Pay Attention!

I learned my lesson regarding staying focused while at the airport last week.

I passed through security like a breeze on a warm spring day. I was pre-checked, so I did not have to remove my shoes, IPad, or liquids. The entire practice took a mere five minutes. I headed to my gate where I settled down with my Kindle, and I did not even stop for a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. My flight was on time, so I was happy to know I would arrive at the hospital with plenty of time to see Grandma prior to her surgery.

When I arrived at Newark airport, I boarded the monorail and headed to the car rental agency. Everything was running so smoothly, I thought to myself. I will beat that nasty New Jersey traffic. With only one person in front of me, I reached into my purse for my wallet so I could get my credit card and license.

Oh, no, oh no, oh no!!! Discovering that my license was missing, I could feel my heart beating at warp speed. I felt an awful pit begin to form in my stomach. I left the line and searched my entire purse, and then recalled that I had placed my driver’s license in my pocket along with my cellphone.

I went back to the terminal, where I learned that there are many sources of locating lost objects at an airport: the airline (nope, it had not been found on the plane), the airport lost and found, and TSA lost and found. Since I was uncertain where the loss had occurred, I had to make calls and file reports at both airports. (May I mention that Charlotte airport was much friendlier and accommodating than Newark airport, since Charlotte did not require me to file a report and told me they would email me it they find it?)

This changed the entire flow of the weekend. I now had to depend on Uber, or be at the mercy of drivers. Jamie suggested I could still drive one of the cars available to me by the family, which I immediately rejected. Although I have never received a traffic ticket, and I have only been pulled over once in my life—close to 25 years ago when I was speeding in our newly-purchased minivan. I was not comfortable with this idea.

After speaking with a friend’s son, who is a police officer, I was told that I would probably not receive a ticket. So on four different occasions, this law-abiding grandma drove without a license, prepared to throw myself at the mercy of the law if stopped. I was positive that a beacon of light was pointing toward the car each time I drove, announcing my heinous crime. I was a nervous wreck, but I had my story prepared to explain what I was doing and why.

The roads were dark and the car unfamiliar to me, so I was positive I would be stopped and hauled off to the pokey. Lily would be upset, because she is not a fan of orange, stating to me on many occasions, “I don’t like orange. Orange, boo Clemson.”

Luckily, nothing happened and I happily turned in those car keys and returned home, using my passport which had been mailed to me. My license arrived within three days. I have learned my lesson, which is to pay attention, particularly at the airport!