Monday, August 29, 2011

Three Nice Strangers and My Morning from Hell

I'll set the scene. It's 4:01 a.m. and I'm leaving for the Atlanta airport from my cousin's house in north Georgia with two kids in the back of a rented Toyota Corolla (as if that wasn't bad enough). I've given myself plenty of time to get there to rip Hertz a new one for overcharging me.

***Yes, this happened over two weeks ago and I'm still completely traumatized, that in and of itself is worth a read, right? You'd read the post of a troubled woman, wouldn't you? There is an actual POINT to me writing this***

I have to do the following things before my flight leaves at 7:00:
  • Refill rental car's gas tank or pay $9 a gallon - with two kids
  • Return car & Rip Hertz a new one - with two kids
  • Get on a train #1 to the terminal - with two kids
  • Get bag & two carseats checked - with two kids
  • Go through security - with two kids
  • Get on train #2 to gate - with two kids
  • Walk to gate - with two kids
After getting gas, I'm getting closer to the airport with time to spare, when I see flares on I75 and all traffic is being led off the interstate and into a "not-so-nice" part of town (translation: the 'hood). Please note: I'm not from Atlanta and I know only ONE way to get to the airport. I don't know back roads - nothin'. Don't panic Ali.

None of the dozen cop cars that were at the exit were in a place where they could actually HELP anyone, so everyone was just driving around like a swarm of bees. Very tired bees.

Add to the mix that I now had a sleeping beast of a 4-year-old in the back who would have turned into a screaming diva if awoken and I had to pee like never before in my entire 35 years of life.

I pulled into a Days Inn parking lot where I saw three people who I guessed were from the area...

Nice Stranger #1 - Pretty Lady in Days Inn Parking Lot - "I gotta get back on 75 to get to the airport NOW. What do I do???"  Pretty Lady instructed me to drive the opposite direction, go 7 lights, but it's "Gonna get pretty Ghetto." Great. To which I replied "I'm totally fine with Ghetto." The guy with her suggested that she give me her cell number in case I needed her. I took her directions, but the road forked so many times I got lost.

Luckily, I found....

Nice Stranger #2 - Officer Hottie McHotterson - After driving another mile I pulled into a gas station not realizing that there was already a cop there. Praise the Lord. I walked up to his car window and declared "I'm about to cry."

"Let me guess," he said. "You're lost because you can't get on 75." Yes, and the fact that I'm about to wet my pants. I'd cry if I peed my pants. So naturally, I told the hot cop that he had to watch my kids because I needed to pee. Because we all tell handsome men-in-uniform of our urinary urges, right? I also might have been doing a little hippity-hoppity dance to help validate the story.

I ran up to the gas station and had to bang on the door where Horrible Stranger #1 didn't want to let me in until I knocked 17 more times. I walked in and he told me through the thick glass that he was now standing behind (because I obviously look like I was going to rob the place) that the bathroom was broken. "WELL DOES IT FLUSH?" I asked. He shoved the key at me (through the under-the-glass-window-thing). I squatted over the toilet, wiped with a toilet seat liner and flushed - although this a-hole deserved a big nasty unflushed crap. He cursed at me as I walked out ranting something about "shit on the floor." Is he accusing me of shitting on his floor? That's a really good idea. If I wasn't already late, I should walk back in and try my hardest. I apologized several times and walked back out to Officer Hottie who agreed that the gas station guy is "crazy."

Now Officer Hottie tells me that I'm in a "rough part of town" (really???) and he'd escort me to where I needed to be to get to the airport. What a nice hot guy. He ended our conversation with "God Bless." No, God Bless you and all your hotness Officer Hottie. So little 'ole me, driving my Corolla got a police escort.

I got to the airport without any time to ream Hertz.

I have now asked Hertz ladies to watch my kids while I literally RAN to get one of those $4 luggage carts. I like to leave my kids with strangers.

Nice Stranger #3 - Hertz Grandma - The ladies waved me back because there was no way I was going to get the cart, load it up with the two carseats I was hauling and get on two different trains to catch our flight in time. So Hertz Grandma put me back in my rental car and drove us to ticketing herself. She shared nice stories of her family and grand kids and it settled my already upset stomach a bit. Then she shared the story of a nephew that was born without a femur...

Now up to the Spirit Airlines counter to check all of our stuff where the person working there wasn't an "agent" so we had to lug the seats to the gate ourselves. "Spirit Airlines sucks" - a statement I'm adding in just so Google might find it. I'm sure people search that all the time. 

OK enough of my nightmare.

But the point is this: I am completely aware that there is no way on God's green earth that we'd have made our flight if these people weren't there when I needed them. Yes, we all have bad days, but for some reason these people were placed where they could do their good deeds. I won't ever be able to thank them again (although I did send Pretty Lady a text since she had given me her number). SO use this as your prompt to go out of your way for someone today. You never know how much your good deed means to that person.

***P.S. If you haven't noticed, I NEVER post a blog without a photo. So why would I publish with this one of Natalie picking her toes on a plane? I hate people who take off their shoes on a plane. I hate people who pick their feet, period. She did both and by then I was too exhausted to put a stop to it. Disgusting.***


  1. From a person that is very familiar with Atlanta I'm wondering if officer Hottie was really hot or if you just had the pee goggles - because I never saw one of those in Atlanta! Maybe I needed to venture out into the ghetto. I'm glad you made it to your flight on time, it goes to show nothing beats good ol' southern hospitality!

  2. I don't understand why the travel gods keep punishing hard-working moms. I feel your pain, and also just mailed out my own very angry letters to the CEO, Chief Operating Officer, and head of Customer Relations at American Airlines. I won't hear back, but it makes me feel better.

  3. I'm exhausted after reading that. But you're right, it is important to remember to be grateful for the people that help us when they totally don't have to.

  4. Now I feel bad all over again for not stopping to help the man who was standing on the curb with jumper cables this morning begging someone to stop & help him. I felt horrible for not stopping, but I didn't realize what he was doing until I was already half-way past him and I keep hearing that things like that can be a scam. Isn't it sad that I wanted to stop and was scared to?

    I'm glad you were able to find help! Especially those last two helpers...they were literally a God-send!

  5. Too bad you didn't get a picture of Officer Handcuff Me Now. That was really nice of him to escort you to the airport.

  6. Thank goodness for kind {and hot!} people. So sorry about your tough morning!

  7. What a day! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. (And hot police officers.)

  8. Wow. You were very lucky. If you had asked me for directions you would have been completely lost and probably never found the Hot Cop.

  9. I think the key to all this is *with two kids* which leads me to think the follow: do not travel with two kids; do not have more than one kid; do not fly out of Atlanta.

    And no feet picking on the plane cause that's nasty.

    I totally agree though...BE KIND TO's so simple.

  10. Holy crap, Ali! You are a brave woman! And what awesome strangers!

  11. The moral of the story, dear eldest daughter... is to remember that is why GOD invented GPS!

  12. UGH!! I would have been so completely stressed out durning and AFTER all of that! Holy crap! At least you found Mr Hottie Officer!

    Mr. Murphy and his stupid law should just stop messing with mom's!

  13. Officer Hottie, we salute you!

    I'm sorry this happened to you, but GAWD it makes a great story. :)

  14. Wow. I'm exhausted just reading this!

    And thank goodness for Officer Hottie!

  15. It's always nice to be reminded that people don't suck. I hate people who take their shoes off on planes too, or anywhere for that matter. Gross. It's a good thing I wasn't sitting by you, she's awfully cute but I still would have vomited.

  16. OH MY GOD! What an ordeal. Thank God for the kindness of strangers.

    This should be a lesson to us all to pay it forward.

  17. I swear to god I love you. I want to move next door to you so we can hang out, let the kids run like maniacs and drink lots of umbrella drinks together on a nightly basis.

    I'm dying laughing that you had to pee so bad you asked a hottie mctottie cop to watch your kids! You're awesome!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  18. I didn't even realize Natalie was picking her toes until you said that! Wow, seriously, so glad Hottie McHottivich officer was there and all the other strangers in tow. I think I would've just laid down and cried at some point, begging a stranger for wine.

  19. You know, I would have done the same with officer hottie. And my father would have been screaming in my head the whole time. Damn fathers who served in 'Nam.

    For you, I bought a co-worker a pumpkin spice latte.

  20. I truly believe that there are guardian angels among us and think that Officer Hottie was an angel. A very hot angel. Sort of the opposite of Nicholas Cage in City of Angels.

    The Hertz lady was also an angel. Although she would've been a better one if she'd omitted the story about the boy born without a femur.

  21. I wonder if anyone has ever called my hubby officer mchottie??

  22. I love when people are kind!
    So glad they were there to help you!
    As for crazy man at the gas station, because of his rudeness I hope people continue to shat all over his floor.