Are y’all tired of my alliteration yet? Hey, I can’t help it if all the words I need to use happen to start with the same letter. I mean really…
Anyway, on to why this post is titled as such…
In a former life I worked for a pretty large furniture company as a home accessories buyer. I use the term “buyer” extremely lightly because I did not do a lot of the analysis and number crunching that a traditional buyer does. But that was the title they gave me and I took it. I did get the fun part of picking out pretties to go in the furniture stores, so really it was the perfect job. Well, except that un-named company did not have their “stuff” together in regards to the division I worked for… but that’s beside the point.
I traveled on occasion with said job, and during one very cold January I met my boss and another colleague in Atlanta for a rug shopping expedition. I flew alone from Texas and after retreiving my luggage, had to make the decision as to what sort of transport I was going to take to my hotel.
I debated this quandry in my head for quite a while, standing right in front of the sign that pointed one way to the taxis and another direction to the city metro train. I weighed my options back and forth in my head. If I took the cab it would surely cost more, but I would have to have one on one contact with the driver. This is not really my cup of tea. I mean I LOVE people that I know or will know, just not strangers that I will more than likely never see or speak to again. I know, I have issues. I even make my husband order the pizza over the phone. So, my other option was the train, which was a lot cheaper (why did I care about this – the company was paying?) and would have lots of other people on it, but I did not have to speak to them AT ALL if I did not want to. After much debate I finally decided on the train. I sort of knew where it dropped me off from the map I had and it was a fine way to get there, I told myself.
The train was actually full of life and I felt a sense of calm come over me as I looked over to one of the seats and saw a woman who reminded me a lot of my college roomate, who is a still a very dear friend. She even had the same red hair.
After some quick strolls down memory lane about my roomate, I studied the transit map intently and listened for each stop, quite ready for mine to be the next one. I just wanted to get to my hotel. Once it was my turn to get off I hopped up and exited into the desolate terminal. To my left was a woman sweeping trash into a large trashcan. She and I were the only ones down there. I found my way to the longest escalator ever and rode it up into the freezing air, smack dab in the middle of downtown Atlanta.
It was so cold (remember, it’s January) and me without my coat. I looked at the map on the sign and just picked a way to walk. I really didn’t know where I was going. I passed at least two people asking me for change. I panicked a little inside. I was lost and just a wee bit petrified. I knew my hotel had to be close and so I just kept walking and my heart started to beat out of my chest as I realized how stupid I was not to take a cab that would have dropped me right. at. the. door. I began to accept that my poor baby son could soon find himself motherless. Would my husband remarry?
I turned a corner and right in my face was a strange man. He must have seen the panic on my face. I don’t remember exactly what he asked me (s0mething to the effect of “can I help you find something” or “are you lost?”) and instead of doing any of a number of horrible things I had envisioned, he gave me the very short directions to my hotel and when I turned back to thank him he was gone. I am not kidding about that. Gone. So there it was, my angel, sent from God on a cold night in downtown Atlanta, GA. I’m telling you people, you just never know when he’ll send one. And I was never so happy to speak to a strange hotel clerk in all my life as I checked in to my room.
So here’s the moral of the story: Always be on the lookout for angels, but still, take the cab.