could should be called, Cherie gets lost…again. It’s not the first time that I have managed to get lost or lose something important. It’s actually a common event for me. But here’s a time I managed to get lost, and have the time of my life doing it!
Dirk and I first “met” online several years ago. After about a year of chatting on line and lots of phone calls later we finally met in person. We met in Detroit Metropolitan Airport at the international arrivals gate. It doesn’t sound very romantic when I phrase it that way, but it truly was. Seeing him walk through the gate, that smile, and finally getting to be in his arms was one of the most memorable events of my life. Pure joy. But it almost didn’t happen quite that way. Firstly, many friends were VERY AGAINST this meeting. I had nurse friends and police friends that were trying very hard to dissuade me from meeting this “online guy”. They spent the majority of many long, 12 hour shifts telling me horror stories of online meetings. They seemed to believe that I had completely lost all sense. (I had been going through a lot of stressful life situations, so their worry was well meant). I ignored all of their pleas and after a few false starts we managed to arrange the meeting. I drove 2 1/2 hours to Detroit to pick him up. I had not been to Detroit Metropolitan Airport in many years, and I had never driven there before by myself. After getting stuck behind a bus that broke down on the highway I was running quite late. I did manage to arrive with just a few minutes to spare. I then promptly parked in the wrong lot and ran into the airport like a lunatic. Dirk did not set up his phone to work in the U.S., so there was no way to let him know that I might be a few minutes late getting to the gate. I just had to run, run in the beautiful 3 inch heels that I bought to go with my dress. ( Picture a baby giraffe running in a pair of heels). I stopped at the arrivals screen, and my heart sank. His flight wasn’t listed. I stood there stunned. My co-workers were right after all, I had lost my damn mind. I just couldn’t believe that the person that I had been talking to everyday for the past year wasn’t coming. I started to walk, unsure of what to do. Then I saw a group of airport employees standing in a group, as I started to tear up I thought I should at least ask them about the flight. The first person told me that she didn’t see that flight listed either, I must have the wrong airport. I was very close to tears at this point. Then one of the other guys looked into it, and let me know that I was in the wrong part of the airport. I needed to go to a different terminal! OK, OK, I could work with this! However, I needed to take a bus to the other part of the airport. I was going to be late, and he would think that I didn’t show up! Again, I started to run through the airport and jumped on the next bus. I am sure I was a hot mess to watch. The bus seemed to take FOREVER to get to the terminal. It finally stopped, I jumped off the bus and again began to run.(Side note: I never run. Never. I have always said that if I was being chased by a knife wielding maniac I would not run, I would take my chances and try to take him). But here I was, running, again. I made it to the international gate, and saw his flight listed on the arrivals screen. I made it! People were already coming through the gate. I frantically started to scan the crowd. Would I even recognize him? Oh my God, what if he was using a picture that was old, outdated, or not even him??? All of the dire warnings from my friends and co-workers were churning through my brain. I pushed those thoughts aside and decided to find a seat so I could watch the people arrive. I was seated next to a very tiny Indian man. Time seemed to be moving in slow motion, when I finally spotted him. He was even more handsome in person, my heart soared! I quickly stood up, moved to gracefully walk over to the gate and meet him in person. Actually, what happened was that I stood up, turned over an ankle, then tripped over the tiny Indian man and almost went spread eagle on to the airport floor. The little Indian man had the look of sheer terror on his face as he thought I was going to land on top of him, I almost did. But, I caught myself and managed to stand upright again.(Dirk still claims to this day that he did not see any of the near fall or trip. I thank him all the time for this sweet lie). Then, I walked gracefully, or as gracefully as I am capable of, over to the gate just as he walked through. Our eyes met, I saw his amazing smile, he wrapped me in his arms and kissed me. All was right in my world. We stood together for quite sometime before we started for the exit.
It was then that it occurred to me that there might be a slight problem. I had no idea where I parked the truck, and I really had no idea how to get back to where I started out at the first terminal. I turned to smile at Dirk, and had to tell him (for the first of many times in our relationship) that I had lost the vehicle and that I did not know where I was. Now, Dirk had just flown for over 16 hours to come to meet me. We then proceeded to spend 45 minutes to an hour walking around various parking decks looking for my truck. Yes, we did finally find the truck. And yes, we have since been living happily ever after.