The One with the Airport Chase

If ever my life was written into a lifetime special or hallmark movie, it would NOT be one of the ones in which the girl is chased down through the airport by the handsome stranger she just met. More likely, it would be one of those real life crime stories where the cool chick secretly was a serial killer. KIDDING.

But if you are reading here to read the story of how my handsome stranger chased me down through the airport, I’m afraid I’ll disappoint again. My life is never that easy but is way more entertaining 😉

So lets go back to the beginning of the story. If you know me at all you know I love traveling. Like, LOVEEEE traveling. I’m not one of those people who only likes visiting new places but hates flying or the 37 hours of unwashed self it takes to get to said magical destination. I love every single part of it.

I love road trips.

I love camping.

I love sitting in airports for hours people watching.

I love layovers.

I love complaining about people going throughTSA who still haven’t learned that YES KEVIN YOU DO HAVE TO TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES, AND YOUR JACKET, AND NO YOU CAN’T BRING YOUR FULL SIZE BOTTLE OF SHAMPOO OR SWITCHBLADE ON THE PLANE.

I love trying to find quiet corners of airports to sleep in overnight.

I love figuring out how I’m going to pack for 14 days in Africa in a carryon suitcase.

Like I said. I love to travel. But man, this was just not my day. It was a Tuesday, the day after we had just buried my Grandpa so for starters I am a littttlllleee emotional already. I get to the tiny Colorado airport early because I had a work meeting and needed to be settled before that. Settled down in the airport with my laptop and my earphone mic stuffed inside my face mask so that people could hear me on zoom. Quite the picture lol.

Just about as soon as I get settled, I hear over the intercom that my flight has now been delayed by 3 hours due to mechanical failure… cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. I call my dad and contemplate having him come back and pick me up but seeing as I love travel I figure what harm can a few more hours in a tiny rural airport cause.

Mid zoom meeting the sky fell a little at work and so while we were scrambling I may or may not have missed the notification that my flight was restored and now was leaving only 20 min after the original start time and approximately 7 minutes from when I realized…

This is still not when the panic begins to set in because I was like cool, well this is a little bit the fault of the airline so I figured if I missed my flight because they gave us a 15 minute minute warning that our flight was leaving then I’d be in a good place to negotiate.

Luckily I make it on the plane just fine and less than an hour later I’m landing in Salt Lake City. This is the part where my travel became a bit of a nightmare. I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to miss my connecting flight bringing me home. I texted my cousin joking around about how non-stressful that is when you are single and the only person impacted by it is me.

I have some very distinct memories as a child of missing flights or rushing through the airport pushing my mom in a wheelchair to narrowly make it in time. When you have a family of 7 and all those flights and details, THAT is a little more panic and sweat inducing.

So here I am, landing 10 minutes after my connecting flight took off assuming I’ll have plenty of time to go talk to a gate agent and get booked on a new flight, grab a burger, people watch and get home. As we are landing, one lady on my plane is talking to the flight attendant about how to get her connecting flight held since we are running late. I watch her and a few others literally run off the plane and take off literally sprinting through the airport.

When I make it to a monitor I see why….

There on the screen in front of me I see that my connecting flight has also been delayed. Just long enough for me to have to try to run from gate B26 to B1 where I then walk/run over to Terminal A that starts at A24 and I have to run/walk to the other end to get to my gate… A1.

When I tell you that this right here became my personal nightmare. For a girl with a heart condition and asthma, running a couple miles through the airport with luggage is literally a recipe for disaster. I hoofed it through the airport stopping only to keep from passing out. Eventually I half ditched the mask so I could breath.

I get to the plane literally moments before they closed the gate. The flight attendant who kindly handed me sanitizing wipes probably thought I was losing my mind as I breathed a-la-darth vader with tears and sweat streaming down my face and hair only half contained in my messy bun.

I find my seat and am doing the weird seat math you do on planes to figure out if 17C is a window or aisle seat while I frantically try to find space in an overhead compartment for my suitcase. When I tell you I was shaking… like literally full body shaking hot mess. Then I get to my row and see that someone (mind you i’m not sure who because seat math is hard lol) is sitting in my seat.

Normally, this is when I’d very kindly pull out my customer service voice to resolve the issue. I promise I’m nice. Today was not that day lol

So, loudly I proclaim:

I don’t know who it is but one of you is in my seat and imma need you to move immediately.

Maybe this was my Karen-in-the-making-moment. I don’t know. And frankly, I didn’t care. You don’t make me run through the airport and almost die after just burying my grandpa and just take my seat! Ok, I was being melodramatic…

The guy in my seat has the nerve to tell me that it doesn’t matter and we can sit wherever we want. Pshhh like this is Southwest. Again, I loudly tell him, “it does matter, your are in my seat and MOVE.”

Apparently that was enough to get the flight attendants attention and get this fellow re-homed to his correct seat just in time for me- still huffing and puffing and crying and a sweaty, stinky mess- to get buckled before the plane takes off.

Which is when my handsome stranger comes into the picture

More accurately, it was when the 5’6″, 50 something year old man in the row with me decided he wanted to chat. Asked me my name and told me his. Originally I thought, I really did that he was just one of those super chatty fellows who never meets a stranger and was going to show pictures of his grandkids or wax eloquent about the merits of Donald Trump in 75 minutes.

I quickly found my headphones, tuned in to the movie on the screen and was able to give most of his small talk attempts a one word response.

Again, I promise I’m a nice person. But the last thing I want to do after jogging/dying after a week with family and zero alone time is talk to a stranger through my mask while sweat and tears mixed with my non-existent makeup.

The plane finally lands and I use these long legs to quickly get myself through the airport. The quicker I can get to the car, to the house to snuggle my nieces and nephew, and to my own bed and shower the better. Threw my suitcase in the trunk and hopped in the back seat with total relief.

Which is when, I happen to look up and see Mr. Dude from the airplane. He had literally ran through the airport after me, walked up to the car window, tapped on it with his cell phone until I rolled down the window. At this point I’m thinking maybe I forgot something on the plane and he was so so kind to chase after me to make sure I got it.

So can I call you??

Imagine me as one part savage, one part numb/exhausted, and one part absolutely incredulous that this was happening. The look of incredulity on my face as I said No. Plain and simple. Then I just rolled up the window and we drove away.

Again, I promise I’m nice. Swear.

But apparently, you should pick your day to chase a girl through the airport a little better lol. Or maybe, rethink the decision to chase a girl through the airport if she completely avoided having conversation with you for two hours.

So no, no magical story of my handsome stranger. Just another day in the life of the incredulous Desiree. Cheers to 30 and maybe being chased through the airport by a handsome stranger. Or at least picked up from the airport by a handsome stranger with flowers. Give a girl something ok 😉

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