Just don’t do it.
The next time it hits 150 below zero, stay away from airports. Don’t tempt the polar vortex gods. You will lose.
This is the story of how I spent a good portion of the Polar Vortex stranded in airports. I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t pretty. I was living my life as if someone owed me a direct flight, and that someone wasn’t coming through.
Some people can sleep anywhere. I am the opposite of those people.
At 1:38am early on Tuesday morning, I should have been in my own bed. Instead, I “slept” with a million strangers, and I frankly it was pretty disgusting. The sighing, the coughing, the nestling and rustling. It’s weird.
I kept trying to “make the most of it.” What a great time to write! Or catch up with people on the phone! Mostly, I just felt like ear wax. I didn’t write, and I only talked to one person on the phone besides my wife. I spent a lot of time sighing and getting frustrated. (I did read a GREAT book: The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Loved it).
So let me tell you about the frozen pizza that I had for “dinner.” Number one, it cost approximately $750, and number 2, it’s rotting in my gut like a canker sore. Sweet Jehova, that was a bad decision.
Or how we finally got out of Peoria after 12 hours of waiting, only to sit on the tarmac once we landed in Detroit for an hour, as I watched my next connection come perilously close to leaving while I sat there sighing, grumping, and not enjoying the moment.
Or about the mile I sprinted after finally getting off that plane, little red carry-on bag bumping and jostling the whole way. When I finally arrived at the gate, the plane was still there. But I soon found out it was going to stay there for the next ten hours, because nothing else was leaving Detroit on that exceptionally cold night. Anyone who has every blogged about “enjoying every moment” has not sprinted a mile, then saw that the plane hadn’t left, then found out they’d spend the next seven hours in airport prison.
Or the burning eyes, headaches, and cold feet. Because it was really, really cold in the Detroit airport. It was actually kind of hilarious. I had my scarf, winter coat, and hat on, while sitting inside. Lots of people had gloves on, but I couldn’t go there. How do people waste time on their smart phones with gloves on?
Or angry dad. Angry dad was not having his ten year old daughter’s sass, not one bit. Angry dad, way to be grumpy. You owned that grumpy, “I’ve been traveling all day and now I’m done” vibe like a boss. Thank you for helping me feel human.
Or finally seeing the plane that would take me home to Minneapolis, then waiting another hour for the flight crew to arrive. Then boarding, and waiting another hour to taxi out and get de-iced.
I finally got home to a chorus of joy that erupted from my boys, and I almost cried, it was so great to see them, and to see Mary. I am not sure I’ll ever go to another airport again.
I do not have seven lessons I learned from this experience. I have one, and it’s not even a lesson: Man, I feel entitled to lots of things.
I’m not even sure what to do with that, except to see it sitting in my living room, as big and unwelcome as it is.
What do you do with entitlement? Without getting all judgy and shamey, how do you engage with your own feelings of entitlement?