Me: Did you lose your keys? (he had been borrowing my keys all day)
Father-in-law: (with certainty) No ... (then hesitates)I mean, I don't know where they are, but I don't think they are lost yet.
Clearly lost has a slightly different meaning in some contexts... I mean, if you don't know where they are aren't they lost? Or are they just misplaced, until it is permanent and they are never found?
My husband's family is a black hole for keys... if you lend them your keys, always demand them back immediately after the key-task is finished. They laugh at me because I am really anal about getting my keys back, I will come after you, right after you open the door and say: my keys, please. I will hunt you down...
Keys are important here because there are so many to get in and even to get out of a residence. There is a pad-locked gate outdoors to get out to the street. If you don't have a key, you can't get out. There is a barred door and then the front door, which locks when it is shut. (Don't get nervous for me with so many bars, I am not in danger--it is just life here) There is a key to the back sliding bar door that covers the sliding glass door, which also clicks locked when shut. We have locked ourselves out before (Thank you Nico! and another good reason to carry your keys on your person at all times) and had to slide Nico through two of the bars over the front window (thank goodness his head just fit through... next year we won't be so lucky).
When we went to the beach house (which has no bars, by the way, but it does have an alarm), my husband took both sets of keys to the truck... and at one point he realized that we couldn't find either set... for DAYS! How does that happen? I honestly don't understand.
I never lose or misplace keys, like ever. I always know where my keys are, I always put them in the same places or carry them on my person. So it is just bizarre that I live in a house where no one can ever find keys... seriously, like ever. Keys have been an issue as long as I have known my husband. Handy as I am, I am an excellent key-spotter. If you set them down and can't remember where, I'll tell you, because I saw them. My mind registers things like that.
They are also notoriously bad at searching for lost items (that weren't just set down somewhere odd). It's like they just can't fathom where they might be. I keep muttering: "Retrace your steps" and "What were you wearing?"
So I finally did an exhaustive search for the truck keys... and found one set of in a pants- pocket. The other set was found days later in another pants-pocket.
So in a sense, the riddle has been solved, at least for some of the misplacements... pockets is the answer. The keys just stay there and the pants come off.
I suggested to my FIL that he look in last night's jacket pocket.
Another key mystery has been solved. The not-lost keys have been found.