About three years ago, I interviewed with author Marilyn Shannon about growing up without my twin. He died before we were born and I always felt like something was missing. When the book officially launched last month, I fundraised to get to the launch event in Raleigh, NC. While writing this post, I realized that I have not mentioned anything about the fundraising, event, panel about twins or anything in between. I apologize for that. I guess in my fundraising, I forgot a few things. It was a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of. This is the first of the (three, I think) blog posts I am going to write on my trip.
The first of three vlogs were posted Wednesday. In this post, I am going to talk a bit about some of the silly little stories I did not include in the vlog.
The Train Plane and the Man From Nigeria
On the way to Raleigh, I had a layover in Atlanta, GA. Not only was this, basically, my first airplane ride, but I also grew up in a small town with small buildings. So, when the person taking me to my next flight brought me to what looked to be a subway/ train station, I was totally confused. When I asked him why we were leaving the airport, he said “We’re not. We are going to your next plane.”
“Um… then why are we getting on a train?” I asked.
It was at this point that I heard a computer voice that said “THE TRAIN PLANE IS LEAVING IN 2 MINUTES.” Needless to say, I was very confused.
I turned to the man and said “WAIT! So this train is going to take me from one place in the airport…”
“... to another place in the same airport?!”
The man said “Yes. It’s a BIG airport.” His eyes got really big. He had a heavy accent. I think he said he is from Nigeria. His accent and my total shock made for a pretty funny moment. That is when I realized: you’re not in “Kansas” anymore, Merissa.
The Shake Shack Changed My Life?
At the Atlanta airport, near my gate, there was a Shake Shack. We don’t have those where I am from, by the way. While the Nigerian man and I were going past, a woman who worked at the Shake Shack was yelling “Come get some burgers. They gonna change your life! It will never be the same. They amazin’!”
I thought it was funny how she was telling passersby how amazing their burgers are and how they will change lives. Since it was dinnertime, and I didn’t want to risk getting lost by searching for a cheaper dinner spot (plus the woman was too funny), I decided to get a burger from her. I walked up to the counter and asked the woman “are you sure this burger will change my life?”
She said “Yeah! Of course.”
I ordered my burger and then said “ I probably won’t see you again, but if I do, I will definitely tell you how this burger changed my life.”
She said “Naw! I’ll see you, again. I can tell.” She pointed at me and then at herself. “We got a connection.”
I said “ Oh we do? I think you’re right. I’ll see you and tell you all about how your amazing burgers chaged my life!”
She said “ Yeah, and it will. I know it!”
I ate my burger. A couple of hours later, right before my plane started boarding, I went back up to the Shake Shack. The barrier gate was down, because they were closing. Everyone was cleaning up. I walked up and started just talking to the woman from before. I said “GUESS WHAT! That burger… it DID change my life. Yeah, I’m a millionaire, now.”
Everyone behind the gate, except the woman was looking at me quizzically. From their perspective, I am this rando person just walking up to them while they were closed and telling them how a burger made me a millionaire. The woman responded “Yeah, see, I told ya! ‘This burger gon’ change yo’ life!” When their coworker responded to me in a casual way, they looked even more puzzled.
As I was walking away, I heard the woman explain to her coworkers what had transpired a couple of hours before. But, for about two minutes, those people must have been super confused. There are a lot of crazy people in the world, and they must’ve thought I was one of them. Granted, I am, but not the sort they probably thought.
At the same airport, I walked into a convenient store to get some water. After grabbing my water, I noticed a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups was priced at only $3.99. I was surprised at that low price. I was, after all, in an airport. But, it clearly said $3.99. I grabbed the bag and my water, and went to the counter to pay.
The man who rang me up had just been goofing off with his coworkers right before I came to the counter. He rang up my two items and said “That’ll be $16.99.” For a second I thought I misheard him. In my mind, it should have been less than $7.
I said “Wait… what?! You’re joking, right?” Remember, he had been goofing around for the entire time I was in the store.
“No, I’m serious. It’s $16.99.” He said, blankly.
“Wha- how?” I asked.
He said “ Yeah, the candy is $12.99, bro.”
I jokingly said “What ya doin’ chargin’ that much, bro?!”
He said “Well, we got bills.” Only he said it like “ Wah, we got beeyahlls.” Shocked I put the candy back. I like candy, but not enough to pay THAT much. I was sad, though. The sad thing is that I had gotten my taste buds ready for some of my favorite candy. I never did get to eat those Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 😢
That is the last of my stories for this week. I will be posting more stories next Friday. The second vlog from the trip goes up next Wednesday. It will be about the actual event. I was on a panel with other twins and told my story live. Also, the tropical storm from Hurricane Michael also hit. I got some footage of that.
I was a nanny for over ten years. Now, I make homemade toys and write full time. Occasionally, I work at my local schools and provide back- up child care for some parents I used to work for and for my church's nursery. I am multi-talented and loves to paint, draw, crochet, write and sew.