Today my mom came to visit me which was a huge treat. All the more so because she provided some great entertainment.
“Where is she?” I thought as I sat on a bench in our town’s weird combination of a mall/skyway/university campus. My mom had gone to the restroom on the third floor, in the carpeted area of the university campus. I had headed down the unmoving escalator right in front of the bathroom to sit on a padded bench.
Feeling awkward and alone in a public space, I started checking my social media accounts. After three scrolls, I realized that I had been looking at feel-good videos and pictures of people’s babies for kind of a long time. I looked up and saw the reflection of my mom’s legs in the glass casing that protects people from falling down the broken escalator. “Hmm, I’m glad she’s okay,” I thought, and peeked back at my notifications.
But a few seconds later, she still wasn’t there. That’s weird. I decided that I finally needed to act and started walking up the frozen escalator. About halfway up, I saw my mom behind glass doors with her arms out in a helpless, exasperated stance. She was stuck and she couldn’t get out.
I erupted into hyena-style laughter, bent halfway over as I succumbed to a fit of laughter. Some of you might see this as insensitive. But I knew that there was an elevator that she could access just around the corner. In fact, the elevator is what had lifted her up to the third floor and her glass door predicament in the first place.
“What happened?” I chuckled out.
“He locked the doors just a minute ago,” my mom said in with a half-embarrassed, half-amused expression as she gestured toward the gawky student who had contained her. “I couldn’t call you. You have my phone. And I didn’t want you to leave and come looking for me, so I decided to stay put.”
When she finally made it down the elevator and approached, I had another belly laughter episode in front of some people innocently eating gelato. Oops. Sometimes family means laughing at one another’s genuine misfortune without fear of creating a scene.