The Essence of Self in a Humble Keyring

It is a sad admission to make, but I have probably spent longer deciding on the style of my next keyring than I ever spent on deciding to buy my house, the key of which necessitates my current search for a keyring.

When I say keyring, I should perhaps be more precise.  It is not a new keyring I am looking for, nor is it a new keychain.  No, it is the fob that is attached to the keyring by the keychain that I want to replace.  I’ll tell you why.

For a long time, my old keyring has had my house key on it, plus five other keys.  Five other keys, which at one time or other must have opened old office doors or various places of importance to me, but which with the advent of swipe-card access at work and subsequent office moves have fallen into redundancy.  Nevertheless, even if these five keys no longer opened any doors I used, they still served a vital purpose.  They provided the fob to my keyring.  They gave my keyring weight; they gave it a presence in my pocket.

However, a few weeks ago, I decided to do a thorough inventory of my possessions, and one victim of this purge was my keyring.  I stripped off the five redundant keys; symbols of an excessive past; as I attempted to stride into a brave new minimalist future.

And what was I left with?  One lightweight house key on a thin metal ring.  I could no longer feel it in my pocket; found myself descending into a paranoid spiral of continually checking its safety; constantly on the lookout for loss or theft.

A new key fob was required.  Something to replace the reassuring weightiness of the five keys.  But what to buy?  The choice appeared endless.

In order to limit my parameters, I decided that I needed a keyring which, in some way, reflected my character.  Big mistake.  A whole new Pandora’s Box was opened.  Who am I?  What characterises me?

If I were to believe the results of psychometric testing, I would be characterised by an octopus.  But this brings in a fresh consideration: practicality.  An octopus is a hopeless shape for a key fob.  It has eight lengthy appendages, all of which have the potential to snag the lining of thin, fabric pockets.  However, this at least began to narrow the world of possibilities.  My new keyring: no sharp corners.

I toyed with the idea of a keyring, which paid tribute to my most long-standing allegiances: football club; favourite band; preferred make of car.  But this seemed somehow limiting; these represented only one aspect of my character.  Not the full, multi-faceted picture.

It is a quandary, and no mistake.

I would like to be able to conclude this blog with the announcement that I have reached a decision regarding my new keyring; have made a purchase; have discovered the key fob essence of me but, sadly, it is not the case.  The search continues.

With key fobs, as with Life, there are no easy answers.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Before you suggest it, Simon Turner-Tree has already researched the OCD key fob, and rejected it.


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