maybe (hopefully!) make your life easier.
Commemorate your love for the celeb or cultural figure of your choice with… a keychain. The beauty of the internet, specifically Etsy, is that I can almost guarantee you there’s a keychain for whomsoever your heart desires. Searching for these was pure joy. Choose your heartthrob and attach them to the key that opens your scary subterranean laundry room.
This one is a no-brainer and is an extension of the above category. For whatever food item you most love, I, once again, guarantee you there’s a keychain for that. Shin Ramyun? Got it. Cotton candy with a face? Got it. Haribo? G-g-g-got it.
We all love a personal moment! Tell me my Moon, Sun, rising, and Jupiter sign and how it gave me mommy issues! Tell me how ENFPs are people’s people with mediocre initiative! My name apparently means “hard worker” but let me tell you that makes no sense! I love it all. If you do too, here are some choice baubles.
Pop Culture Popcorn
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that the more obscure and strange the cultural reference, the more I’ll want it emblazoned on my body as a tattoo. Or hanging off my keyring. Whether it’s the Overlook Hotel business card or just Tony Soprano’s office key fob, there’s something for everyone.
I have no category for these options but they are all lovable in their own way. If anything, let your collection of keychains be like your middle-school backpack: Lisa Frank tigers, portraits of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, a goddamn Tamagotchi that you got in trouble for playing with during gym class. Let your freak flag fly.
Inspired? Perplexed? Incentivized? Tell me what your collection of keychains looks like and how proud you’ll be to slap them down on your entryway table when they arrive.
Photos by Beth Sacca.