Sit back, grab a snack…I got a story to tell.
2 weeks ago Sway invited me to New Orleans for NBA ALL-STAR weekend and to do a live (radio) broadcast.
Inclement weather caused 1000’s of flights to be cancelled that day; And 2 hours before take off, my USAIR flight from Newark to New Orleans via North Carolina was cancelled as well.
The ticket agent told me, “NO FLIGHTS to New Orleans until TOMORROW at 8:15 AM.”
I IMMEDIATELY started talking to GOD:
*Convo w/GOD: “WHY you got me out here?” “I can’t even go.” “What’s the purpose of this?”
In the midst of trying to “listen” for an answer, the ticket agent was yapping about American Airlines possibly cross-honoring my ticket, but out of frustration…I tuned her out. And when I finally paid attention to her, all I heard was “I booked you for the flight tomorrow.”
I texted Sway, “Thanks for the trip, but I can’t make it.” And even if I could, the radio show goes on LIVE at 8 AM.
While grabbing my carry-on (to make my way home) I was stopped by “that voice” in my head that said, “TRY.”
“TRY WHAT?” I thought. I’ve already been told, “THERE ARE NO FLIGHTS TO NEW ORLEANS.”
As I walked towards the taxi stand, I convinced myself that the “TRY” may be to stand in line at AAirlines because the lady mentioned them.
Best believe satan told me that the idea was STUPID. He even had me notice that NO ONE else from USAIR was in the line: So WHY would AAirlines cross honor MY TICKET?
I stood anyway.
The AAirlines agent called me over and as I explained my situation, I heard “that voice” again. This time it said, “Read Psalms 27&28.” “And when you get to your hotel room in New Orleans…Read them Again.”
*ANOTHER Convo w/GOD: “What do you mean get to New Orleans?” “There aren’t any flights.”
While I was having THAT MOMENT, luckily the agent was clicking away on her computer: So I pulled out my phone, googled “Psalms 27&28” and read them both.
When I finished reading them, I smiled. I knew that GOD was present, however I wasn’t prepared for what the agent would say next:
In her heavy West Indian accent she said, “YOU better THANK your LUCKY STARS.” “ONE SEAT has become available in this ENTIRE AIRPORT.”
She gave me a ticket. I said, “GOD BLESS YOU” then texted Sway, “I”LL BE THERE TONIGHT!”
At least I thought so.
As it turned out, the flight to New Orleans had a connection in Chicago. But since my flight was late to Chicago…I missed the connector to New Orleans.
So at this point, it was 10pm in Chicago. The next flight to N.O. was at 8AM. AND there were NO FLIGHTS back to Newark UNTIL SUNDAY: So I was STUCK at O’Hare Airport in Chicago!
As for choices? I had 2.
*A discounted hotel room for $80.00
*I could sleep on a cot at the gate.
I chose the cot.
Because I no longer had my carry-on.
Due to limited space in the overhead bins, AAirlines took my bag at the gate in Newark&checked it through to New Orleans!
A skinny azz cot!
I’m going to miss the live broadcast.
*ANOTHER Convo w/GOD: “WHERE ARE YOU?” “Because THIS makes no sense.”
At 1AM Sway calls from New Orleans: “HB! WHERE YOU AT?”
I explained what happened.
“We ain’t doing the broadcast!” “Due to the weather, the producer couldn’t make it.” He continued, “BUT…HB” “I’m hosting the MICHAEL JORDAN dinner&party tomorrow night.” “I WANT YOU TO COME!”
I THINK I thanked Sway. LOL! I was so busy THANKING GOD because I finally figured out WHY HE had me go through ALL the drama: It was for The MICHAEL JORDAN dinner!
Suddenly the cot didn’t seem so bad. I closed my eyes and began to pray:
*Convo w/GOD: “Sorry for losing faith.” “Wow! Michaeal Jordan’s Party…THANK YOU!” “You think you can let me meet him too?” LOL!
At 4AM I was up and READY for my 8AM flight. ALL I could think about was WHAT I was going to wear as I boarded that plane&where was I gonna get my eyebrows done! Seat belt strapped. Cell phone off. And THEN I heard THIS:
“ATTENTION PASSENGERS. THIS FLIGHT TO NEW ORLEANS HAS BEEN CANCELLED.” “CAN EVERYONE DE-BOARD THE PLANE AND SPEAK TO THE AGENT OUTSIDE TO GET INFORMATION ON THE NEXT AVAILABLE FLIGHT.”
Are you F&%@#% joking?
We were NEVER given a reason as to WHY the flight was cancelled, however the next flight was at 10AM. We took off on time and I arrived in New Orleans at 12:30PM: Ready to shower. Ready to get my eyebrows done. And ready for M.J. So I made my happy way down to baggage claim and waited for my bag that….NEVER CAME.
Because my bag NEVER left Chicago.
I would LOVE to tell you that I began chanting spiritual hymns&the conveyor belt started moving, and then my bag came; But THE TRUTH is…I just started crying. LOL!
I was so EXHAUSTED&FRUSTRATED that I couldn’t take it anymore: And quite frankly, I just didn’t understand WHAT GOD was doing. It was now 12:30PM on Friday. I’ve been in airports since 3:30PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON: AND NOW my bag is missing! AND……………..
Inside that bag?
A gift that was given to me:
$1500.00 GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI boots.
Yelling at the “lost-baggage” lady got me NOTHING but a mini-size toiletry bag; She did tell me though that the airline would reimburse me for any items that I needed to purchase prior to my bag arriving.
ESTIMATED bag ARRIVAL TIME? 8PM.
MICHAEL JORDAN DINNER? 7:30PM.
Airline RE-IMBURSEMENT MAXIMUM? $250.00
$250.00??????????? WHAT ABOUT MY f@!*&^# BOOTS?
And not only THAT: I had no under garments. No clothes. My eyebrows looked like underarm hair: AND…..I was now going on 24 hours in the SAME OUTFIT which included knee-high Timberlands in New Orleans: Where the temperature was 60 degrees!
*ANOTHER Convo w/GOD: “This ain’t happening right now.” “YOU HAVE TO HELP ME: Because I’m too tired to even think.”
I hopped in a cab to the hotel, checked in and remembered that “the voice” told me to repeat Psalms 27&28 once I got to my room: So I did.
Then…I went back downstairs&asked the woman at the front desk, “WHERE can I buy an outfit for an UPSCALE event?” She directed me to Saks Fifth Avenue Mall.
I found shoes that I wasn’t crazy about (but it was the ONLY size 10)&some pants that I LOVED. I asked the girl to hold them because the pants&shoes totaled $200.00 and I STILL didn’t have underwear or a top. Another woman guided me to H&M (which was outside the mall) and it was THERE where I found more clothing options, but NO SHOES.
I then headed over to CVS for Fast Flats.
FYI> FAST FLATS are $9.99 slippers that come in handy when your feet start to hurt. My thinking was, “Since I have to buy new shoes, my feet are bound to hurt.”
Walking into CVS though, I set off the alarm; but I paid it no mind because I hadn’t purchased anything from there yet. Also while in CVS, AAirlines called to say they found my bag, BUT they couldn’t get it to me until after 8:30PM.
THANK-THE-LORD! I really didn’t care about the time anymore, I just wanted MY BOOTS. LOL! But then reality set in: I STILL didn’t have ANY shoes to wear to the dinner. And I was going to be way over $250.OO once I got those shoes that were being held for me.
It crossed my mind once, but there was NO WAY:
Could I really wear $9.99 Fast Flats to M.J.’s dinner?
*Convo w/self: “Nah…H.B. Don’t be ghetto.” “THIS. IS THE BIG LEAGUE.”
Time was TICKING away.
I brought the fast flats; the alarm went off again as I was leaving: BUT, the woman told me to just “go ahead” since I was in a rush. (As it turned out, I WISH I would’ve STOPPED to check my bags.)
I went back to SAKS to buy the shoes, (no alarm went off) but when I took another look at them and I HATED them. I didn’t know what to do: And since GOD was probably busy saving ALL-STAR groupies, I called the next best KNOW-IT-ALL: MY MOTHER! LOL!!!
I told her everything. Asked her WHAT should I do and just like a mom, she fired off these simple words:
“Leave those shoes RIGHT THERE!”
But Ma, WHAT about my feet?
“You better put those FLATS on!!!” “At least your feet won’t be hurting!”
*Convo w/self: MOTHER KNOWS BEST.
I took my mom’s advice: However, I did purchase the pants that I LOVED.
So I left Saks, (without the alarm going off) feeling like NOTHING else could possibly go wrong.
When I got back to my room and emptied my H&M bags, inside; were clothes that I THOUGHT I paid for, but DIDN’T!
How’d I know?
They weren’t listed on my receipt: AND
They still had the ALARMS ON THEM!!!
*Convo w/self&GOD: “I CAN’T RIGHT NOW.” “This HAS TO BE some kind of JOKE.” “And HOW COME I didn’t set off the alarm?” “Wait, I did!”
And so….My final outfit?
*Pants from Saks.
*Top, Blazer, Jewelry&Underwear from H&M.
*AND shoes from CVS! (Where I tripped the alarm.)
As for The MICHAEL JORDAN DINNER&PARTY? It was INCREDIBLE!
I met KEVIN DURANT. CHRIS PAUL&his wife. CARMELO ANTHONY. The rapper FABULOUS. And DRAKE gave me a kiss!
I said hi to BORIS KODJOE. Talked with LUDACRIS. LALA. Comedian ALEX SMITH. And Michael Jordan’s son Jeffrey.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get ANY better…MICHAEL JORDAN “HIMSELF” came over, sat down, and offered some words of wisdom.
Sway introduced me as his co-host: Michael THANKED us for coming and then…IMMEDIATELY commented on how much he LIKES the radio show! I almost FAINTED!
He went into depth about how impressed he was with the way the interviews were conducted. He gave us advice on how to be professional while on “the job” and even reminded us that “there is a time and place for everything.”
He had funny comments about the Kanye interview. We laughed ALOT and I even gave him a fist bump! HA.
I figured a dude like Michael Jordan must get HUNDREDS of request each day, so I didn’t bother him for a picture; But I did ask him to take one with Sway. TRUTH BE TOLD, Sway is kinda shy…And would NEVER ask.
How did my night end?
I DANCED the night away! How could I not? A dream came true and my feet felt FANTASTIC!
As for my bag?
The front desk said it was delivered at 11 PM that evening!
AND…As for the H&M fiasco?
When I got back home, I returned what I didn’t pay for. And as I was leaving out the store, the manager called me back over and said this:
“Ms. I appreciate your HONESTY. And for being honest, I would like to GIVE YOU a STORE CREDIT in the amount of EVERYTHING that you returned BACK TO US.”
WOW! Really? THANK YOU!
*Convo w/GOD: “THANK YOU for THIS.” “I wasn’t looking for ANYTHING.”
I wanted to share this story, to remind you of THIS:
No matter WHAT road you take in life…There will be CHALLENGES&FRUSTRATIONS along the way:
Stay FAITHFUL! Even through your “uncertainties.”
TRUST that “CALMING VOICE” inside of YOU because GOD WILL NEVER FAIL YOU! And although you may have to “TRY.” “Stand Anyway.” “Sleep on a cot.” “Miss a Flight. “Cry.” And “Call your mama” to see HIS PROMISES through, the feeling that you get when you RECEIVE from HIM is indescribable.
I LOVE YOU ALL…And THANK YOU for “Toasting” with me at THE HAPPY HOUR!
Here are some photos:
THESE are my Guiseppe Zanotti boots that I wanted to wear:
INSTEAD I wore: FAST FLATS!
Me about the enter MJ’s PARTY!