37: First in Line

37: First in Line

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

First in Line

There is no feeling more comforting and consoling than
knowing you are right next to the one you love.

~Author Unknown

We had finally chosen a destination for our quick vacation getaway. I booked reservations at the Polynesian Resort, scheduled a flight, and we were off to Disney World.

We entered the park. Our eyes did not know where to focus first. We were so excited. We strolled through Disney World holding hands, stopping at favorite rides and exhibits as we roamed.

This was everything we had heard about and more.

Mickey Mouse walked with us and Sleeping Beauty greeted us in a way that almost seemed enchanted. This was fantasy in its purest form.

Before we were about to take the movie studio tour, I told Richard that I had to use the ladies’ room and to wait for me. I left him sitting on a bench near the ladies’ room entrance.

When I came out, Richard was gone. I thought perhaps he had gone to the bathroom so I sat down on the bench to wait for him. I waited for quite a while before I got up and started pacing while calling his name, at first in my normal volume. As time went on I walked farther and was now calling out his name at the top of my lungs. People were looking at me with sympathy.

Suddenly a woman approached me, put her hand on my arm and in her most gentle and soothing voice asked me if I had lost Richard. I noticed her badge and realized she worked at the park.

“Yes,” I answered almost in tears. “I have lost Richard.” By now she had her arm around me and was gently rubbing my back.

“Don’t worry. We will find Richard. Tell me please, how old is he?”

That question threw me. “He is fifty,” I answered.

That answer threw her. “Fifty?”

“Yes, fifty and when I find him…”

“But I thought you lost your child,” she said.

“No, just my husband,” I answered.

“We will find him. Follow me.”

She took me through an employee-only door that led to a platform. Climbing to the top I scanned the crowd control maze of people in line waiting to enter the studio. There at the head of the line was my husband Richard.

Did he think he was saving a place for me? Did he expect me to say excuse me to over 600 people in order to eventually reach him in line? And how was I supposed to know he was in line when I had asked him to wait for me on the bench?

The Disney employee took me through a shortcut to my waiting husband.

“Richard, you know those leashes used for children?” I asked. “That is my next purchase.” My husband looked embarrassed but proud that he was first in line.


~Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

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