apparently, i have some kind of bad airport karma.

It looks like this!

So I’m in Atlanta for the weekend and my departure flight is at 3:25 pm. I’m actually going to make it, too, despite departing later than I’d planned, driving an hour through Atlanta traffic, missing my exit, and having to double back to refill the tank of the rental car before turning it in. It was going to be close. But I feel confident! Punctual! as I pull into the garage, hand over keys and rented Garmin to the Dollar employee, grab my bags out of the back and point out the pair of black pants evidently left in the trunk by the previous renter (black pants on a black hanger against charcoal interior = no one saw them, including me, until I was unloading my bag at the hotel 2 days ago). Across the parking lot, up the escalator, onto the Skytrain, 2 stops to the Terminal, up the escalator, down the hall, across the crosswalk, down the escalator, to the Delta counters, merrily I go. I just need my confirmation code to check into the kiosk. My confirmation code is in my phone.

 Where the hell is my phone.

 10 minutes of increasingly panicky searching later, including finally dumping my entire bag out into a chair, I face facts. It’s in the rental car. Goddammit.

 Am I going to miss my flight? What time is it? Where’s my phone?

Oh, right. Goddammit!

 I stand for a minute, actually weighing the two: my flight…my phone. Would they mail it to me? Yes. No! What am I saying? I need my phone.

 Up the escalator, across the crosswalk, down the hall, down the escalator to the Skytrain, 2 stops to the parking garage, down the escalator, across the parking lot. The Dollar checker-in remembers me. She also remembers that someone else drove off my car to the lot to be cleaned 5 minutes ago. “Over there,” she points, to the next parking lot over.

 Across the parking lot. Another Dollar employee in a neon green vest greets me. I explain the problem, and he’s willing to help.

“What kind of car is it?” he asked. “A red Chevy,” I answer.

“A red Chevy what?”

I stare at him.  Man, I don’t know. I don’t know cars. I’ve known Other Half and his car for over 6 years now and shared ownership for 3 and still, when asked “What kind of car do you have?” am forced to answer, “A green one”, because that’s all I usually remember. When pressed, while I will seldom come up with “Volkswagen” and certainly not “Passat”, I can usually add (super helpfully, in my opinion), “I think it’s German.”

 Personally, I thought it was pretty freaking amazing I came up with “Chevy”. Also, it’s red. Did I mention that it’s red?

And like this!

 “Like this?” he asks, pointing to a small red sedan. “Yes!” I exclaim. Could it be this easy? I open the door, dig around and under the front passenger seat. No phone. I shut the door and doubt. Is this the right car? Frankly, my dear, I don’t have any damn idea. I don’t know what my rental car looks like without my stuff in it. It had a red exterior and a grey interior. We only spent 2 days together getting from points A to B and back to A. We don’t have much of a relationship.

“There’s one!” Vest Guy says, pointing two rows over. Aha! I scrabble about the floor. No. No phone.

 “Up here?” A third red Chevrolet, several cars up.  Wait a minute. I stop and survey the sea of cars. There must be at least 15 identical red Chevys dotting the parking lot.

 Awesome. I am definitely missing my flight.

 Halfway through the lot we find my phone on the floor of a car which may or may not still have a pair of black pants in the trunk. I thank Vest Guy profusely and trek back to the terminal to arrange a new flight to DC, since mine is currently preparing to taxi the runway. I am lucky, in the sense that there are practically hourly flights from Atlanta to DC, so I am not stranded for an extra night. For a mere $50 change fee (!!) I am booked on the 4:15 to National Airport, arriving only an hour later than planned. Other Half is glad not to have to drive to Dulles, located in the western Godforsaken Hinterlands, which is much further from our house. As far as I know, I arrived home with all my pants. No animatronic animals were involved in my delay. So I guess it could’ve been worse.

 

Also: like this!

I think I’m going to start driving more often.

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