There are times when the universe likes to remind you that it, and not you, is in charge.
And the reminders are not entirely painless. They’re reminiscent of the love bites my cousin’s dog gives. You think you’re playing around, and then all of a sudden –
You make it through intact, but still – it’s shocking, and it stings a bit, and it reminds you that the universe is not kidding around. And this past week, the universe nipped us. Big time.
In truth, we might have been asking for it. Life was getting just a little too easy. A little too fun. And maybe, just maybe, we were starting to take it for granted. And so the universe, in an effort to keep us humble, to remind us of how lucky we actually are, decided to remind us that it was still there.
It cause us unaware, and left us bruised and baffled, standing outside of SeaTac Airport, when we should have been on a plane to Paris. Rand and I tried to make sense of what happened. We had managed to miss our flight by a long shot (as in, we got the day flat-out wrong). And we’d just learned that in the world of Air France, if you miss a ticket, you forfeit the fare. We were not only down a trip to France, we were down a few grand, as well. On top of all that, we were forced to endure a heap of abuse from a woman at the Air France ticketing desk who was so heinous to us, even her fellow co-workers noticed that she had gone too far (a word of advice: when you scream at people who are willing to pay a great deal of money to fly on your airline, telling them that there is absolutely no way you are going to let them on the flight, even if there’s room … well, you sorta relinquish moral high ground).
Weirdly enough, I was calm about the whole thing. As the woman at the desk lied to me outrightly (and at one point, her co-workers were openly disagreeing with her, pointing to their computer screens and saying, “But that’s not true …”), I held my composure. Not because it’s in my character (it certainly isn’t). Nor did I do it because I believed her to be in the right (a dim-witted third-grader on Jeopardy! would have been less wrong). No. Instead, I stood there, utterly powerless and completely okay with it, because I knew that this screaming Air France employee wasn’t in control. The universe was.
And for whatever reason, it didn’t want us to go to France.
So we walked away.
I won’t lie: it hurt like hell. The friends who we were supposed to spend time with in Paris look like they’re having an amazing time, and the photos they’ve posted to Facebook make my heart ache.
But for whatever reason, Rand and I were meant to be in Seattle this week. And on Saturday night, just as our would-be plane was landing at Charles De Gaulle, Rand and I found ourselves in a karaoke bar on Highway 99 in North Seattle. An older gentlemen in a sports coat was belting out a rendition of Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” that can only be described as inspired. And as I danced with my husband, amongst a group of mostly drunken friends, I whispered in his ear.
“I do so love Paris in springtime,” I said.
He immediately started to apologize.
“It’s fine,” I said. And I meant it. We’d get to Paris, eventually. But right now, the universe needed to show us who was in charge. And it had picked the venue. Hell, it had even dictated the soundtrack.
But I got to pick my dance partner.