Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lisa Gets Lost at the Airport

"There's a lady who's sure, all that glitters is gold and she's buying a Stairway to Heaven."

What the...

The lyrics to the rock classic shattered the early morning calm of my cozy, pitch dark bedroom.  I immediately slapped my hand down on the snooze button, wanting to catch some more z's before Zeppelin played again.

Alas, t'was not meant to be.

"You should get up," mumbled my husband Bob from the depths of his slumber.

I groaned.

4:45 am on a Sunday morning.

I had to catch a 7:30 am flight.

Calculating the time increments involved in showering, covering up my blemished face with foundation, dressing and styling my hair to perfection (or at least as close to perfection as possible), I knew deep down I should follow Bob's whispered words of wisdom.

I threw off the covers and off I went.  The transformation from a sleep-deprived middle aged woman with straggly hair and sweat pants to a sleep-deprived presentable middle aged woman with new blonde highlights and a lovely pants suit had commenced.

The occasion?  My niece Jen's baby shower.

The location?  Buffalo, NY.

I rode with my chauffeur  Bob to Philadelphia International Airport in silence, save for the occasional grunt to ensure my driver Bob did not fall asleep.  Finally, safely tucked away in the terminal, coffee in hand, waiting for my flight to board, did excitement overtake exhaustion.

It had been nearly a year since I had seen the Buffalo wing of the Weinstein family, and I looked forward to the reunion with anticipation.  As it turned out, the day lived up to its promises!  After an uneventful flight, loving embraces eagerly awaited my arrival.  Following the all blue baby boy-themed shower, we returned to the house, where the family and I sat around the table and resumed our non-stop eat-n-chat in the comfort of the cozy kitchen.

All too soon, the clock inched closer to 7 pm, and the moment where I would be forced to bid farewell to Jen, my nephew Bryan, nephew Brad, niece Ashley, brother-in-law Bruce, sister-in-law Terry, mother-in-law Pearl, and my beautiful step-daughter Jessica, whose return flight to Washington, DC left two hours after mine.

Once again I found myself tucked away in the terminal, waiting to board the claustrophobic, 50 seat aircraft that would whisk me through the skies to my husband's loving arms.  Once again, I found myself battling exhaustion, as the early wake up call, coupled with the day's activities had begun to take its toll.

"A few more hours and you'll be in bed," I reminded myself, giving me the encouragement to go on.

Upon boarded the plane, I settled into my seat, secured the belt, and willfully closed my eyes, only to be startled out of my 10-second slumber by the the sounds of shouting and laughter.  A dozen or so teenager girls had hopped onto the plane and now surrounded me with the "enclosed space magnification" of their laughter.  I should tell you, I don't mind teenage girls.  In fact, I take frequent delight in spending time with my own teen, Melissa, 15, and her group of giggly girlfriends.  However, since I so desperately desired nothing more than total silence, a pillow and a blanket, the girls were not a welcome sight...nor sound.

Fortunately, empty seats at the front of the plane beckoned, and with the flight attendant's permission, there I went.  With my coat as a pillow, I settled into an unsettling sleep, and gladly welcomed the pilot's announcement of our descent into Philadelphia a short hour later.

I dragged my tired bones off the plane and eagerly whipped out my cell, alerting Bob to my arrival. He had been waiting patiently in a parking lot close by, and promised he'd be outside the terminal to pick me up in a matter of moments.

Relieved, I followed the signs to the exit, coasted down the escalator, and walked out the door, where a blast of bone-chilling late winter air smacked me in the face.  Still, I stood in the cold  rather than the indoor warmth of the terminal, lest Bob should drive by and not see me.

Five minutes passed.  No Bob.

Six minutes.  No Bob.

Eight minutes.  No Bob.


I calmly frantically dialed his cell.

"WHERE ARE YOU?" I demanded.

"I didn't see you," he explained in exasperation.  "I didn't see terminal F.  I must have driven right by it and now I'm leaving the airport."

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU ARE LEAVING THE AIRPORT?" I exclaimed, imaging he'd never come back and I'd live my remaining hours on Earth stranded in front of Terminal F at Philadelphia International Airport.

"It's all right," he said, attempting to reassure me.  "I'm turning around and coming back."

"How could you have missed me?  I am standing in front of Terminal F.  The signs are as clear as day!  How could you have missed me?" I whimpered.

"I don't know," he said, a bit defensively.  "But I'm entering the airport again.  I'm passing Terminal D...."

"Well drive really slowly," I instructed in a patronizing tone of voice.  "I don't want you to miss me, I am standing right outside."

"Ok, I am parked right outside of Terminal F but I don't see you," he replied.

"HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE ME?  I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE!" I shouted, thinking my husband had lost all of his brain cells.

"I am parking behind a rental car shuttle bus in Terminal F," he said.

"I DON'T SEE A SHUTTLE BUS," I shouted in total exasperation, convinced he had somehow ended up at the wrong location.

"Are you sure you are in the right location," he tentatively suggested, now starting to share in my frustration.

The idea that I could have been in the wrong location seemed preposterous.  After all, in this scenario, I had painted my husband as the idiot, not myself.  So how could I possibly be in the wrong location.  However, just to appease him, I marched back inside the terminal and asked a grumpy employee where I should go to meet my husband.

"You're in the wrong place," came her abrupt, unsympathetic response.  "You need to go up the stairs, walk across the hall, and take the elevator down again."

Feeling quite sheepish but still not yet willing to transfer the idiot title from my husband to myself, I embarked on the short journey which would hopefully lead me to the far away, out of reach, mystical location where my Bob sat waiting patiently for his dim-witted wife.

I entered the deserted corridor of the second floor of Terminal F, adding fear to the feelings of frustration and exhaustion that had overtaken my body since my flight landed nearly 45 minutes ago.  I stayed on the phone with Bob, all the while afraid that a stranger would jump out of the shadows and spotting his pray (a tired, stupid, irrational, emotional middle aged woman), would drag me away, never to be found again

When the elevator greeted me at the end of the corridor of doom, I tentatively stepped inside and pushed the button for the ground floor, hoping I'd see something familiar when the doors opened again.  Alas, t'was not meant to be.

I walked out into what appeared to be a parking garage....with no Bob in sight.

So at this point, I did what any normal, rational, intelligent person would do in this situation.

I started to cry.

Fortunately, my husband had parked a mere three feet away from where I stood, and within moments, I noticed the car and ran towards him.  I opened the door, threw my pocketbook inside (narrowly missing his head) and plopped my tired bones onto the passenger seat.

"Are you all right?" he gently asked.

"NO!" I sobbed, and I fell into his arms.

Gradually, the sobs evolved into laughter, as we both realized the ridiculousness of the situation.

"I'm sorry," I conceded, wiping my eyes.

"It's ok," he said, stroking my hair.  "I'm just glad you are home safe and sound."

And with that, we drove home, when, after hugging Melissa, I settled down in my welcoming bed, wrapped the covers close and tight, and fell into a long, wonderful sleep!

Ashley, Terry, Pearl, me, and Jessica
before I got lost at the airport!

I love getting feedback!  If you like my stories, please tell me in the comments section below!


  1. I did the same thing you did. Had my father picking me up & was in the wrong place. My father circled the airport for like 30 mins & I was getting more & more exasperated. Oh all ended well tho..for you & for me :>)

  2. I'm glad you made it safely! One time I was flying to visit my husband (well, my husband NOW) when we were in college. It was summer and he was at his parents house. His dad drove right from the oral surgeons (where he picked up a very drugged, post-wisdom teeth removal patient - my husband) and then straight to the airport to pick me up. Only he had Carter on the phone giving me directions. So I was being told where they were located by a boy still heavily under the influence of sedatives. After 20 minutes, I finally found them.

    And I'm glad you finally found Bob!

    1. Isn't it the most frustrating feeling Kate!! Thanks so much for visiting my blog!!

  3. What a wonderful story! For a moment there I was fearful you ended up in the wrong airport! You are a fabulous writer and storyteller -- and I found you via Bonbon Break ...

    :) Linda

    1. Thanks so much Linda! Bonbon break is terrific isn't it! A great way to showcase good writers. I appreciate your visit to my blog, and I'll visit you next!
      Take care,

  4. I probably would have just cursed. Sorry you cried, girl! That's a bad feeling - being "lost".

    1. Oh well, as soon as I got in the car and calmed down I thought, at least this will make for a good blog post! The proverbial silver lining. Thanks Cindy!

  5. I still think you handled it well. I would've cried and broken down sooner than you did. There's nothing like a husband's loving arms to take you in after a long haul... Lucky you! :)

  6. I flew out of Atlanta to Philadelphia once and loved the airport in Philadelphia, but I wouldn't have loved it if I had gotten lost. Getting lost in Atlanta is a given and I always allow many hours for the experience.

    Glad your husband was patient; mine wouldn't have been. Guess that's why I'm not living with him any longer!

    1. I once had to transfer planes in Atlanta and I felt like I was walking all the way from California to New York. That airport is massive!! Thanks for visiting my blog!!

  7. I would have cried much sooner. Glad you were able to turn your sobs into laughter :)

  8. You poor thing! You must have been so frustrated. I can only imagine. I had the opposite thing happen when my husband was picking up me and our exhausted children and he was in the wrong place. I don't think I was nearly as gracious about his error as your husband was.
    I'm glad you can giggle about it now.

  9. I agree with Cynthia, I would have been crying when he told me that he was leaving the airport. I haven't been to the airport in years and I would be overwhelmed. I hope that you can look back on this post and laugh one of these days. I am glad that you got to enjoy the baby shower.

  10. What an adventure, Lisa. I so enjoy your humorous writing style. But these days, it's actually easy to get lost in the airport. People do it all the time. There are so many terminals and different ways for maneuvering around it. I especially dislike the airports that are so big, you've got to take a train from the gate to your baggage. I've gotten quite discombobulated at those.