The Cursed Roof, or How to get though International Departures in less than half an hour

Dear parents: Please skip ahead to part 3. No need to waste your time reading this post. You already know the “entirely accurate” and “completely true” version of events.

 

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people with luggage boarding a flight

 

Party Time & Bad Decisions

 

A day before Dylan and I were supposed to leave our (slightly belated) honeymoon I managed to twist my knee, aggravating an injury from half a year before that had left me pretty immobile for two months. (I lost my job, and learned to cook some pretty fantastic meals all while jumping around on one foot).

 

At the time, we had just moved into a brand new second floor apartment and were celebrating with an entirely responsible housewarming party, that ended, as any reasonable party would, with a handful of us climbing up the roofer’s abandoned ladder, onto the roof (duh).

 

I, being the slightly (ha!) neurotic person that I am, had changed into reasonable shoes (my Nike running shoes) for safety reasons of course. After some time on the roof, I decided to head down, jumping off a short ledge and onto the lower level where I could climb the ladder down. Have you ever had one of those moments where time slows down? This was not one of those. I hit the ground, felt a painful pop and lost all stability in my knee.

 

No one saw me fall, so I struggled to the ladder and yelled at my friends below to hold the ladder still for me. To this day, I have no idea how I got down. And as Dylan has repeatedly pointed out since, only I could sustain an injury normally reserved for pro athletes by jumping off of a half-foot ledge. Disclaimer: I may have had a couple glasses of wine… (even so…)

 

Disaster Part 2

 

Fast forward to injury number two, 2 days pre-honeymoon. After a long blistering cold winter of recovery, Dylan and I decide to climb onto the roof to admire the view. After a little while we head down. Some how, just after the journey down from the ladder I stumbled and my knee popped.

 

We spent the next day miserably considering our options. Staying would mean forfeiting our much anticipated and non-refundable honeymoon. It was the also the first overseas trip I had planned in 5 years. And in the end, the thought of recovering on a Varadero beach, with a bottomless glass of rum sounded a lot more appealing than miserably brooding, trapped in our Toronto apartment.

 

Departure day: Pearson International Airport. Early Sunday afternoon zoo.

 

We cabbed to the airport due to my crutches and funny walk.

 

I’ve never been someone who hates airports. But, as I hobbled through the sliding double glass doors of Terminal 3, I felt like a stunned deer caught in the headlights; trapped in the glare of the expansive floors and hypnotized by the scattered groups of people walking in every direction.

 

Near by, there’s a collection of wheelchairs and Dylan kindly offers to get me one. Even though my arms are killing me, I adamantly refuse. I figure I can manage.

 

We head over to the check-in machine and win our wrestling match quickly before heading over to join the long line up to drop off our bags.

 

It takes me a while to get to the end of the line, slowly hobbling through the maze of half-mile long crowd-control barriers. Almost immediately after arriving behind the last person in line, we’re pulled out and rushed to the special assistance desk. The lovely rep lectures us with a well-practiced helpful look, scolding me for joining the regular line in the first place. (I stand there quietly feeling pretty undeserving of all the special treatment).

 

I don’t easily accept help from others; my friends will tell you that I’m dreadfully stubborn. (I usually argue—shockingly this is to my own detriment!)

 

I picture myself holding a Mai Tai on the beach. The airline rep continues to chatter.

 

Each year you spend with someone, the better you get at deciphering their looks. Well, Dylan and I were just coming up on five years together, and he was giving me a look that fell somewhere between extreme amusement, and telling me to shut the !?%# up and let them help me.

 

We’re kindly offered better seats for nearly free, so that I’ll be able stretch out my legs during the flight. I accept gratefully but stubbornly refuse the wheelchair.

 

From there they shepherd us to security. We’re waved over to the empty special line and I get to collect some more condescending helpful looks. I’m offered a wheelchair for the 4th time. And then offered one again. I still stubbornly refuse (I told you I can be stubborn jerk!).

 

They take my crutches to put though the scanner. I teeter on one foot, and they offer me the ‘security cane’ but I decide just to hop on through on one foot because it’s faster. I want to make a joke about that to Dylan, but instead I keep my mouth shut and hop through the metal detector.

 

My ‘Bucket List’ Item and Making the Best of Things.

 

So, slightly embarrassing confession time: I’ve always wanted to ride on one of those airport golf cart things. I think it goes way back to when I was little kid and my grandmother used to take me any my sister to the airport to pick up my grandfather when he was coming back from a trip. We’d go a bit early and watch the planes taking off and landing. And of course there’s always be those carts, zipping around everywhere. What can I say? They looked really fun.

 

Sure enough, on the other side of security, they direct us to one of the carts!

 

And it’s just as much fun as I thought it would be; zipping along the terminal towards our gate. Dylan is loving the unexpected turn of events. As am I.

 

When we arrive at our stop, Dylan hops down and reaches up to help me off. We walk/hop the remaining distance to the gate and settle down at the closest bar. I check the time on my phone and order a drink. It’s only been 27 minutes since we walked into the airport. 1 hour and 45 minutes to go. I cross ‘riding on an airport golf cart’ off of the list in my head. (Even though I’m not a really a fan of bucket lists – more on that here.)

 

You might think that was silly thing for me to cross off (I wouldn’t argue), but the point is, and as Dylan and I are constantly reminding each other, one needs to be mindful and find joy, even in setbacks.

 


 

1 Comment

  1. Dylan MacWha on May 15, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Was a great day! You are stubborn.

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