Traffic and Surprises

“Holy Traffic, Batman!”

That was the start of a particularly distressing series of texts last night. I was meeting friends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Friday the 13th event.

I thought I was meeting four friends, not three million of my closest friends!

Photo credit Disney
Photo credit Disney

I left work, drove toward Disney, sat in traffic for 45 minutes, finally passed through the single parking attendant station, was told the parking lot was full and was directed to EPCOT. I was unable to move across four lanes of traffic and missed the turn for EPCOT and found myself at Downtown Disney. I parked and figured I could always catch a bus to the park. Only buses don’t go to parks from Downtown Disney, only to resorts. At this point, it has been two hours since I left work and I felt barely closer to my goal. I wandered around Downtown Disney for a while and stopped in to get dinner (with an accompanying 20 minutes of lines).

All throughout this time there were text messages flying through space with ideas of how to beat the crowds, park where we could walk, and find each other in the crowds. My blood pressure rose a few points each text and each minute that passed. My goal was blocked. My patience thin. I was alone and tired. I stood with my chips and salsa in hand and pulled out my phone to write back, “Not worth it. I give up. Headed home.”

And I heard my name. 

One of the nurses, Megan, who works in the Pediatric Hospital where I work recognized me and called out. She too was alone, headed to Hollywood Studios AND she knew Disney geography way better than me. She invited me to wait for the bus with her. We teamed up without looking back!

From that point on my night was totally different. I had a partner in goal and a buffer in frustration. And even though the bus ride, drop off, subsequent walk, and entrance into the Studios took another 90 minutes, my attitude was totally different! Even though the ratio of time in the park to time spent getting to park was shockingly low, I was okay. Someone saw my distress and stepped in. I had a friend.

Megan and I spent the rest of the evening together watching shows and enjoying elusive fireworks. She didn’t call my name knowing how frustrated I was or out of a great desire to save me from going home. She was just being nice. She noticed. Sometimes it is  the smallest of gestures that truly turns a persons day around. My night was redeemed because Megan called my name. What started out as “Holy Traffic, Batman!” ended as “Thanks, friend! So fun!”

How could you share a little kindness and redeem someone’s day?

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