Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pat and Jared's Excellent Adventure

I know I did the worst thing that I hate others to do, but I left you off with a cliff hanger last time I posted. Now I will have to try and live up to the pressure and produce a post worthy of the build up I gave it.

The short story is that we almost missed getting Jared on the plane, and thusly just missed a trip to the ER for my heart attack.

Let me just preface this by saying that I have reoccurring nightmares about missing planes. They have taken on many forms through out the years, but they never fail to leave me in a cold sweat and breathless when I wake up in the morning.

Sometimes, I can't find the way to the airport and no matter which way I turn, something is blocking the way I need to go. Other times I can not find everything I need to get packed in time to go to the airport. The underlying theme is always that the harder I try to make it happen, the more obstacles are put in my way.

I suppose Freud would say that this was due to some real life event that I feel helpless about. Who knows. But let's just say that missing a flight seems like the end of the world to me, even though I am sure that it is not.

Jared was scheduled to leave on a flight at 7:00 am last Thursday. This meant that we needed to be at the airport at 5:00 am. Holy sleep deprivation, Batman! Let me remind you that I had worked about 70 hours in the past 8 days. Come Wednesday night, we were anything but prepared to go.

Life's little niceties like clean clothes were obviously unavailable due to my lack of doing laundry because I could hardly walk in the door each night. So Wednesday night, I did the laundry and packed Jared's suitcase.

Another problem was that he came home from scout camp extremely sore. I think that he was required to walk much more than he had for a very long time. Once he got home, he walked as very little as possible. I.E. just to the bathroom. He even asked for his urinal once, but that receive a "Heck NO" response.

I had been gone so much I hadn't really accessed his situation. Come Wednesday night, I began the question the wisdom of sending him so far away if something might be wrong. What if the pain he was in was not just sore muscles? This caused me great anxiety, as you can well imagine.

I spoke with my brother the sports trainer, and he made me feel better about letting him go. When we went to bed at 12:00, we were still not sure if he should even go on the plane.

The airlines told me that I could reschedule his flight, but it would cost $100. Not good.


Finally I went and laid in my bed for 4 hours, more than I actually slept.

4:15 AM

I got up and tried to rouse Jared. He really didn't budge. I went downstairs and looked up some handicapped information about the airport. Finally I woke him up, but he did not bound right out of bed. He was worried about going and wondered how he would make it all the way out to the gate.

A call to my mom, who was up preparing to go to her temple assignment helped to ease my concerns.

4:55 AM

Finally Jared got out of bed.

5:05 AM

We loaded the car and left the garage like a bat out of helk on our way to the airport.

I like to think of speed limits as guidelines, more than a code in such emergencies, so we raced along. I pulled up to the curb at 5:17, probably some kind of record. I took in Jared's suitcase, back pack, laptop, and my purse. During this frantic unloading, Jared calmly put in his contacts. I left him sitting on a bench, waiting for me, while I parked the car.

On the way to park, there may have been some more traffic violations and a few near misses with pedestrians, but it is all kind of a blur.

I parked the car and noticed the parking meter. DANG! I didn't think I had any change and if I did I had left it with Jared in my purse. Curses. I just figured I would take my chances with the ticket. Why start obeying the law, at this point, right?

I raced as fast as my out of shapeness would allow, back to the ticket counter. Which by the way was at the complete opposite end of the terminal. Because of the dang Alphabetical curse that has Alaska Airlines starting with the letter "A".

We then got in line. Thankfully the line was very short. We got to the counter and requested a wheel chair. A luggage tag was hurriedly filled out. My pass for security was issued. A $ 15 dollar charge for the one bag was collected. Sheesh. And then the worker told me to wait and the wheel chair would be along shortly.

Time: 5:35.

We sat down to wait. In case you didn't know, I am not fond of waiting when I am trying to hurry. So I kept getting up and looking to see if the wheel chair was there yet. Jared was extremely annoyed by my impatience, so it was not in vain. How ever I did finally move away from him, so I would have to see the eyes rolling and listen to him telling me to just be patient.

Time 5:45

I went back to the counter, where upon another worker told me that it could take up to 30 minutes for the wheel chair to arrive. OH MYLANTA! She reassured me that with a wheel chair we would go to the front of the line at security.

I returned to my seat, where I weighed the pros and cons of waiting. Would the extra waiting be better if we went right to the front of the line? I vacillated back and forth between saying "Let's just give up and start walking" and the gnawing idea that he wouldn't make it in time anyway, so we should wait.

Time 6:00

The wheelchair finally arrived. Hallelujah! He hoped on and off we went. He did his best impression of a back seat driver, while he worried that I would run over people in our way. Why couldn't those chairs have beeping things, to warn people to step aside?

We crowded into the elevator and raced down to the security line. Only to be faced with a rather long line of people in wheelchairs. Who knew Vegas was a Mecca for little old ladies in wheel chairs? But I suppose that if you watch the people at the slots, they are mostly old.

And so we got in line, AGAIN. Inching forward at the pace of a snail, all the while my heart raced a million miles a minute.

Finally we were at the front of the line. Jared of course had to be wanded because of his metal hip. In the mean time I put all of our other stuff through the conveyor belt. I noticed one of the guards carrying my purse. That seemed strange. He then asked me to step over to the side and stand behind a short wall and watch while he searched my purse.

I could not for the life of me imagine why he would do such a thing. I told him I didn't even think I had fingernail clippers in there. But shortly he produced a neon green box cutter that I had accidentally brought home from work. Are you kidding me? Shocking that they would have a problem with me taking a razor blade with me, huh? Good grief.

So while Jared was finishing up his screening, I was now holding up our progress, while the guy unscrewed the holder and threw the blade away.

6:30 AM

Once my purse was run through the x-ray one more time, and security determined that I was not a terrorist with plans to hijack a plan, we were on our way to the gate. We rode the tram, went up the elevator, made a stop at the bathroom, the ATM, and a shop for a $2 bottle of water.

6:45 AM

As we reached the gate, they were doing the final boarding of the general passengers. Jared got in line and walked right onto the plane. I double checked with the agent at the gate to make sure my mom's name was on the reservation.

I walked slowly back to my car, noticing my heart rate returning to a normal pace for the first time in about 3 hours.

Happily, I did not get a ticket. I drove home and laid down for 30 minutes before I had to get up and go to work.

The whole thing was non stop suspense and hysteria on my part. No wonder I have nightmares about such things. Airports can be pretty horrific.

And to think that the whole reason I scheduled him on the 7 AM flight was to save myself $20. I think in retrospect, I would have rather paid the $20 than given a year off my life expectancy. Just a thought.


Kristina P. said...

What an adventure! Glad he made it safe and sound.

Smart Helm said...

U are a stresscase!

Good luck catching up on the sleep thing. U need it!

Amie Earl said...

that was worth waiting for. thanks for posting lol.

val of the south said...

I do not love flying, and I do not love airports, but especially when I have not had any sleep!

I loved your telling of the story, I was having anxiety right along with you! Well done!!

So glad it all finally worked out and you can breathe again!!

T said...

well told Pat - not that my enjoyment is worth all that stress, but maybe it makes up for just a little bit... like that $2 water bottle at least?

April said...

I really am surprised that you didn't get a ticket...maybe because they were still in bed? I hope you catch up on your sleep soon!

Dennis and Diana said...

I have had many such experiences at the airport. However airline departures aren't the only thing that keeps me awake allnigh worring if I won't wake up in the morning on time. I ususally just fly out at midnight cause I don't sleep anyway worring. How long will Jared be gone? Will you have to do this all over again in reverse soon?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I actually think Freud would say something like "OH MYLANTA" that girl needs some fortune cookies.

hee hee

Shawna said...

I'm sure there's one of those "PRICELESS" stories in here somewhere...$20, let loose the purse strings sister!

Kris said...

He claims to be having a fab time. Mostly hanging out in Mom's chair and playing the computer. He did walk almost 2 miles today, so we will see if he is up to going to the Science Center tomorrow.

Eliza said...

Your life is such a whirlwind of excitement!