Have you ever had something so embarrassing happen that even the thought of telling someone makes you cringe and look for the nearest exit? I have. Actually, it’s kind of a regular occurrence for this blonde right hurrr.
I remember one time I gave reason for every blonde joke from now until eternity.
Dad and I were on a ministry trip to the United States of #Murica. We arrived at Dallas airport and…
Before I go on… I’d like to make an official complaint. Surely there’s another time #Murica can make me go through customs? Perhaps a time when I haven’t just been sitting on a place for 15 hours, a time when I don’t look like I haven’t showered since the Middle Ages? I’m not being critical, in case you revoke my VISA, just offering some constructive criticism. (Thanks, I feel better now)
…As dad approached the customs desk I half watched, half looked for a Starbucks and half went through the security checklist in my head (wait a second…)
My checklist went something like:
- Explosives in my bag? No.
- Drugs? Oh, you mean apart from my massive stash of… KIDDING! (calm down)
- Free Wi-Fi? Yes!
I looked up from my phone. Dad was not where I had left him. After darting my eyes back-and-forth as if watching an Olympic ping-pong match, I found him. He was being led away by two burly security guards into a small room (aka the room no one comes out of alive) with no windows, a security guard protecting it, and a massive DO NOT ENTER sign on the door. My happy thoughts were not so happy.
Just as I was about to extend my arm and scream “noooooo” ever so dramatically, I was interrupted by the custom officers husky voice,
I felt like I was walking to the principles office, feeling guilty but not sure why. I was devising a plan so as avoid getting stuck on afternoon detention… Or I guess juvenile detention in this case. I decided to work the playful, blonde, Australian card.
“G’day! How are you?” I chirped. Don’t judge me. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
My big smile was met with no eye contact, no smile, no sign of life.
“PASSPORT,” he demanded.
I could see my American Dream shattering before my eyes. I tried four times to make conversation. Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.
He commanded I place my right thumb on the finger scanner, using as few words as possible to get his order across. My shaky, sweaty hands followed his orders.
“LEFT THUMB,” he continued.
“Yes sir.” Yes sir? Seriously? Shut up Elyse. Just follow instructions.
Right elbow? Was this a new procedure they had introduced? No time for questions. I began to raise my elbow. As I lifted it to the scanner, a crooked smile broke out onto the officer’s face. His eyes met mine for the first time.
“I’m just messin’ with ya. I just wanted to see if that blonde hair was real... and it is!”
A deep, husky laugh erupted from within the officer and left me feeling relieved and embarrassed in the same breath. Mr. Angry was actually Mr. Sarcastic, a trait I very much appreciated, and even more so once he stamped my passport.
(Stop laughing at me. I was fighting for my right to be allowed entry into America instead of being thrown in jail… Or executed! I would’ve barked like a dog if he asked me to!)
As I made my way through customs dad met me, apparently they needed to check a couple of details on his passport. I met him with the story of the year.
Surely there’s no lesson to be learned from this? Probably not, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. So often I persuade myself of the worst-case scenario before anything has even happened. I convince myself I’m going to be thrown out of a country, that my friends all hate me or that I’ll fail before I’ve begun.
Maybe you’re in the middle of something and you’ve already decided that the outcome will be negative. Can I give you some advice, one elbow to another? Take a step back, lower your elbow, and maybe you’ll discover that most of what you’re scared of is just speculation.
Today, pour some more water in that glass of yours and see it half full. Change your perspective. Then drink the water. It’s good for you.