The Mystery Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Katiedid Langrock on

I'm a scatterbrain. And that was before I got mommybrain. Now I'm scattommybrained.

It's dangerous.

There are the typical dangers: accidentally putting the dog in your BabyBjorn instead of your kid, making the kids Sunday morning pancakes with maple bourbon instead of syrup, putting the toothpaste in the freezer and then brushing your teeth with face cream - ya know, the usual. My scattommybrainedness most often manifests itself in absent-mindedness. That is, if I'm remembering right.

I am forgetful - oh-so-very forgetful. I am the person who leaves the oven on. I am the person who leaves the door open. And more recently, I am the person who leaves the keys on the roof of her car.

This has become an almost weekly occurrence. Somewhere in the chaos of parking my car and removing my bags and children, I leave the keys on the roof - in plain sight for anyone walking his or her dog down my sidewalk, which, luckily, only happens about a handful of times. Every hour.

Lately, my key ring has had two sets of car keys, after my dad handed me the set he'd borrowed and I neglected to put them away properly. On Tuesday morning, the keys to my car were discovered, once again, on the roof of my car.

Leaving the keys on the roof of my car overnight is bad for a number of obvious reasons, such as car theft. But when it comes to strangers' interactions with my vehicles, I seem to have a weird string of luck.

Back when I lived in Baltimore, a homeless man used to unzip my soft-top Jeep and sleep in it for the night. The first time I found him in my street-parked car, nervous words were spoken. We got off to a rocky start, but every time I found him sleeping after that, he was gracious. We had a very amicable relationship - often seeing each other on the streets of the Baltimore neighborhood we shared, giving each other a slight nod and smile.

I saw this as a win-win relationship. Having a soft-top Jeep in any city can be a risk, but this man always respected the space. It was never dirty. It was always locked and zipped back up. Most of the time, the only way I knew he had been in there was that some money would be missing from the cup holder. On the plus side, I had a nice guy taking shelter in my car, marking it as his space. If he hadn't been there, perhaps another, less considerate person would have found his or her way into my Jeep. Perhaps the Jeep wouldn't have even still been there come morning.


This morning, days after last leaving my keys on the roof, I got into my Subaru, looked down on the passenger seat and found a pair of prescription Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Now, I may not be very observant, and I may be suffering from scattommybrainedness, but I am pretty dang sure I didn't suddenly have a change in my vision and purchase an expensive pair of sunnies. In fact, I refuse to ever spend more than $10 on sunglasses because I always lose them - often by leaving them on the roof of my car.

So how did they get here? I looked around my vehicle for clues. There weren't many. But the glasses did sit atop script pages, something I had been going over with my writing group late into the previous night. And the script pages were in a different order. That's when I noticed, for the very first time, that my key ring was missing a key and beep-beep. Huh, they had felt lighter when I found them on the roof of my car Tuesday morning.

My guess is it was the teenager who lives across the street; he's always out late. He probably saw the keys and removed the extra set so he'd have a place to hang out or make out with his girlfriend after hours. Either way, no biggie. The car was still there in the morning when it came time to drive to work, just as my Jeep always was.

My co-workers are mystified that I am so nonchalant about my car's midnight visitor, but when you suffer from scattommybrainedness, you become grateful for being found out by the good guys.


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