Earlier this week, while in Lexington, Kentucky, I got stuck in a hotel elevator. Before I left the room I was sharing with Thing 3, something made me glance back and notice my phone laying on the bed. I had a 2 second debate with myself about whether or not to take the phone – I was only going to be gone a few minutes, after all. But since it was dark and the parking garage was my destination, I decided to take the phone. It was like someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Take it.”
The parking garage was only one floor down. However, when I pushed the button for the garage, the elevator heaved and dropped unnaturally. Hunh!?
The doors did not open, even when I pressed the open door button. It took me a bit to process what had happened. Honestly, I was struck dumb. Was I really stuck in an elevator? Seriously? Then I started pushing the alarm button which apparently only I could hear. I had thought someone would be checking in on me! Isn’t that what that button is for??? Not good. The emergency phone in the elevator also seemed to be out of commission. So after a few minutes of poking buttons and yelling into boxes, I pulled out my phone and called Thing 3 and told her to WALK down the stairs to the lobby and report that I was stuck in the elevator. Then I called the front desk of the hotel and reported it myself.
When a maintenance man came to pry the doors open about 20 minutes later, I thanked him and walked downstairs and hugged Thing 3. The manager told me she would credit my frequent guest points back to my account and add some. I asked her if I might take a bourbon back to the room? The bartender poured me a double for my trouble.
So here are my lessons, in reverse order of importance:
5) Pick a Room on a Lower Floor. Rooms on lower floors have a shorter distance to fall. This is obvious. But who really thinks about this issue until the elevator ka-chunks below? In my case, the elevator only fell a floor. My room was on the third floor and I fell to the second. No bigs. But think about this before booking a room in Shanghai, for example.
4) Don’t Freak Out Your Family Members. If you are in contact with your family during this type of situation, try to remain calm. I remembered this just as Thing 3 was starting to cry. It belatedly occurred to me that I was supposed to be modeling good behavior! I was the adult! We prayed together over the phone and voila, Open Sesame!
3) There as a Reason I Travel with Ativan. I also travel with chocolate. It just seems sensible.
2) Take Your Phone With You and Make Sure It’s Charged. When I told my mother this story, she was amazed the phone actually worked in the elevator. Yes, indeed. It was charged at 17%. Hmmm.
1) Graceless but Important: Empty Your Bladder Before Getting On! Likewise, my bladder was also at 17%. Since I had imbibed quite a lot of water at dinner my main prayer was: LORD, DON’T LET ME PEE MY PANTS! Who knows how long it takes to get someone out of an elevator? This would put the teen Thing 3 totally over the edge. I was also hoping I was not stuck between floors as my chatarunga arms are non-existent and the thought of hauling myself up was almost as gruesome a thought as peeing my pants. Almost. Thank you, sweet Guardian Angel, for rescuing me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Talk about A Kentucky Hug Angel Share!
Perhaps a puppy IS the answer, more soothing than bourbon and chocolate? The portrait above is of Cowboy, KMD’s darling dog. I may need to rethink this matter. Happy Halloween! All treats, no tricks!!!! Be safe out there!