Dumpster Diving

So, it was a typical Friday night…

…and then it turned interesting.

I decided to be social for a change and take my co-worker up on an offer to meet her for Food Truck Friday. I’ve always wanted to go, and I jumped at the open Facebook invitation. It was hot. The music was loud, but the food was great – so much so that I had a bag full of food that I couldn’t wait to take home to my husband to devour. He loves good food, and I hated that he couldn’t be there with me to enjoy such a good time.

It was about 8:15 p.m., and we were getting cupcakes to wrap up our feast before leaving when I received a text from my husband saying he lost his keys at work and had already been searching for them for 30 minutes. I immediately knew the night was going to get longer if I had to go get him from his part-time job.

Once I got back to my car, I called him to see if he’d had any luck finding them. None. He sent me the address, and I was more than happy to go to my husband’s rather new part-time job to help him search.

I got there and realized that my husband’s new job wasn’t exactly close to home. Not terribly far for the size of our city, but still, it’s far enough to make me worry. It’s also in the middle of nowhere, in a completely dark area with no public foot traffic. I was completely terrified. Anyone could be lurking in the dark, waiting to take advantage of the fact that we were the only ones there.

When I got inside, I had my husband retrace his steps – or try to. He was so frustrated and tired from working all day that every time he recounted his steps, the story changed. His frustration turned into my frustration as we walked from room to room checking inside every trashcan whose bag he changed. We checked all of the rooms once, and then we checked all of the rooms twice. We walked into all of the back rooms and the construction zones, using the flashlight app on my phone just so we could see the floor we walked upon. He kept telling me that he always left his keys on the counter when he came in, which just frustrated me more because his keys could not have grown legs and hopped off of the counter on their own. We even checked the dumpster outside. Outside – where it was as dark as a countryside with no street lamps nearby and no one close enough to hear a scream. Just being there frightened me, but I had to be there to support him and to help him. We dug in the dumpster, going through all of the trash bags he had put in there already. I remember thinking that I was not dressed for dumpster diving that night, and I could only hope that people who work in that office building were not completely disgusting.

And then we thought the keys may have been locked inside of his vehicle. We went to the car, walked around it a few times, and peeked inside using my flashlight. The passenger side window was not all the way up, and it was just big enough for me to get my arm through. We discussed whether we should try to unlock the door and if that would make the car alarm come on. We weren’t sure, and we didn’t want to risk it. No police officer would ever believe our story – that my husband works there part-time at night cleaning the office building and that I was his wife who came to help him find his keys in the trash. If we had gotten arrested or shot no one would believe the truth.

Using a tree branch, I was able to lift the book bag inside of his car to see if the keys were inside. No luck. I was also able to open the compartment between the two front seats. No luck there either. His car keys had to be inside the building somewhere.

I decided to sit near the main door while he continued to search. Because this was a Friday night, he would have to wait until Monday to get his car and we weren’t even sure how to go about doing that because his car was a rental. Oh, did I forget to mention that part?!

Close to 11:00 p.m., I hear him say, “God is on my side!” It turned out that the keys were in fact inside the dumpster where we had already looked. I was happy he continued searching. Even though we didn’t get home until after 11:30 p.m., it was an ordeal that we found joy in despite the frustration.

While in the kitchen that night after heating up the food from Food Truck Friday, I fed him lobster mac and cheese while we laughed at what we had just been through. He thanked me over and over for being a great wife and helping him search even though that was the last thing I wanted to be doing on a Friday night. I scolded him once again for not being able to remember where he left something important. I still have no idea how he was able to empty trash into a dumpster and not realize his keys were in his hand!

Since then, I have wondered why we experienced that night the way we did. From the moment that I received the text message, I knew that God was testing me. It seemed so awkward at the time, but I knew it was an opportunity for me to practice what I preach – to put that loyalty and patience to work.

I think I passed, not with flying colors though, because I did get frustrated. I did do my share of fussing. I do remember thinking that I didn’t want to be there.

Even with all that, I’m happy that I have a husband who felt that he could reach out to me. He has many friends in his life that he could have called just to avoid “hearing my mouth,” but he didn’t. He reached out to me to see if I would be there, and I’m proud to say that I was. Even though I don’t want to, because I was scared out of my mind, I would do it all again. I would go dumpster-diving on a Friday night for the man that I love!

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