Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comedy of Errors . . . Without the Comedy

  I told you highlights from my Colorado vacation, but what I forgot to include was the excitement of actually getting there in the first place. WARNING: This is a (very) long travel story, and will probably interest no one. You may want to stop reading now.

  McKay and I come from families that are very different in a number of ways, as is the case for most couples, I imagine. For example, his family loves to share inspirational stories that always seem to include death, extreme poverty, illness, and other fun topics. My family has anxiety problems, as well as an over-abundance of empathy that makes us want to cry for weeks after we hear stories like these because we know our lives have been too good, and we're just waiting for one of us to get hit by a car or something--in other words, these stories don't make us inspired, they make us nervous. McKay's family is also relaxed when it comes to travel and often trusts to things "just working out" (though they're simultaneously very organized). My family, if I had to pick one thing we are anal about, it is punctuality. This means we are almost always extremely early because we have added travel time for every possible disaster, including bathroom breaks, tire replacements, and exploding cars in every lane.

  Anyway, long story short, I blame McKay for rubbing off on me, because I thought if we left at four, we could easily make our 7:30 flight. Which may have been true. . . if we left at four. Unfortunately, we were frantically cleaning our old apartment in an attempt to get our deposit back until 4:30 PM, when we finally gave up on scrubbing the oven and decided we needed to book it.

  I'm a big believer in Murphy's Law. And maybe it's one of those things, like Santa, where if you believe in Murphy's Law, it believes in you, too, and thus goes to great efforts to reinforce your belief. I enjoyed believing in Santa far more, though. Anyway, we needed gas, and there was a line at the gas station. We changed freeways to take a "shortcut", and the traffic was so bad on said new freeway, we were lucky if our car was moving at all 90% of the time. We also forgot to compute the time it takes to park the car and take the tram to the airport. Long story short, we finally got to the ticket booth at 7:15.

  We knew they weren't going to let us on the flight. But, to our great amazement/relief, we got an incredibly kind ticket checker person thingy (the hormones have destroyed the part of my brain that once housed vocabulary. And yes, I blame the hormones for everything these days--if I have to be fat, I'm going to milk this thing for everything it's worth) who kindly told us we were too late to check in, then changed our ticket without blinking an eye--something we were hardly even hoping for, since it was a discount ticket to begin with. We were scheduled for the 6:15 AM flight, which we purposely picked so we wouldn't really be missing a day of vacation. We then headed back to the tram waiting area, cheerfully bummed.

  Our bus driver was named Bob, and he was mentally handicapped. He was also the best bus driver I have ever met. He introduced himself, helped us with our bags, was extremely kind, and actually made me laugh out loud with a joke he told over the loudspeaker (Why did Mozart hate his chickens? Because they only liked Bach Bach Bach! [it was better when he told it, I promise]). Before our stop, he also said over the loudspeaker that it was a beautiful day, and there were so many things that were worth smiling about. Something like that. He almost made me cry, and I can't say that about any other bus driver I've ever had. Though I did almost cry several times on the bus in China when they would inexplicably change the bus route and I would have no idea where it was going, or how to get back to our apartment. Anyway, everyone smiled as they got off on their stop, and we all made sure to thank Bob for what a wonderful job he did. It almost made missing our flight worth it.

  The next morning felt like a bad bout of deja vu. We left later than expected, hit traffic, and, once again, forgot to calculate the time it takes to park and take the tram. Morons like us don't deserve miracles. We rushed into the baggage line at 5:50. At this point I told McKay, "If we miss this flight, I WILL be pissed." I could be all zen and cool about it once, but that was not gonna fly two days in a row. Especially on three hours of sleep, since I spent most of the previous night unpacking our kitchen in our new house.

  Once again (let's see how many times I can fit that phrase into this post, shall we?), we had a miraculously kind ticket person thingy who actually LET US GO THROUGH, even though we were incredibly late, and we ran to the security line. We made sure to smile and look relaxed once we got there, though, because I once read TSA agents look for people who seem impatient or agitated to search, and at that point I'm worried I would have kicked someone in the groin and made a run for it if they tried to delay us for looking like terrorists. We (somehow) got through the incredibly long line in ten minutes, and then ran to our gate. I'm not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, and could hardly breathe when we proudly handed over our tickets, mere minutes before they closed the doors. It was truly a miracle we did not deserve, but were grateful for all the same. I celebrated our success in Colorado by sleeping pretty much the entire day. Which may seem like it wasn't worth it to get on a 6:15 AM flight to make sure we still had the day in Colorado, but that just shows how little you know about success naps.

  For the flight coming back to Oregon, I insisted that we go to the airport three hours early. I figured God would only intervene on our behalf so many times before He figured it was time we learn the hard way. McKay grumbled about it, but I was adament.

  Naturally, there was a two-hour delay for our flight.

1 comment:

  1. You put so elegantly into words what I have always felt. Eric's family is like McKay's. They always told me the most HORRIBLE pregnancy stories when I was pregnant. I'm always waiting for the anvil to fall on my head if I'm walking down the street on a beautiful day. ARGH.