Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Mars Bar Angel and Other Assorted Angels

Yesterday I mentioned in my wrap up of Blogopolis that I nearly missed my flight home. It meant I had a Full. Blown. Panic. Attack. I haven't had one in years and was completely floored by how intense it was and I was so embarrassed  So naturally I'm posting it on the blog:
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I hate it when people are late for a flight. I've always wondered what they could be doing that is so important that they have to run to the check in counter five minutes before the flight closes all puffed and red faced. Apparently shopping for a cheap pair of ballet flats to soothe your tired swollen feet is one of those really important things *ahem*.

I was shoe shopping with who else but Kelley from Magneto Bold Too and checked my watch. Just after 10:00am. Perfect, I'll grab the shoes, walk back to the hotel and then catch the SkyBus. No problemo. Then Shae comes in and asked me did I realize it was 12:10pm? And didn't my flight leave at 1:30pm? Right, so I didn't adjust my watch for the time difference. Clever. My Time Keeper Angel, your awesome ability to look at a watch correctly, an ability I obviously don't have, put all this in to motion. I would have been hours late if not for you, thank you so much.

I kept my cool and casually asked if Toushka would mind driving me to the airport. Or at least that's what I should have done... Instead I panicked and many expletives were forthcoming.

As our group (Shae, Toushka, Fi, Kelley and her daughter Moo who had joined us for breakfast) quickly made our way back from Bourke St to our hotel on Lonsdale St to grab my bags I was barely holding it together. I swung from hyperactive giggling to body numbing anxiety.

I grabbed my bags when we got there and it was time to say goodbye. I clung to Kelley, my protector over the whole weekend (over a few months now actually) and sobbed. I wanted to stay there, wrapped in her arms for hours. The woman knows me back to front, inside and out, better than I know myself, and she has a way of making everything all better... and we've only physically met twice. My Mama Angel, you have calmed my anxiety this past weekend better than any medication could with your warmth, care and understanding. I cannot articulate how much you mean to me, thank you.

But there was no time for prolonged goodbyes so I jumped in the car with rally championship driver Toushka and navigator Fi. We somehow survived Melbourne traffic. What the fuck is with all that weird lane stuff near the hospital? I suppose the roads department in all their infinite wisdom put it near the hospital so when everyone crashes they don't have far to go. We got the airport just in time. My Driver Angel, the pathetic $10 I had on me that I stuffed in your drink holder as thanks is no where near enough. You have my eternal devotion and I will sponsor your car at the next Rally Australia.

We pulled up to the terminal and Fi and I jumped out and I started to hyperventilate. My eyes wouldn't focus and I couldn't even see where I was meant to go... I couldn't even distinguish the bloody colour differences of the desks to know which was which. Fi pointed and we rushed forward. I opened my mouth and only a choking sound came out; I couldn't even form words so she spoke for me.

Image Credit
With under two minutes left on the clock I was checked in. And only then did she leave my side to run back to Toushka waiting in the car. My Check In Angel, you have my eternal gratitude. If you hadn't insisted on running inside with me, carrying my massive bloody bag, I would have gotten as far as the front doors and crumpled. Thank you so much.

I ran to the gate. Even though I was checked in, I just had to get there and see for myself that the plane had not left without me. I don't run. Especially not after a night of dancing in heels and when there are no pain meds. The pain was intense and I was still hyperventilating so I sat down by the gate and tried to calm down a bit. The vending machine called to me, because when the shit hits the fan, chocolate fixes everything, right?

I put my money in, the little thing twirled around and I thought to myself if that bastard Mars Bar doesn't drop down I might as well just die on the spot because I cannot handle one more thing going wrong... and whaddya know, that fucker didn't move an inch. The tears pricked at my eyes again; I was crying over a bloody chocolate.

A young woman sitting nearby saw it happen and gave me one of those soft, sorry smiles, and I wanted to shrug, smile back and flippantly say "just one of those days" but instead my face crumpled and I pathetically lost the fight against the tears that had been welling in my eyes and they slid silently down my red cheeks.

A grown woman sitting in the airport getting upset over the loss of her last $3 and a stupid snack. I buried myself down in to my jacket and started playing with my phone, embarrassed the woman, this stranger, had seen me cry.

And then, a few minutes later she walked over to me, smiled and handed me a Mars Bar.

I completely lost it. I cried giant heaving sobs and when I tried to say thank you, no words would come out. They got stuck in my throat only emerged as a squeak.

Everyone was staring. I started hyperventilating again and the room spun.

When I had managed to calm down (from banshee like wailing to just normal tears) a little while later, I went over and thanked her and told her I would write about her.

So, Lauren, my Mars Bar Angel, if you ever read this, I cannot thank you enough. You have restored my faith in the kindness of strangers and lifted my spirits at a moment when I needed it most. You have given me so much more than an overpriced chocolate bar. You have reminded me, with your confidence to walk over in front of a room full of strangers to hand the crazy crying woman a Mars Bar, that there is good in the world. Thank you. Thank you so very, very much. 

106 comments:

  1. Just Wow. How kind were all of those women. The sisterhood rocks. And I'm glad you made it home safe.

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  2. awww yay Lauren. What an awesome mars bar angel.
    You shouldn't have given me $10. I enjoyed nearly dying on that roundabout-come-cloverleaf-thingamee. And the almost altercation with the motorcyclist was just the reminder I needed to be grateful for locked doors in cars. And we would have made it in heaps of time if I had have driven in the right direction to get out of the carpark in the first place. I'm glad Fi was there to help check you in, in MacGuyver like timing.
     

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  3. I'm so glad you had all of those angels with you! I felt your pain and panic - it must have been awful.  Glad you are home safe with Tricky and MapGuy, and glad your Mars Bar Angel was there :)

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  4. You know I am still wearing those cheap arsed shoes?

    I effing love you.  And I am sorry I got you stuck in the vortex of a shoe store.

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  5. Every post I read today is making me cry... *hugs*
    The kindness of complete strangers never fails to move me...there's so much good in the world, thank you for sharing this story xx
    Someone close to me suffers from anxiety attacks so I "get" how it all seemed to be crumbling about you. Thank God for life's angels!

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  6. Please take care of yourself, little glow.
    Panic attacks are the biggest bitches of all. Nasty bitches.
    Was the flight okay?

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  7. Commenting on Disqus. Again. That is three times now. I must be going soft in my old age. Lauren has earned herself some seriously good Karma. And crying in public is always hideously embarrassing. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

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  8. I have had this exact moment, I no longer feel the shame as I now know it happens to other people. I nearly missed the most important Plane flight in my life, I then proceeded to cry for the whole 5 hour flight and the lovely flight attendant plied me with copious amount of alcohol until my husband begged her to stop as she is not a drinker ! Ah these fabulous moments define who we are in Life !! 

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  9. Glad you got home safely with the help of your angels. It was terrific to see you again xxx

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  10. My, what an experience. And what an amazing crew to have in your corner. Thanks be to all that is good for the kindness of friends, and strangers. 
    My heart was in my throat throughout this post. It brought back all my memories of when I've been a total mess when travelling. Mortifying, but beyond control. 
    I recently almost missed a flight from Perth to Kalgoorlie because fool me looked at the 'arrive Kalgoorlie' time instead of the 'depart Perth' time. Despite checking it ABOUT 130 TIMES!! It was only through sheer luck that I hugely overestimated the time to get to the airport that I made it.
    Glad you got your Mars Bar. And made it home to your boys in the end. 

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  11. Oh! I'm crying!
    I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal - not a fun way to end your trip; but what a lovely happy ending. I love hearing stories about the kindness of strangers, and this has been one of my favourites!

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  12. Glad you made it home safe 'n' sound hun :-) Angels are awesome right!

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  13. so glad there were such great women around, both known and unknown to you! Glad you are home safe too 

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  14. Oh Sweetie!  I just want to hug you now. <3  That sounds positively awful. I'm a sufferer of anxiety attacks, and belive I would have reacted much the same way.

    I'm so, so glad that people were so lovely to you.

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  15. Oh Trae!!! How upsetting! Those are some amazing angels you had with you. Love those girls. Such good eggs, every one of them. I hope you didn't attempt to eat that Mars Bar when you couldn't enjoy it (or were in danger of it lodging in your tear-choked throat).... because I would have done that. Scoffed that sucker down and risked my clear airways in the process.

    Much, much love to you. You're home and safe now. It was a huge trip for you. I wish we could've spent longer on the mundane - movie/tv quotes are my air. xxxxxx Next time.

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  16. What an awful ordeal, you poor love. Airports give me the heebee geebees. There's always tension and anxiety all around them. So glad you had your Glowless Angels about to guide you home.

    Lauren gets a gold star. You could easily have been a diabetic in serious trouble and only one person came to help, which I have mixed feelings about. It was great to meet you  You're safe now, breathe. x

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  17. Jess @ diaryofaSAHMAugust 2, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Good on ya Lauren, whoever you are! And everyone else too who helped Glowless home to see her baby.
    I would have been exactly the same in this situation, I'm sure.

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  18. I'm rather glad everyone was looking after you!

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  19. it's amazing what a Mars Bar can come to represent, isn't it, or how a packet of choc chip bikkies can make you cry? in the horror months following my Dad's death, my 18 month old son was undergoing physiotherapy to learn how to walk. the phsyio was at a notoriously busy hospital and, running late as usual, i screamed into the last parking spot without checking the Very Large Sign on the fence.



    the one hour physio sessions were rigorous and my hypotonic, hypermobile son fought them all the way. by the end of it, around 11am, i was exhausted and very happy to strap him back in his pram and get home. remember that Very Large Sign — the one above the gate, that was now locked, until 2pm? and please contact Security if there was a problem. 



    'Security' unattended, we went back to outpatients, where the first staff member told me it was Tough luck, and we would Have to wait til 2pm. she might have reconsidered her Words if she had known it would elicit a torrent of tears, with me babbling my apologies and explaining about my Dad's recent death. instead she replied with What, just now?



    shocked beyond tears, i was rescued at this stage by an older staff member (yes, an Angel), who took us into a quiet room and asked What was the problem? disappearing for a moment, she returned with a glass of water and reassurances Security would be along to unlock the gate soon. shaking with relief, i whispered to my poor wobbly son The only thing that would make it more perfect would be some chocolate or a bikkie. no sooner said, than my Angel returned with a packet of choc chip bikkies …   xt (and yes, if i am going to write such long comments, i TRULY need to get my own blog)

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  20. Awwww Glow, I have tears welled up. Glad it all worked out in the end x

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  21. All teary here.  Glad you met a nice person in your time of need, got the Mars Bar (fixer of all evils I say ;) ) and made the plane. Sx

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  22. There are so many angels around, if you look the right way! :) I'm glad they all came through for you. 

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  23. Aw hun! So glad you made it in the end, Mars Bar and all. Kudos to all those beautiful women, and a reminder to buy someone a Mars Bar one day.

    PS - I am addicted to Mars Bars. Seriously love them too much.

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  24. I cried reading this x
    Love your guts x

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  25. Sounds like you were in safe hands with all that magnificent support!  Yet another reason to love the blogging world :)  I love a random angel too - blogged about it the other week when a stranger came to my aid and have been thinking of her ever since.  Nice to know there are lovely strangers in the world :)

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  26. themotherexperimentAugust 2, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    That is, strangely, one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. And even though you had a panic attack and you needed help you still should be proud of yourself because going across the nation took a hell of a lot of courage and strength.

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  27. Awww that's beautiful. 

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  28. Oh , this story is so great , I am happy that there are good people left on this Earth , this gives me hope ! As for the panic attack - do not worry- we all have !
    London Removals

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  29. You have an amazing sisterhood of angels looking after you. Glad you had such a wonderful time.

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  30. You poor bean. At least you have an awesome story to tell! Right...? There are some nice-ass people in the world. (With the risk of taking the subject back to me, I once missed my flight out of Avalon and had to wait 24 hours for the next one. I slept in baggage claim. My angel was my iPod.)

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  31. Rhi_HummingbirdsSongAugust 2, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Oh, thank goodness for your beautiful angels. And, what a gorgeous person Lauren is. I met you very briefly on Saturday night, although it was around midnight and I think we were all past it... needless to say you were lovely and hopefully I'll get to meet you longer in the future xx

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  32. Strangers can be so wonderful

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  33.  There are few things in life a Mars bar can't help out with

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  34. Dude. I'm so glad you made it xoxo

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  35. Hooray for Angels!  And strangers!  And Mars Bars!  And crazy lanes on Melbourne roads...!  Well, not so much the last one.....  What a horrid experience to end a lovely weekend with friends.  I hope it won't put you off travel...  Glad you're home safe and sound...

    Hmmm, I wonder if Kelley will adopt me?

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  36. Oh Glow, I feel like I was right there with you reading this...which makes me exceedingly unhelpful but beautiful post, so glad you made it home xx

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  37. Awww, bless you. Panic attacks are frightening. Your angels were amazing!

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  38. What a great story to finish my day on lady. Thank you. xx

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  39. Love you Mrs Glow. I have 100% empathy for you and this situation. My little family is traveling in the USA at the moment and we are 3/3 at the moment for mama breakdowns on our travel legs. Out of Sydney we were sprinting to the gate 15 minutes after our flight should have departed for LA (airline fault not ours we were there ready to check in almost 3 hours before). It took almost 3 hours into the flight for my heart rate to slow down!!

    Yesterday we had 80 minutes between trains at Union Station LA so husband had the bright idea to take a quick cab ride/tour of the hotspots. Great in theory until it was 20 minutes prior to departure time and we were in the cab stuck in traffic. I was in blind panic. Then we didn't here the announcement when we got to the San Fran stop and rob and noah were somewhere around the train while I was having a breakdown thinking we were gonna be stuck on the train all the way to Seattle.

    We have 5 flights remaining over the next 9 days. I pray for peaceful check-ins.

    BTW gotta love Lauren the Mars Bar angel. Xxxxxxxxx

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  40. Hugs sweetie. Sounds horrendous, will have to go out for a beverage or two soon xx

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  41. Oh, that Mars bar almost made me cry. What a kind woman and what excellent bloggy friends! xo

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  42. Oh I love you. So much. XOXOX

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  43. Oh gorgeous. You have some amazing friends. I wish I could hug you right now x

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  44. You so deserve the kindness of others
    xxx

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  45. Oh Glowless! 
    Fuck those days in the arse with a big fat dildo. But you made it. You made it! 
    And yay for kind strangers. Lets hope that there are lots more out there who read this and come out from under their rocks.

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  46. Sending my love to Lauren, and to you, G.

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  47. Panic attacks suck! What wonderful angels you have around you! Hooray for Mars Bars!

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  48. the kindness of strangers! great story!! xx

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  49. Oh no you've one and made me cry too. I'm so glad you had some amazing people to support you and that it all worked out in the end :)

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  50. AMAZING! You definately had angels looking after you that day when you needed it so badly. My hat goes off to your Mars Bar angel, I certainly wouldn't be brave enough to approach a woman who for all appearances was sobbing about a chocolate bar.
    You have restored my faith in human kindness x

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  51. They are so many kinds of awesome I have lost count.

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  52. I forgot about the motorcyclist! He was freaky.

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  53. So many things went wrong, but I suppose heaps more actually went right when I think about it. All my angels just cruising through it all as if it was choreographed. Amazing.

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  54. You are a vortex of awesomeness. Love you xxx

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  55. Sorry to make you cry, Cathy! I know those days though, when you're right on an emotional edge and anything, even a post about a bloody Mars Bar can set you off!

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  56. I had honestly forgotten how bad they felt. The flight was good because I had a Mars Bar to eat... but I did cry again when I ate it thinking of it all.

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  57. Kim, this is going to sound so pathetic, but I'm so honoured you've commented. I know how much you despise Disqus, so thank you. And Lauren earned a stack of Karma points :P

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  58. I cried most of the way home too, Jennifer! I started writing this post on the plane and had to keep stopping because I didn't want to make a scene. You know, cos then it would've been two scenes in one day.

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  59. You too, Tina. Exciting times ahead xx

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  60. I detest being late, I'm always early. Annoyingly early where you have to wait around out front for 15 minutes so that you're just normal early. So being so late just went against every fibre of my being.
    Reading times wrong is one of the things I'm paranoid about, so glad you got there in time!

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  61. Don't know what I'd do without them.

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  62. It was a bit of a girl power day!

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  63. I don't know what I would have done without my angels. But it quite possibly could have involved a straight jacket.

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  64. I waited til about half way through the flight before eating it, making sure I'd calmed down completely.

    Can't wait to see you again. We will swap more quotes, sit in Maccas and it will be fabulous!

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  65. I never thought of it like that, Twitchy.

    It was great to meet you too, I love our photos together :)

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  66. I really hope she read it and all the comments, she was so lovely to do what she did.

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  67. It was like a rather grotesque play being directed around me, everyone was on cue, with their lines at the perfect times.

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  68. Oh Tracey! What an amazing story!!! Oh choc chip bikkies and Mars Bars are like soul soothers aren't they?
    I'm always surprised at the lack of empathy in hospital staff and hospital support staff - considering you tend to not be at a hospital unless something is wrong, it would be nice if people could be a little bit more caring.
    Horrah for Angels!

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  69. Thanks, Kell. It's amazing how it all just worked when it looked like (and felt like) my life was over.

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  70. Mars Bar are food for the soul indeed!

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  71. They're all hiding in plain site :)

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  72. I need to pay this forward, I should just buy a box of Mars Bar and hand them out to anyone who looks a little down.

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  73. Nawww Dani, you're so sweet. Thank you for a brilliant weekend xxx

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  74. I haven't stopped thinking of her. And in case she's reading this comment, totally not in a stalkerish way.

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  75. Thank you so much. It was hard being away from my boys for the first time, the idea of missing that plane and not seeing them for another day... I just couldn't bear it.

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  76. They're too bloody common aren't they? Thanks for commenting.

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  77. My Angels will never be forgotten, I owe them so much.

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  78. iPod Angels are Angels too, I don't discriminate, Kim x

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  79. I admit to being just a little bit past it... just a bit. I'll see you at the next conference, you can't keep me away from them!

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  80. Lauren was amazing. And right now I'm wondering if that's her real name or she got freaked out that the crying lady asked her her name...

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  81. Very true. Except maybe leprosy.

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  82. Wouldn't have done it without you, babe xxx

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  83. The roads were just insane! I'm not used to that, there's only 2 streets and a horse and cart in Perth.

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  84. Hehe "exceedingly unhelpful". You're so sweet, Lou x

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  85. Thanks Naomi. I had to tell as many people as I could about her good deed.

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  86. I've been following your travels with your FB updates :)

    I would have been freaking out in that cab. I'd make the cabbie drive straight to the pharmacy and get me some valium!

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  87. Bloggy friends rock... but you already knew that ;-) xxx

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  88. I am loved after crying over a Mars Bar. The world is good.

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  89. I'm so lucky to have those girls, I'd probably still be in Melbourne, crying at the front of the terminal right now, a whole week later, if it wasn't for them!

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  90. Missed you this weekend my Tutu x

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  91. Teehee you used a naughty word.
    I was still surprised when the plane landed that I'd actually managed to get on the flight!

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  92. Thanks, Lina. I'd love to know if she ever read it.

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  93. Kinda like snow angels but gooier.

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  94. I'll never forget how kind she was to me, was amazing.

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  95. I need to put disclaimers on my sad posts since normally I'm all about the sarcasm!

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  96. I know, right? Only weirdos cry over silly things like that in airports, you're meant to keep your head in your book to avoid eye contact at all times! And yet she didn't. Amazing.

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  97. Oh honey, I bet that Mars Bar was AMAZING!

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  98. I savored it and ate the outside chocolate off first so it was a naked Mars Bar, then ate the caramel and nougat. OMG DEVINE!

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  99. ToddandchereeplusthreeJanuary 18, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    hahaha I remember Fi telling me all about this! 

    I know the tears you speak of! I have been there done that but in not so much of a rush... and it was only because I was having a feral day and the kids were being horrid in public. 

    I sat down at a table at Gloria Jeans and just cried whilst the kids were also crying (or throwing a tantrum). It was after this I was put on meds! That day I also had angels. They were in the form of other women calming my kids down and helping me get my coffee etc. 

    Gotta love the good deeds of others!

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  100. It just makes you feel so good when someone helps (makes you cry more at the time though!!).

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