Well folks, I’m on the move again so you know what that means; travel travails.
I have a strict policy against going barefoot in public places, especially airport security. It’s simply not sanitary. Should I be traveling and happen to be wearing a shoe that doesn’t require a sock, I always keep a pair handy to slip on as I go through security. After today, I now realize a simple cotton sock is no measure against the foot filth at the X-ray machine. Expect to see me on Shark Tank soon with a haz-mat travel sock.
The man in front of me (MIFOM) at security today was too well dressed and too old to be a travel rookie and yet he was a total disaster as we prepared our personal items for the conveyer belt.
First, a few common sense etiquette rules.
You simply do not fill the bins while they are still stacked. Take your required number of bins, place them on the table and begin to fill and slide as the line progresses. Fill and slide. Got it?
Next, the human TSA recording telling you to place any electronic items larger than a phone in a separate bin is actually speaking to you.
MIFOM had already filled the two bins on the top of the two stacks and was finally moving forward but I could see he was having a hard time processing this information. He looked back and forth between his two bins already piled high with items and glanced at the piles of empty bins. No way, buddy. This is a one way street.
My mother’s instinct kicked in. I grabbed an empty bin from behind me and not so gently tossed it next to him. He did not take the suggestion and went back and grabbed another bin. The TSA agent and I shared a moment, simultaneously rolling our eyes as I restacked the extra bin.
MIFOM entered the X-ray machine, assumed the position and exited… leaving his sweaty footprints. I entered the cancer chamber and had no choice but to place my delicate, clean-socked feet in the moist murder outline. My feet will receive a Silkwood-esque shower upon check-in.
I waited and watched the screen for my “OK” so I could be discharged by security. Instead, a yellow rectangle popped up on the occipital lob of the display person.
A few words about my travel hairstyle today; it is stick straight. For starters, my hair requires planning. Like days in advance. Seriously.
We’re skiing tomorrow. That means if I leave it curly, it will whip around in the wind, rub up against the collar of my jacket and knot itself into a ball so tight that I may need to borrow Britney’s clippers to extricate it.
Also, I believe you should travel just a little bit dressed up. It’s a vestigial trait I inherited from my grandparents. So in an effort to look a little more presentable, I am not sporting my natural ‘fro. That means unless I have a removable plate in my head, absolutely nothing could be occupying the alarming yellow rectangle.
The female TSA asked if she could pat my head. In my mind I was screaming “nooooooo” in that deep, slow motiony voice as her blue gloved hand descended on my pristine hair.
PTSD is real. Anyone who knows me well knows that you do not touch my hair. Not even the people I love the most are allowed to.
Family folklore has it that not only did I speak in complete sentences at a relatively young age, but that my first complete sentence was “Don’t touch my hair”.
Let me explain; people have no fucking boundaries. And apparently upon seeing a tiny creature in a stroller with hair somewhere between pink and orange, they were compelled to comment and pet.
I did not like this and expressed my discontent. Can you even imagine me uttering a sharp and biting comment to repel people? Whatever. I am who I’ve always been. You know what you’re getting and I think you like it.
So I would have rather consented to a full body cavity search than submit to the TSA examination. It’s been almost three hours since the assault and my head is still burning from her touch.
I was clearly confused after security and stood a full minute at the gate listings next to a man that turned out not to be my husband. I was dangerously close to uttering something about how long it was taking him to find our flight.
We’ve landed safely and my bourbon has an ETA of less than hour.
I’m sure I’ll be checking in from the slopes.