Snow always makes for a fun commute. Drivers forget how to drive, buses crawl along, and the T, well, you think you could rely on the T. On my way home from work this week though, I found myself trapped on the Red Line in a packed train for more than an hour. While people started out calm (one woman said she was too tired from shoveling to complain), the crowd grew unruly, pressing the emergency call button to get an update from the rather uncommunicative T operator. After 45 minutes, this enlightening announcement: “We are experiencing difficulties at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Could that be any less helpful? I will spare you the choice words we shared on the train and my sudden onset of claustrophobia that might have gotten me on the news had the train not started moving.
I was off to the airport that night to spend Christmas with my family in Newport News, VA, and got home with ten minutes to spare before my friend was to chauffeur me to the airport. I threw last-minute items in a suitcase and bolted out the door, down the icy steps, and to the airport where I dragged my luggage from the trunk—a trunk so heavy with snow that it slammed down on my head. Things were going well.
Inside, my luck changed. No one was in line at the counter and I sailed through security. Conditioned to rush in such moments, I was whipping off my shoes and coat out of habit, when a guy behind me said, “I’ve learned not to rush for these things. Take your time.” We exhaled in unison.
Despite the inevitable flight delay and getting stuck in the middle seat, the jaunty flight attendant lightened the mood. “Welcome aboard Flight 643 to…Hawaii!” he said to a burst of applause. Oh, what a merry Christmas that would be. An hour and a half later, though, spying no tropical beaches or luaus from the sky, we pulled into a chilly terminal that looked suspiciously like Virginia.