Hearing that the latest airport security procedures lead to longer lines, I prepared myself for the potential full body pat-down by wearing very form fitting clothing for my flight three days ago. I rationalized that I’d speed right through by escaping the indignity of rubber gloves invading my personal space as it was clear I had nowhere to hide anything. As it happened, nobody was being fondled. I’d arrived extra early as well. So… no pat-down, plenty of time for a bite to eat and then the unthinkable happened; my United flight left the gate 15 minutes early. Yes, I was comfortably strapped in my seat during take-off but I felt a gnawing suspicion; why was everything so easy, so spookily straightforward? I chose to trade suspicion for gratitude.
As an aside, when I flew out of London Heathrow in May I was ‘randomly’ selected for a full body scan. Being naturally curious and of a friendly disposition, I asked the two female Nazis who’d escorted me to the lead-lined scanning room, exactly what was it about me that had earned me this privilege. One responded – “Oh, well… you look friendly and approachable and we didn’t feel like dealing with any more arseholes today”.
So there you have it. If you fancy being blasted with unnecessary radiation, simply maintain a sunny, cheerful demeanor while passing through airport security. Knowing this makes me feel SO much safer.
Anyway, back to the story – my gratitude soared further when we arrived ahead of time and my baggage was the first out of the mouth of the baggage dispenser; then the person picking me up arrived within 5 minutes. By this time I was so cheerful that I was babbling away like a happy idiot about everything and nothing. I vaguely registered that it had started to snow.
“There’s a great new discount store I’ve heard about; would you like to go?” my companion inquired. “Of course!” I replied, happy as heck. I would have agreed to go tenpin bowling at this point. (If you knew me, you’d realize this was extreme delirium).
I was also functioning on an earlier time zone and had forgotten it was Friday. I then learned that Minneapolis grinds to a virtual halt when a big snow storm hits. I suppose this is the case in most cities but I live in the mountains of Colorado where snow plows are out in force as soon as there’s a 2 inch accumulation, so I’m obviously spoiled.
This combination of early Friday rush hour and heavy snow meant that the average mph was approximately 2. Now stuck on a 5 lane highway with no apparent escape, 20 miles to go (Why?!!) and I’d no clue where we were anyway. My previous buoyancy kept me chatting away as I was now deeply motivated to keep my driver-companion from having a meltdown. 2 plus hours later we exited at our exit.
Following explicit directions written by someone else, we got lost. By now, there was a full-on blizzard with an accumulation of 6 inches. Intuitively, I suggested reversing all the given directions by doing the exact opposite and adding 10 blocks to the recommended two. We finally found the place and parked in a snow drift. In my opinion it wasn’t worth the trip even in good weather but I didn’t mind as my companion had cheered up.
No matter that we had to turn around and head back to where we started to pick up the writer-of-bad-directions, then on to a movie, within the hour. None of that happened of course. What did happen in sequence was a fruitless 45 mins in the store followed by another nose-to-tail crawl back from whence we came (speeds had picked up to 15 mph so we were flying), followed by finding somewhere to eat close to our destination before we fainted from hunger.
This turned out to be one of those cozy-looking places with lots of squishy sofas, a festively decorated tree, happy noise and a selection of board games to distract you while you’re waiting, eating or whatever. It was also freezing in there. So, bundled up to the ears we played Dyslexic Scrabble. In case you’re wondering, this is the Scrabble you play with someone who’s openly dyslexic and in order to have fun, one must embrace dyslexia. ‘MUZEAM’ = museum. Of course; I knew that!
Anyway, the point is that I decided to view the entire experience as a fun adventure. We’d made it safely through the snow storm, eaten a reasonable dinner and I’d enjoyed experimenting with some creative spelling.
The best laugh of the day came after I’d finally unpacked and fired up my laptop.
There it was – an email from EHarmony; that unbelievably useless and expensive rip-off matchmaking site that I’d naively signed up for, almost a year ago. Yes, there it was – another rare match (rare in that I receive approximately one every 2 months); matched via their ‘29 dimensions of compatibility’.
This perfect potential ‘soul-mate’ was as per usual, a good bit shorter than me; his greatest passion in life was in collecting historical clothing and in his spare time he loves to make model planes and boats.
I’m now finally convinced that whoever facilitates their matching, is a drunk.