Friday, July 21, 2006

And here I thought it was a pain traveling with a laptop

After getting my ticket and while walking to the security checkpoint at DFW airport Wednesday night I seemed to get wedged in-between 257 soldiers going off somewhere. (Honestly, I didn’t want to ask where to but I did ask how many there were. They all looked pretty happy so I’m hoping they’re staying in the continental US). They were all in fatigues and carried small duffle bags. I stuck out like a sore thumb in my Capri pants and white tanktop and we all smiled and waited our turn to go thru the metal detectors.

I used to think that having to whip out my laptop and put it in its own gray bin to shove thru the x-ray machine was a pain. Obviously I’ve never been in the military. Suffice it to say, I was grateful I had over an hour until my flight took off.

Good Lord they wear a lot of “stuff.” It was taking forever! They may as well just have taken EVERYTHING off, in fact some of them should have. Those fatigues seem to have a million handy little pockets for them to store and hide tons of stuff such as lighters (which were confiscated), IDs, metal badges, medals, phones, keys and God knows what else. Then there are the belts, the boots (which look like a pain in the ASS to untie) and the dog tags. And that was just on them. Their bags contained equally as much stuff to have to be scanned carefully. I felt so bad for them and they all came out the other side carrying their stuff and trying to shove it back into the pockets out of which they had been pulled. They looked so vulnerable holding their stuff, untucked and disheveled. I wanted to help tie them up and put them back together.

After that process I went and sat down at my gate and noticed an inordinately high number of women in blue suits and stockings (in Dallas when it’s 106 outside?!?!) with black handbags, fanny packs and roller board suitcases with pink lipstick kisses all over them. I was puzzled at who had been shopping at the knock off Salvador Dali shop when I remembered something I had read in the paper at my sister’s; the Mary Kay convention was being held in Dallas. These were the poor women that hadn’t won their pink Cadillacs and had to fly home. Oh the shame. Then I started panicking.

What if one sat next to me? What if they tried to give me a make-over or worse, try to sell me something?! What does one do when they are wedged into a window seat 30,000 feet up in the air for thee and a half hours with nowhere to escape?!?!

So as we lined up to board I was surrounded by bags puckering up at me and was praying to some God, ANY God, that one of the heavily made up women with long pink claws, whom I’m sure were perfectly lovely people, doesn’t sit next to me. And they didn’t! I’m going to go pray to win the lottery now. Excuse me.


Anonymous Mr. Z said...

Here is what you do if stuck 30,000 ft in the air next to someone you don't want to talk to:
1) Let that person talk at first but use one or two words in your responses, so he/she gets the hint that you don't want to talk.
2) If this doesn't work, then use the magazine or book that you have been holding in your hands at take-off and start reading it as soon as there is a pause in the conversation (if no pause, MAKE ONE).
3)If the above "polite" techniques don't work, use that laptop to your advantage (no don't use violence) just pull up something obscene or gross and allow he/she to see. This should shut them up.
Techniques 1) and 2)have worked for me, but I haven't had to resort to #3.
Hope this helps.

July 24, 2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger E said...

Thank you! I'll go download some obscene images to have just in case I need to resort to #3!!

July 25, 2006 8:23 PM  
Blogger bg's Little Sis said...

The week after 9/11 my father had a heart attack while traveling with my mother to a convention of hers in Memphis, I flew down to be with them and once things were known to be ok, I was on my way home, on a flight with half a dozen special forces guys on their way to Dulles to fly off to Afganistan, they were all so adorable, all "yes ma'am and no ma'am" to the stewardess, folks were hugging them and kissing them complete strangers. I hope they all came home safely.

Glad you had a good trip, I've had bad experiences with those Mary Kay ladies, not while in flight, but nonetheless, just so pushy!

July 26, 2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger E said...

Lil' sis: Oh I feel for you. I know what you mean about those soldiers too. I was in the air on 9/11 and was put on the ground 25 minutes early. Was greeted by heavily armed police and whisked out of the airport. I took the first flight out of Cincinnati that I could when we could fly again and I hugged the sweet National Guard guy who walked me (shaking), the ONLY female in the entire terminal, to my flight. He was as choked up as me. I will never forget that. Thank goodness they're there.

July 26, 2006 3:38 PM  

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