She saw the purpose right away. The ritual had efficacy. The elegance of movement indicated carefree, nonchalance. Something had been done a million times throughout the years. A habitual action that the young woman reenacts through time and time again. Simply slipping her keyring onto a finger while the other hand unclasps the handbag on her arm, the young woman then drops her keys in the purse and reclasps it closed. This she did without looking. Her hands knew the routine already.
Utter grownup magic to the eyes of the kindergarten girl.
She suddenly cannot wait to have keys of her own. One to this place. This one to another. A big black plastic capped car key would provide variety. The more keys the better. And also, she would have a small collection of essential stuff, so many little things. A purse would be needed to carry all her little stuff. And for her keys too.
She would need a phone with her always; and perhaps a piece of important paper that she may be called upon to present. It would be kept, neatly folded, and handy. The bag would have both zipper and clasp closures. Hands with painted fingernails made a difference too, the little girl noted. She would remember this for when she got older, she thought.
This was the height of adult culture, maturity; the pure glamour of young adulthood to very young children.
She would be sure to throw in a mumbled gripe (I just have got to clean this bag out) said to no one in particular. This acknowledgement of her faith in cleanliness and organization showed she was always looking for more that could be done.
Yes. She would grow up to be a busy lady, she decided. Be one who juggled keys and bags without looking. Her hair style would be on point and her makeup would be on too. She would be pretty and only wear lovely clothes, like high heeled shoes that click on hardwood and sidewalk and lanolieum. Everything would make her smile at people. She would speak with her hands, using animated expressions that were almost but not quite panto.
She would always remain put-together and successful at whatever came her way. She would know what the other ladies were all doing too, the stuff she’s supposed to do, like be the best. Act like someone who gets it, you know?
She would be no weak-willed, lazy type who needs to just get over it already. There was no artistry to their keyring handling. No one admired their not nimble fingers as they shoved keys into bags.
They did not smile nearly as much as the other lady grown ups. They must be miserable and have sad lives.
She thought to herself: I mean, smiling means you are happy. Right? The other ladies have to be happy, yeah? Otherwise, they would not smile. Or is that just the face lady grown ups wear?
No, thought the girl. They must be happy. Just look at their keys! Their purses came to smell like sticks of spearmint gum. They were always on the go. I’ll never be still, thought the girl. I’ll always need to be somewhere. I’ll always know an interesting thing to say. My reactions will be adorable and cute too.
Like people on screens, she saw how she would act and pose to play the part of lady grown up.
What a strange dream of childhood from which to awake.