It Dawned on Me
The Joys of Air Travel
Whoever said, “Getting there is half the fun” apparently didn’t fly to their destination. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not opposed to flying nor am I afraid of it (much).
However, I recently flew for the first time in nine years and I was startled by how air travel has changed.
The strict regulations about only taking three ounces of liquids in your carry-on were very stressful, because I like to wash my hair, condition my hair, spray my hair, spritz some perfume, brush my teeth and perhaps use mouthwash—all in the same week. Some might say I have vanity issues, but really it’s about being considerate about those around me. I do what I can.
I admit that since my husband and I were determined not to check any baggage, I did cheat and sneak some moisturizer and an extra tube of lip balm onto the plane. But I did feel guilty about this, so I left all of my new magazines once I was done reading them for the next passenger.
As if limiting my health and beauty aids were not anxiety-producing enough (I also failed to mention that 3 ounces of saline solution is not near enough for a week of contact lens care and I found that washing them out with Sprite was more painful than I imagined), we had to go through airport security.
Good old homeland security! I know now why we have been safe from the terrorists all these years. There is no way anybody is getting past the TSA guys. Picture this: we stand in a cattle-chute-type line with about 4,000 other people (if I exaggerate, it’s only a little) at 6 a.m. Everyone is shoeless, belt less, and smileless while the TSA workers have us put our laptops, I-pads, I-pods, shoes and make-up bags into government-issue Rubbermaid bins while they paw through our clean (hopefully!) laundry in front of complete strangers. Then some of us get to walk through an old-timey metal detector while other special people have a medical device give them an x-ray CAT scan to see if they are hiding any moisturizer or lip balm in case they decide take over the plane and give the pilot a makeover.
Apparently I’m a real danger to society and they didn’t like the looks of me because the TSA CAT scan machine indicated something sinister (ALERT: Christian, homeschool mom, never had a speeding ticket, reads her Bible, eats her vegetables, goes to bed too late), so I had to receive a patdown! I should have just handed over the moisturizer and lip balm.
Once safely inside the terminal, I decided to calm myself with a cup of coffee and some people-watching.
What made the long wait in security, the TSA x-ray and the pat down all worthwhile?
Seeing a bald man in a beige suit, wearing lime green tennis shoes, with a Dora the Explorer neck tattoo. I wonder if he was carrying lip balm and moisturizer.
Dawn Mast lives with her family in Broadway. She doesn’t take many vacations.