Saturday, June 27, 2009
Sometimes you just have to believe in Divine Intervention...
... either that, or that Misty and I manage to attract the strangest experiences together.
I'm willing to say that I believe that tonight was Divine Intervention.
Let me start at the beginning of the night!
I invited Misty out for a girls night of Curry in a Hurry and a movie in SLC. I grabbed our food en route, picked her up, and we rushed (because I was running late) to the movie. We bought our tickets, where I swear to you I would never have intentionally bought front row, floor level tickets, and that there wasn't a completely empty row 2 rows above us, and rushed inside the theater.
When we got inside, having snuck our incredibly stinky curry in with us, we realized that we had bought seats in the handicapped row, and that everyone would see our contraband curry. So we moved up a few rows and sat in someone else's seats. (for those who don't know, most of the big theaters in Utah have assigned seating.) I do recall seeing the woman in a red shirt in a wheelchair right in front of us. Or right next to where we should have been sitting.
We saw "My Sister's Keeper." And all I can say is, this movie is beautifully done and very touching. It will not be for everyone. In fact, if you do go, take a box of Kleenex with you. This is the first movie I have ever seen where I actually audibly sobbed during the movie. I started crying about 10 minutes in, and didn't stop crying the entire movie. When we left the movie, my eyes were actually sore and puffy from all the wiping and tears. I wasn't alone. It was one very very sad and touching film.
So to cheer ourselves up we went for some Ben and Jerry's and girl chat around the fountains. It was fun and dandy.
Did I mention that I was wearing my beloved white cotton linen shirt, skinny (and too long for me) jeans, and 3 inch hot pink pin-up girl heels? This is a key detail later.
While we were enjoying the water fountain and girl talk the thunderheads moved closer and the wind picked up. So we headed for the car. We got to the car dry and fine, but by the time we got the car out of the garage, it was a full on downpour. Yet another massive torrential rainstorm, Utah style.
We were in no rush to get anywhere, and I hate driving in such crappy visibility. So I suggested we turn down a small street, pull over, and just wait for the storm to pass us by. These storms never last that bad for more than 10 -15 minutes. Misty agreed, so I turned.
Up till this point the story sounds fine, right? But here's how things should have gone down. I shouldn't have been running late to pick her up. We should have had time to eat outside in the sun. We should have had time to pay more attention to our tickets and bought better seats. And really, Misty doesn't live that far from the theater, so I don't know why I felt so compelled to just pull over and wait this storm out. It would have been just as easy to go to her house and wait out the storm inside.
Remember this though- Divine Intervention. Sometimes God just wants you in a certain place at a certain time. This was one of those days.
After I pulled onto a side road I realized I was nearby a little office space I am interested in. So I drove painfully slow down that street looking for it. I should have known full well that I was a block off. I shouldn't have accidentally turned down an obvious garage ramp and had to back out. And heaven only knows (truly) what compelled me to pull over in a no parking zone, right next to a perfectly good parking lot, to wait out the storm.
And I pulled over and turned off the car, just in time for a woman in a red shirt in a motorized wheelchair to cross in front of us, and have her wheelchair go completely dead, blocking my car.
Do you think it was purely by coincidence that that many little things all came in to play at that moment? And that it was an accident that the girl in the wheelchair would get caught in a bad nasty storm unexpectedly, and have her chair go dead in front of a car with 2 trained EMT's in it?
Misty- wearing a black windbreaker and running shoes- jumped out to go see if she could help. I grabbed a hoodie from the backseat and put it on first, not wanting my white linen shirt in the rain to get me arrested for indecent exposure. But it looked like Misty had it under control. The chair moved again. And then it stopped, further blocking my car. At that point I felt bad for this woman getting absolutely pelted in the hard blowing rain. I jumped out and gave her my hoodie. Misty told me the chair was dead, because the electrical components don't work well when they get wet.
There was only one thing to do. Put the girl in my car, and load the wheelchair in the hatchback, and take her home. Why not? We were both drenched already.
So, we assured her she just happened to get stuck with 2 qualified EMT's who knew how to help lift and move her. Her legs are tiny, and she had braces on her legs. She was wearing shoes, but I'm not sure that she had feet. Standing, she barely came up to my chin. We got her into the car, and began wrestling with the very heavy and expensive chair. Did you know those suckers cost $20K??
We also quickly realized that the chair weighs a good 400 lbs. And that we were never going to be able to lift it alone. Especially not with me wearing 3 inch hot pink hooker heels. I kicked off my shoes, with my pants now dragging the ground, and ran into the completely full parking lot looking for help. I saw 3 luxury cars, all with women in them, and not one would make eye contact with me. I'm sure I looked a complete fright. I was soaked to the bone, wearing a mostly see-thru white dripping shirt, and jeans that were getting wetter by the second, and I was barefoot. Not to mention, who wants to roll down their window for the crazy barefoot girl running in the pelting rain??
I ran back over to Misty and we tried in vain again. That's when the limo drove up. Because what else could make this story better than a limousine, right? Sorry, no rich or fancy people got out of the back and came to our rescue. Instead, a limo driver, waiting for his customer to come out of the restaurant by us, rolled down his window to see if he could help. With him, we were able to lift the chair into the back of my car. Misty sat in the back of the open hatchback and held on to make sure it didn't go anywhere. The limo followed, and I drove the stranger in the wheelchair home (barefoot).
She only lived 2 blocks away. Hardly an inconvenience at all! Now, getting her dead wheelchair out of the car was a trick, but we did it. The limo driver even pulled out the biggest golf umbrella I have ever seen to hold over us as we slowly pushed her wheelchair into the building. The chair was still refusing to work after getting wet. The driver left, and Misty and I went to work getting the girl back n her apartment, and trying to dry the chair out with a blowdryer. By the time we left, the chair would start, but wouldn't really move. We think some air drying will solve it. At least, we hope so!
We got to know the girl for a few minutes, while we stood there dripping on her carpets. Yes, she would have been sitting next to us had we not snuck our dinner into the theater. She told us how last night she had prayed that she could make new friends, and how this was the last way she thought it would ever happen. And she told us how when you have a disability, you just have to roll with the punches when crazy things like this happen to you. You have to learn to accept help from total strangers. You have to figure out what to do when you are stuck in a bad storm. You have to take walking lessons and physical therapy for years so you can learn to use a walker, in case your wheelchair ever breaks down on you.
Misty and I enjoyed chatting with her, but were both getting a little chilled by that point. Not to mention, my car was very illegally parked. So we excused ourselves and left. And I still feel awful that I didn't get her last name or a phone number. But I bet I could convince Misty to go back with me next week and make a surprise visit on her. Maybe we can take her to a movie, and get some ice cream?
Say what you will, and think what you might. But I believe in Divine Intervention, and that there are no coincidences.
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