Home Alone is one of the most seen movies in the world. Although it was made years ago, you can always find it on one channel or another because it is a family favorite. It is funny and it makes you laugh out loud…unless it comes to roost in our own life. Then it ain’t so funny!
B and I were heading home from New York the other day after a wonderful weekend anniversary trip. Though we had been through two years of a “maybe” divorce, this weekend felt like we were in love again. That is when the sitter texted me.
I JUST LOOKED AT MY WORK SCHEDULE AND I HAVE TO WORK TONIGHT. I WILL NEED TO LEAVE AT 10 p.m.
“THAT IS FINE,” I texted back. “WE WILL BE HOME FROM THE AIRPORT AROUND 10:15 .SO IT ISN’T REALLY A PROBLEM”…until it was.
Standing in the crappy line with a GROUP 6 boarding ticket while annoying, is not a problem. Usually. Unless, you step on everyone’s toes and piss them off, while trying to maneuver yourself back to the cockpit to get your suitcase checked because all the overhead bin space is taken. Placing your belongs in the overhead bin…no problem…for the GROUP 1-5 passengers. GROUP 6…FORGET IT! Fastening my seatbelt was easy as pie as my anti-anxiety “fear of flying” pill kicked in. Everything was going as expected until these words were uttered by the cute and spunky stewardess whom everyone suddenly looked like they wanted to slap:
” PLEASE RETRIEVE YOUR BELONGINGS AS EVERYONE WILL NEED TO DEPLANE. THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE EMERGENCY SLIDE AND GROUND MAINTENANCE HAS TO BE CALLED TO FIX THE ISSUE.”
Now I will confess I try to keep positive in these types of situations. I mean, after all, it is better to be riding on a “fixed” plane than a “broken” one. But an emergency slide? Really? I mean how often are they used anyway?. Hell, I thought, if there turns out to be an issue, I will gladly stand at the open slide-less door and just toss people out onto the ground below. Problem fixed. Now, let’s get this freaking show on the road!
A collective groan so loud it nearly popped the rivets holding the plane together ensued. This was followed by a sound reminiscent of a herd of lumbering and pissed-off elephants starting back up the gangway.
Faces that had been smiling only 5 minutes previous were now pinched and drawn. The variety of cuss words I overheard was astounding and during the race to the customer service center several people nearly lost there lives. Frankly, there was not enough free alcohol in the entire terminal that could cheer up this downcast and angry crowd.
As B and I stood in the wrap-around line waiting to talk to that poor unlucky agent who had been plucked by the previous 50 ticket holders; it finally dawned on us that we had a problem. A serious one. We only had an hour layover after we landed before we were to catch our final plane home. Unfortunately, this was the last plane for the night we were soon to discover. Suddenly, were having our own HOME ALONE moment and nothing about it was the least bit entertaining.
Now being home alone is okay in our household during the day but certainly not overnight. We knew that Andre wouldn’t care as long as he could lay around in his underwear eating chips without being bothered by anyone. Change is hard for kids with autism but as long as there is food available and no one around to boss him around; Andre was happy.
Paul started crying over the telephone. The unknown is difficult for him but an unexpected change of plans is a catastrophe. . Let’s just say this didn’t fit into his scheme of things and the breakdown started.
Gracie…well, she isn’t one for being away from her Mommy and Daddy…especially at night. But we knew she would suck it up if she had to.
And so we started calling everyone we knew as the minutes started ticking away. 10 minutes late. 20 minutes. 40 minutes. 50 minutes…which was the point of no return. We were now officially screwed. Finally, an hour and 40 minutes later we lifted off unsure of what the future held…except that most likely Children’s Protective Services might be giving us a visit in the near future.
As nicely as I could I explained our situation to the stewardess. HOME ALONE. TWO WITH AUTISM. MELTDOWN.
“Would you like a beverage?” she responded cheerfully.
I was tempted to ask for a double scotch on the rocks but decided that a drunk absentee parent was most certainly worse than a sober one when talking to government officials. Therefore, I took my seat, bought the WI-FI service for $29.95 and sent out a plea for help on Facebook. I am happy to report that by the time we landed, I had three friends offer to help and a neighbor who informed me that she would take the kids to school. These are the times in life when “do unto others as you would have them do onto you” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.
Flying five hours across the country we still had hope that we would make our flight but it was not to be. So we took our food vouchers and ate dinner in the airport, then took the shuttle bus to our hotel and finally settled in to watch a movie. When we turned on the t.v, guess what was being shown? Yep, you’re right… it just happened to be HOME ALONE. That apparently is the way we roll.