Sometimes my life is a literal comedy of errors. Sometimes this is my fault, sometimes it’s someone else’s, and sometimes it’s just the universe laughing at me.
Now I’ve put that out there, let me tell you about my recent travels.
Apparently, absent-mindedness is genetic. I misplace things constantly, and suddenly remember a task I should have completed three days ago. I also go on autopilot. My mother has this condition, as does her younger sister. I’m sure their older sister is also this way, I just don’t have the anecdotal evidence to support this theory.
Back to the travels.
My most recent trip was literally planned in two days, and was made possible by the fact that the library I work at was closed for two weeks to put in a new parking lot. Despite the last minute nature of this trip, I was actually packed about a day earlier than I ever am. The day before take-off there was some drama about a delayed flight, but the airline gave me options to find a solution, so everything was good.
This is when we get to the genetic condition my mother’s family has.
My mother turned the wrong way to go to the airport. An understandable mistake, as the airport lies in the complete opposite direction of everything she normally drives to. It was also a minor mistake, as it is just as easy to get on the highway no matter which direction you go from my house. It just added a little bit of time to our already tight schedule. (Because of the weirdness of our airport, I usually ignore the warnings about leaving extra time to get through security/check bags/find gates/etc. I like living on the edge like that.)
I got through security fine, and spent less than ten minutes at the gate before boarding the plane, in true procrastinator style. I was seated between a hipster with an impressively groomed mustache, and a chatty teacher who was a fellow former military brat. Nothing eventful happened on either flight, or during my layover in the metropolis that is the Atlanta airport.
Then I landed in Philly.
At first, everything seemed fine. I was texting back and forth with my aunt, we were in sync, all set for a smooth pick up at the curb.
There was just one problem.
My aunt, much like my mother mere hours earlier, had gone on autopilot. Unlike my mother, my aunt’s mistake didn’t result in a slight rerouting and a few minutes added to the travel time. My aunt had driven to the airport in Baltimore. I was in Philadelphia.
It took multiple phone calls, and a conversation with an unnecessarily sassy airport employee to realize this.
So I found a cozy corner and partook of the free WiFi and the riveting YA novel I’d started on the plane for a couple hours.
A few days into my visit we decide to visit my Granddad, then my other aunt and a few cousins. About halfway there, my aunt stops for gas, and realizes she forgot her wallet. Thankfully, I’d gone on autopilot and grabbed my purse for no logical reason, and was able to pay.
Jump cut to later that week, when my aunt and I take a day trip to Washington D.C. We were all prepared, with snacks, water bottles, and a receipt for tickets to the International Spy Museum we had to stop at my uncle’s office to print.
First, in an attempt to save two minutes, we drive to a metro station that just happened to be closed. Fifteen minutes later, we’re at the next closest metro station, having a fight with the parking pay machine. Once that’s all sorted, and we’ve decrypted the ticket machine instructions, we board the train, I get over the split second of panic that it’s the wrong train, and we enjoy the ride into D.C.
We started with the Holocaust Museum, then wandered over to the Washington Monument to enjoy the sun and a snack. That was when my aunt realized the receipt for the spy museum tickets was in the van. In Maryland.
After a short debate, we decided to give ourselves some extra time to walk over to the museum, in case we needed to sweet talk the tickets out of the museum attendants, and set out.
And got lost.
We got turned around at least three times trying to find our metro stop again. My aunt and I were parting ways for me to visit a friend in Virginia, so I was left to battle the paranoia that I’d get on the wrong train, or that I’d miss my stop.
Thankfully, the most dramatic things that happened after that were the three plays I attended in Virginia, and the unexpected arrival of a baby goat back at the farm.