Thursday, January 26, 2012

I just met a girl named Maria

I always say you can't judge a dress on the hanger, which is like you can't judge a book by its cover. And in this situation, I should have listened to myself because when I landed in Chicago last Friday--after a cancelled flight, being rerouted through St. Louis, and hours delayed, I finally landed hours and hours and hours late, I was exhausted and the car service that picked me up seemed a little sketchy. It was an old white sedan with a woman, the driver, standing in almost a big puddle on the street out by the snow. Honestly, I was a little reluctant to get in, but I was so tired and I just wanted to get as far from an airplane as possible.

The inside of the car was worse than the outside. It smelled like bad leftover takeout and had an oversized pink disco ball on the ceiling..... The driver turned to me and asked nicely, "Do you like my car?" and I said something along the lines of "Eh, it's OK," and long story short, she was like, "You don't like my car?" I quickly responded, "No, I like your car, I like your car. It's OK, it's OK." It was like midnight and I was so tired... But we got talking, she was asking questions, and she was just really really sweet. She's Greek and had lost all of her savings and everything in the financial downfall there, so she moved with her husband and her four-year-old son Nicholas here where she has family.

So we were just talking and she kept asking me if I liked coffee and of course I said I did, and she said she'd make me Greek coffee in the morning from her house when she would come pick me up. Also, when she found out what I did for a living although she didn't know who I was, when her husband called she said, "I have a Hollywood actor in the car!" which is obviously the wrong terminology for me... But she wound up being this, at first, stranger in the night, who was really this adorable, sweet person that I got a chance to speak with. And then when she came the next day, she was so excited to pick me up (with coffee as promised) and she told me all of her girlfriends were freaking out because she was driving 'David Tutera' around...

We ended up getting to Milwaukee two and a half hours early, thinking there would be more traffic with the weather, so we stopped for breakfast and went shopping at an outlet mall where I bought something for her son, and we had a GREAT time. After my speaking appearance, she had the car there waiting for me, and I guess she overheard me earlier ordering a Venti quad cappuccino, because in the car was one that she had went out and bought for me!

She just was the sweetest girl who was far more than just a driver for two days, she was actually like having a companion and keeping me in good company when I was with her. I tell this story because, I could have easily complained right away and got a new driver, or chose to keep my mouth shut and not spoken to her, but I'm glad I kept the wall down and let her in.


  1. Any "negative" situation, can be turned into "positive". You just have to open your eyes and your heart. It happened to both of you.

  2. Imagine what this world would be like if everyone took the opportunity to "open the book" or take that "dress off the hanger"!

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