The moment I accepted my life was a beautiful, chaotic, sometimes a little-messy-but-always-entertaining circus was the moment I felt a true release.

There's no sense in fighting the madness, but I've picked up a few tricks to keep the show going along the way.

I hope they work as well for you as they have [and still do] for me.

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A Series of Unfathomable Events {part 2}

Have you ever had one of those times that made you step back and say – is this really happening? Only to realize that yes, yes it is indeed happening and you are caught smack dab in the middle of A Series of Unfathomable Events…..

…the conclusion…

It only took one minute of me standing in the customer service line before I turned to my new friend, College Girl Jen and proclaimed: I’m renting a car. Do you want to ride with me? She proceeded to phone her mom and ask what she should do, being only 19 she assured her mom that I was indeed 26 and could rent the car (as I shouted over the phone – I promise..I’m NOT crazy! *because that sounds completely legit…). Her mom’s reply? “Oh, just do it!” Golden. I had a passenger to help me stay awake for the ride and split the cost. Done.

The College Boy who gave such a valiant attempt at making the flight happened to be behind us in line. I turned to him and said well – we’re renting a car and driving to Charleston….do you want to ride with us? He thought about it for a moment. (again I muttered, I promise – I’m not crazy. I just want to go home. *at this point I was realizing how crazy I indeed sounded offering rides to COMPLETE strangers at 11:15 at night.) It was as if a light bulb turned on in his mind as he debated then said “You know what…yea…I’m in…let’s do this!” Woo wooo another passenger in the bag!

We started to meander away from customer service as I turned around to let The Shrink know the situation, offering him an in on it. As with the other two, he hesitated – thought for a bit – and then said let me check with my buddy (The Dad). After a bit of chatter between the two, phones were hung up and they were out of the line, officially part of this crazy scheme of driving home. But there we were, 5 jilted passengers standing in front of customer service, at the cross roads for the night thinking –

OK. Do we do this? Do we really get in a car with 4 other strangers and drive for 5 1/2 hours? The answer my friends is: Well, why the Hell not?!

And we were off to rent a car. The initial introductions were made – hi, [insert name, mental status, how you happened to get stuck in this particular situation] – you know, the norm. I caught myself sitting on the train looking at my new found best friends, thinking to myself…Oh Jennie Boo! I hope I don’t end up on Dateline or 20/20, because this could be one of those situations. BUT then again, I was in the company of 2 doctors and 2 college students..technically I was the odd ball.

College Boy College Girl Jen The Dad I'm not Crazy The Shrink

After making it over to the rental car area we were quick to discover there were NO cars available for our situation. NO ONE would rent us a one way car to Charleston right then and there. (Which by the way I knew was a lie because I had called a car company earlier and there WAS a car but I hadn’t made the reservation – My b.) So we split up, each of us taking a car company to tackle until one of us – The Dad – secured a vehicle. During this process, The Shrink was about to give up on us but I insisted we were going home tonight! Solidarity. We were all in this and I wasn’t gonna let anybody back out now. Packing the Car

Midnight: all five of us are loaded up in the SUV (making sure everyone hit the restroom before hand) and finally heading out to the airport. Estimated drive time? 5 1/2 hours. The Dad was driving. First mission – grab some take out food for the ride. At this point I was able to throw out my “actually, I’m a vegan…” joke which I’ll admit I had been saving for the opportune moment that finally came. (pulled off seamlessly, might I add) *not that there’s anything wrong with being vegan, I’m just a meat & potatoes kind of gal.* Taco Bell food at 12:30 a.m.? Check. Surplus of Mountain Dew to drink? Check. Back on the road….

Are You Kidding ME

About two hours later we stop at the rest stop where me and Jen hop out of the car only to walk up to a “Closed for Cleaning” sign on the women’s bathroom. Seriously?!? Are you KIDDING ME right now?!??! Do you have ANY idea how much Mountain Dew I’ve been drinking to stay awake?? And then we turned around to see another door that wasn’t closed. 🙂 As we were walking out I casually mentioned to Jen- You know, I bet they moved the car. Stupid boys….of course they did. Apparently even at 2 something in the morning these kids still had jokes. [insert sarcastic Awesome here] haha

Back on the highway and things are running smoothly, good convos going, everyone (except The Shrink) is awake, The Dad’s still driving, the College Boy is navigating, things are going well. Low and behold what do we see?

Flashing Blue Lights

Flashing Blue Lights

Of course. Because no spur of the moment, out of this world, early Monday morning road trip would be complete without being pulled over by a State Trooper. Thank you, state of Georgia. The look on the Trooper’s face when he saw inside our vehicle was priceless. I’m sure he was wondering the same thing we all were at some point, what on Earth is going on here?! Which is probably why he pulled The Dad out of the car for a little chatter, opted to let us all go with a warning and we were back on our way. Thank you officer for not implanting another thorn in our sides!

The Warning Ticket

The car ride continued with a few more jokes, stories and shenanigans. It would be impossible for me to recount all which was said as I was way past delirious at this point and pushing 24 hours sans sleep. My phone died so I unfortunately had to stop documenting the journey with blurry photos. I would however like to throw out a big thanks to my new friend Jen, for saying she had to go to the restroom again because I was too chicken to say I had to go again because I didn’t want them to yell at me. 🙂

We rolled into the airport at roughly around 5:30. None of us had slept yet, except for The Shrink who drifted in and out the whole ride. (20 miles outside of Charleston our gas light came on – of course!) We had found out that we could possibly be reimbursed for the portions of the tickets we didn’t use and as for the car, we’d have to take that up with the gate agent. It was on. We all pile out of the car and head into the gate together. Tired. Wired. Past the point of delirium and entering the state of disillusioned. Solidarity. We were finishing this off the same way we started. 5 random strangers on a mission. What happens? No dice on the rental car reimbursement, but they offered us each a voucher. The Dad and The Shrink filed claims for their luggage as me and the College Kids turned in the car. We met back at baggage claim where we all said our goodbyes and parted ways at 6 a.m.

This is the point in the night where I got a little sad.

It all started with one crazy idea…and 7 hours later it was all ending.

Five strangers who hadn’t known each other were now bonded forever by a mere handful of life’s hours. It was odd saying goodbye, but it was also odd that such an attachment had formed in such a small amount of time. Lack of sleep apparently can do that to you sometimes – hah. I drove the College Kids downtown, dropped them off then headed home where I promptly walked into my house at 6:45 – just enough time to shower, get ready and head off to work. I worked a full day and eventually returned home to fall asleep at 6. (after having been awake for 35 hours) And so dear readers, that is where I’ve been all week. A little out of the loop and still trying to get back on a normal track. Sometimes life takes you around a few unexpected curves and I’ve learned the best thing to do is make sure your seat belt is buckled & just go.

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my fellow passengers for believing me when I said I’m not crazy, for jumping on board, and for one of the most unforgettable stories of my life.

3 Comments

  1. Casey
    March 19, 2010

    Faith in humanity. Awesome story. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Georgia
    March 21, 2010

    What a great story. Are these people your newest Facebook friends?

    Have you seen “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” with Steve Martin/John Candy?

    Reply
  3. Andrea
    March 22, 2010

    Oh Jennie. Only you can make such a crazy story so funny and happy. I would be such a grouch by this point. Hell I was the grouch that started the series of unfortunate events. Sorry about that. Glad you made it home safely with a story to tell. I hope to see you again soon! I promise to be on my best behavior next time.

    Reply

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