11/11/08

Near death experience...

Well, okay...so it wasn't actually a near death experience...although my life did flash before my eyes and for a moment I wondered how I could use my baby stroller as a weapon and NOT harm Chase in the process of inflicting harm on "THE MAN". I supppose I should start at the beginning...

It began like any other morning...just kidding. When we got up, I went out on the balcony to check the temperature, because sitting around waiting for the "local on the 8" was going to take 7 minutes too long. It was COOOOLD peeps. I mean, shake in your boots, wear your long johns cold. So I decided it was time to hit the internet to look for an indoor list of museums, children's playgrounds and amusement parks. For some strange reason most all of the places I found were closed on Mondays, so I had to settle for *hoping* the one I picked was good.

We were out of the house at 9, and on the metro on our way when I started to notice that the travelers were looking more and more of a homeless nature. The people in suits and uniforms were disappearing the closer we got to the Capitol...but once we were past Capitol South station, I knew I was headed up the wrong creek without a paddle. I got off the metro and got the boys up to the escalator, thinking that getting up and out of there would be the smartest thing to do...ummmm WRONG. We were on the escalator...going up...there was no U-Turn in sight, when I saw "THE MAN". "THE MAN" had glasses so I couldn't see his eyes, but he wore several layers of clothes and was shouting, angrily, at all of the people coming UP THE ESCALATOR. This is the moment where I began to panic. THE MAN was shouting horrible language at us, screaming for people to stop following him, screaming for help, and lots of other "stuff". He's leaning over the top of the escalator, and I could do nothing to slow it down and my babies and I were headed right toward him. I told Eli to stay close to me and not let go of the stroller when we got off of the escalator. So we get off of the esc. and rush past the man as fast as we can, and luckily he apparently he was screaming at whatever/whoever was behind me/us, and he paid us no attention as we moved on.

So here we are...I'm thankful to have made it past THE MAN, and I pull out my GPS to tell me what direction we need to start walking to find the playgroup place. It isn't until I look up (as I'm waiting for my directions to load) that I see I have brought my children into homeless man's land. I have never seen such a place. I promise you there were just homeless people milling around like it was THE place to be. I. WAS. SCARED. Seriously.

Did I head right back to the train the way I should have? Nope, not me! Not stubborn, this will be worth it and I'm determined to give the boys a fun place to play attitude. Nope. Okay, so people are eyeing us...We are so out of place that we are noticed, and that scared the crap out of me. I'm thinking, why did I wear my cute shoes? I'm going to get mugged...Then I think back to my friend telling me she was ROBBED AT GUNPOINT last week, and I'm sure I was going to get stripped of all my belongings, and my children are going to be scarred for life. So I went as fast as I could to find the address. I was looking hard for the entrance, but kept passing the little flag on the screen of my GPS, so I must have walked up and down this block 3 times looking for the address. Eli is telling me he thinks we don't need to go play anymore, and I'm still stuck on the, "no, we are going and you are going to have a fantastic time!!" idea. Well, we finally found the door. Thats all it was...a door, with a flight of stairs that were impossibly steep, and it brought back images of a Cold Case show where some body was found in a place like this... But we keep going...we're going to have fun. Luckily for us, there was an elevator. The old kind where you slide the big metal cage shut before you can move up. And when we got to the top...and the doors opened...and we pryed ourselves out of that little cage. We were standing in what I am fairly certain was Illegal Central. We were the only English speaking people in there, and literally the room got SILENT. SILENT. So now I'm faced with a decision. Do I march on as planned and let my kids have a wonderful multi-cultural experience, or do I look like a snob and get back on the elevator with everyone watching? Well, we stayed. And the boys played. And it was for sure multicultural. *sigh* I have never in all my life been so out of my comfort zone.

But we made it out alive. The kids had so much fun playing, and luckily THE MAN was on the opposite corner from us as we headed back to the metro. He was still screaming and kicking at things, so at least we weren't within his range of contact. What an experience. All I can say is that I'm thankful for my life...for my family...and for now knowing that you NEVER, EVER get off at any metro stop east of the Capitol...

4 comments:

Cairo Typ0 said...

I'm glad the kids had fun! :) When you said, "why did i wear my cute shoes" i thought of that SATC episode where Carrie was mugged and the guy wanted her Manolo Blaniks. LOL

Melinda said...

Oh, Stacey! I am so glad you guys are okay and that you were able to "make" the kiddos have a good time.

Shawna Byrd said...

That is so scary. What a brave mommy you are! I thought it was funny that you saw it as a "multicultural experience"!

Stacey said...

Haha! Thanks guys!! It's all in the frame of mind right??!! lol