Shannon Stacey

Auto-revolving Doors of DOOM

Noise is starting to be made about the RWA National Conference in July. The one in Anaheim. California. (Boston, people! What’s the matter with Boston?) And, thanks to my husband and I having what we thought was a private conversation that wasn’t, the Short Kid is busy planning a week in Anaheim with his dad. The problem with California is that I can’t drive there.

Back on the 4th, my family set off for Manchester airport to pick up Taz. Easy, right? Walk in, pick up the dog, walk out. No security checkpoints or escalators or sitting next to screaming babies. It started getting rocky about the third time around the rotary, trying to figure out how to get in to the airport, which involved my husband and I trying to out-yell each other while the Short Kid said, “There’s an airplane above us, so we must be close.”

So we found the airport and the short-term parking and a parking spot. We all took deep breaths and my husband and I hit the reset button on the marital-strife-ometer. All good.

And then…the doors. The Automatic Revolving Doors of Doom. If escalators were doors, they’d be these doors. They just keep going around and around like a lazy susan and you have to step in and keep up.

There’s a flash header on the website showing the thing in motion, although I’m probably the only person in this century who hadn’t seen them yet. And I panicked. My husband, foolishly assuming I could handle navigating a door, stepped right in and the teen went in after him. I grabbed the Short Kid in a headlock and, with my life flashing before my eyes, stepped into the merry-go-round entrance to Hell.

Short Kid: “Mom, I can’t breathe.”

Me: “So what? The door is MOVING!”

Anyway, we lived. So my guys find a bench and seem to content to sit and wait until the puppy’s plane arrived. I sat on the bench, too. But on the inside, as the blood pressure-headache escalates…

What if this is the wrong gate? What if they took the puppy to another place and we’re not there so they send the puppy to…ohmigod, what will they do with my puppy if I don’t pick it up? What if they forget to take him off the plane? What if he gnawed his way out of the crate and he’s running loose on the plane? What if he gets near the landing gear? Where is my puppy? Why is my husband rolling his eyes at me? Why did I marry him, anyway? What if they didn’t give my puppy any water and he’s in a crate somewhere, dehydrating and crying, and I’m at the wrong gate and he’s lost and why doesn’t my husband DO SOMETHING?

Then they brought the puppy crate out and he was all healthy and happy and not lost. But then we had to leave. Which meant going through the Portals of Hell again. This time the Short Kid stuck close to his dad because he’s no fool and learns quickly how to avoid oxygen deprivation. But the teen was lagging behind, so I panicked. Again.

Teen: “You know, they just keep going around. I’ll be okay.”

I grabbed a fistful of his leather jacket and hauled him in with me because no matter how tall he gets, I’m his mother and maternal superpowers include the dragging-around of teenagers when mom is certain he’s going to be crushed to death by an oversized, glass lazy susan.

So that was our adventure in the airport. A medium-sized airport. And we didn’t even have to go through all the nightmares involved with actually getting on a plane. Flying out of Logan into LAX? Maybe if I was unconscious. (Is it legal to drug me, put me in a cargo box and send me with the live cargo?)

21 comments to “Auto-revolving Doors of DOOM”

  1. Jean
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:36 am · Link

    Except you’d wake up early, panic, gnaw your way out of the box, and get tangled in the landing gear. Not a pretty sight. Best to find some really good anxiety medication, take it as you’re leaving for the airport, and put yourself to sleep as soon as you get on the plane — eye coverings and a some soothing music on the iPod should do the trick. And handcuffs and a gag. Yeah. I think that will work.

  2. Jaci Burton
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:36 am · Link

    Dude. You will definitely need to be heavily medicated.

    But I still expect to see you in Anaheim.

  3. Tari Jewett
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:37 am · Link

    My husband works at LAX, he loves planes, driving on the runways, the ocean views from some of the buildings. I, however, avoid the airport, the traffic terrifies, me, I hate the long tunnel that drives under the runways….never mind, I’ll stop before I scare you even more!!! I’ll just say that once you get here, the food is great, the weather is beautiful, and the natives are friendly!! Really we are….hope to see you at the convention next year!

  4. Lee Laughlin
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:51 am · Link

    Giggle. I’m sorry. Jaci’s right. You can do this, but you’ll need help. I’d LOVE to go to RWA, but Anaheim is a bit far especially since this will be my first conference.

  5. Jen
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:51 am · Link

    I don’t know about Logan, but flying into LAX actually wasn’t to terrible for me. I actually had to change terminals so there was no rental car to find or traffic to navigate. But since your kids and hubs are coming along (from the sound of it), I would put him in charge of all that stuff and hadncuff yourself to a kid and let the kid pull you through as he follows hubs :)

  6. Shannon
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:52 am · Link

    Except you’d wake up early, panic, gnaw your way out of the box, and get tangled in the landing gear


    I hate the long tunnel that drives under the runways

    In Boston, the tunnels run under the water. And they leak! Since my mild claustrophobia and fear of automatic revolving doors pale next to my fear of water…so much fun.

    I’m not out of the game yet, but I’m wondering what the wine balance is—enough to make me happy but not enough to get me barred from the plane.

  7. Lori
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:54 am · Link

    LOL!! If it helps any, the doors to get out of LAX are not revolving. LA does not believe in revolving doors – I’ve never seen them anywhere here.

    The airport doors are the simple sliding doors.

    Deep breaths in and out. And I also expect to see you in Anaheim, dammit. It’s probably my only chance to see you in person.

  8. Leah Braemel
      · November 14th, 2011 at 12:17 pm · Link

    They have those Doors of Doom at the hospital where my mother has to go since her stroke. They’re nasty to people with canes or using walkers who travel at a slower speed. Talk about ramping up the stress when I take her there.

    Anaheim is out for me next year. Heck, even thoughts of getting to Chicago causes stress. Although from what I remember of Anaheim when we were there last, the airport wasn’t too bad — no tunnels that I can remember. But it was the 80s and I imagine things have changed ;)

  9. Mo
      · November 14th, 2011 at 12:57 pm · Link

    Two things.

    One you can fly out of Manchester to LAX and it is easier than Logan even if Logan is better than it was 15 years ago.

    Two if you look off to the right of those annoying Auto-revolving Doors of DOOM at Manchester you will see an plain old fashioned ordinary door you get to pull open. I always use those as I too hate the auto revolving doors.

    Good luck planning your trip!!!

  10. Shannon
      · November 14th, 2011 at 2:12 pm · Link

    I’d definitely rather fly out of Manchester than Logan. Not only is it only an hour away, but I’ve already figured out how to get inside the building! :)

    Two if you look off to the right of those annoying Auto-revolving Doors of DOOM at Manchester you will see an plain old fashioned ordinary door you get to pull open.

    Well, that’s embarrassing. Such was the depth of my panic that I didn’t even notice. :lol:

  11. library addict
      · November 14th, 2011 at 4:45 pm · Link

    I love revolving doors. I guess because they remind me of the grand hotels in old b&w movies.

    The one at the hospital here goes really slow and totally stops if it senses someone isn’t moving. When my aunt was in the hospital in May, I can’t tell you the number of times I ran into the glass as I was walking too fast – LOL. Nothing bad happened, it was just embarrassing.

    The last time I flew to LA, we landed at the Burbank airport. Much smaller and easier to navigate than the sprawling mass that is LAX.

  12. Shannon
      · November 14th, 2011 at 4:56 pm · Link

    I walk into glass doors. If the sliding doors at Walmart hiccup or if I’m not paying attention and assume a door is automatic…WHAM. Hate that.

    I’ve seen a couple of recs for smaller-than-LAX airports, but I’m not sure non-stops out of Boston fly to those. I’ll definitely check them out, though.

  13. Jean
      · November 14th, 2011 at 5:10 pm · Link

    One word: Amtrak. Not so good if you have time limitations, though.

  14. Shannon
      · November 14th, 2011 at 5:18 pm · Link

    Heh. 73.5 hours out and 73.25 hours back. I checked. :)

  15. Lisa J
      · November 14th, 2011 at 5:20 pm · Link

    Fly into John Wayne (Orange County). It’s a great small airport and no problem getting in or out of Anaheim. I used to fly to Anaheim once a year for a trade show and that’s the one we always used. It’s easy (which is saying something for me, since I don’t travel very often).

  16. Tracy S
      · November 14th, 2011 at 7:55 pm · Link

    library addict–our hospital has the same doors. they stop if anyone walking in the door stops. I walk fast, so that tripped me up a few times–when the door just stopped! lol

  17. Kiersten
      · November 14th, 2011 at 10:49 pm · Link

    We have the Doors of Doom at our hospital. Whenever I mistakenly try them THEY STOP. And I swear. Heartily. Go for the regular door that right next to them.

    You can absolutely be drugged. We drug my mother for every trip she’s ever taken. Only way to be sure to get her on the plane.

    Look at Anaheim as an opportunity to conquer your fear – or better yet to float in the bliss of (legal) chemical enhancements.

  18. azteclady
      · November 14th, 2011 at 11:57 pm · Link

    Is it really poor manners that I’m laughing my head off?

    If it is (which it probably is) would the fact that I don’t think I’ll ever see the inside of another RWA balance it out?

  19. Lynda the Guppy
      · November 15th, 2011 at 12:53 am · Link

    LOLOLOL I hated those doors when I first moved to Chicago, too. I always have a split second of OMG!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO IF I FALL!!!! I’ll be crushed to death!!!! AND TRAPPED!!!!

    Yeah, notice the part where I’m dead THEN trapped? And they’re totally a Place Where It Freezes door. Not a Lots of Palm Trees and Surfing Year Round door.

    If at all possible, fly into John Wayne Airport rather than LAX. It’s MUCH closer to the hotel for RWA. If you can’t, and you must go through LAX, then let me know and I’ll get you from Point A to Point B, even if you want me to come get you guys. But, really, if you can get through Boston, LA will be a snap. We’re not homicidal. LOL

  20. Erin
      · November 15th, 2011 at 12:45 pm · Link

    I echo the John Wayne advice. So much easier in and out than LAX! Less stressful all around.

  21. Jewell
      · November 17th, 2011 at 5:01 pm · Link

    Oy, I’m with you Shannon. The whole flying experience freaks me right out. But so do long car trips to places I’ve never driven before.

    One year I went to RT (plane) with a minor toothache and between the two hour car trip to the airport (blizzard) and the flying fear, I ended up in agony for the whole trip because I’d been grinding my teeth so much. Seems the tooth was so weak I’d managed to dislodge it from my jaw with all that grinding. Woof.

    What you can try as a calmer is Dramamine. I get motion sick so I always have it with me on long trips. Don’t get the non-drowsy kind. Even if your trip is first thing in the morning, take the recommended dosage and you should be calm and sleeping most of the plane trip.

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