The highlight of my 2018 Mardi Gras weekend was not the parades, not the costumes, not the beads. Rather, it was getting stuck in the elevator at Palace Café after the annual “Friday before Mardi Gras” luncheon I am fortunate enough to be invited to.
We (our host, my BFF Angie, and a dozen others) had an amazing time in the Wine Room, eating, drinking, laughing, chatting. We were only on the third floor, but somehow taking the elevator seemed to be the right way to leave. So, a number of us did just that – with our lovely waiter. (The rest of us, the smart ones, walked down the two flights of stairs). The elevator begins to descend, and then suddenly stops.
At first, we all giggle. Then we try to pry the doors open (amid much debate as to if this was a good idea or not). Then a few of us just sit down and more or less calmly drink our drinks (feeling very grateful for open container laws). Finally, about 26 minutes later (which seemed like a few hours), we are rescued by firemen who look every bit like what I always thought firemen looked like.
We collectively decide to name our group The Krewe of Otis.
In all seriousness, these 26 minutes helped me remember a few key truths.
- In praise of patience. I am not patient. But getting frustrated and angry about a situation completely out of my control would not have made the firemen come to the rescue any faster.
- Kindness always. We each took turns calming each other down, calmly and gently, when one was about to lose it (I am not the only one quite uncomfortable in small spaces apparently).
- Trust the process. Someone will realize the elevator is stuck. Someone will try to help. If that fails, someone will call the proper authorities. They will then come fix this. Everything will be just fine.
- Laughter is the best medicine. At some point after realization and worry, we just started laughing again. After all, nothing diffuses tension and stress like a good giggle.
- Good friends make everything better. How glad am I that I got stuck there with good friends…
Happy Ash Wednesday!