A few years ago, after my husband got back from Iraq, he and I planned a trip to Hawaii. We drove to LA and left the boys with my parents for the week. On the drive down, we stopped just outside of Las Vegas for lunch. The restaurant we ate at was in the same parking lot as some outlet malls and I wanted to get a rash guard for Medium Boy so we went in to Old Navy. We found what we needed but figured it would be a good idea to go to the bathroom before we left. So, I went first and changed diapers then my husband went while I waited in the hall with the boys.
As we were waiting, we wondered off for a minute. I figured we were back in plenty of time and sat down again to wait. We waited and waited and waited but never came out. After awhile I started feeling a little concerned. Of course I had left my cell phone in the car and my husband had the keys.
I went up to the men’s bathroom only to discover that he wasn’t in there anymore. I don’t remember how I did this, I think I must have asked someone coming out if there was anyone else in there. Anyway, he wasn’t in there and I didn’t know where he was. I went back into the hall and decided to look for him. We wandered around the hall but didn’t see him anywhere. Eventually I went out into the parking lot, figuring we would wait at the car. The car was gone.
I knew that he wouldn’t leave us there, not in a million years. There had to be some other explanation. My mind raced through all of the possibilities, one of which was that someone had killed him or hurt him and stolen the car, as well as many other highly improbable scenarios. We were in Las Vegas after all.
Here I was stranded at an outlet mall with two small children and no cell phone. It had been an hour or more since we had gotten separated and I was getting scared. I finally got smart and followed the cardinal rule of being lost. I went inside, sat down and stayed put. I figured he would find me eventually, if something horrible hadn’t happened. If he never found me I’d figure something out.
A few minutes later, I saw him walking up to the door. I went to him, relieved that we were finally together again. It turns out he was much faster in the bathroom than I thought he was and when he came out we weren’t there. So, he went looking for us. Eventually he even got in the car and drove around the outside of the building looking for us. We got mad at each other for a minute because of what the other had done then were just glad it was over. We got in the car and were on our way again.
And I realized that I watched entirely too much CSI.