Getting back into the swing of things

Last school year, my flight schedule was fairly regular. Every other week, I boarded a Southwest jet to take me out of Cactus Land and back into the arms of my beloved. This year, thanks to a stupidly irregular schedule of my own design, my flights are a touch more erratic. Three in a row in September with three weeks of Cactus Land on either side. Ick.

Facing three weeks sans T, I wussed out (as he says) and scheduled a flight home this weekend. I could be chagrined about not hacking the long distance, but I’d much rather be a happier camper. After a three week long side-by-side trip to moon, separation cold turkey is a bitch!

Random aside: Speaking of the moon, here is a visual of our trip across the Western 2/3 of the U.S. courtesy of Mr. T:

So after the first week of school–really three days of orientation stuff and two days of actual school–I head to the airport. Feeling a little concerned about getting through security due to differing names on my ticket and I.D. (LOVE that name-changing game), I planned to arrive a bit early. (As you know, I’m neurotic in general about getting to the airport early.) Well, thank you Southwest for kicking off my flight season with a delay because my two hours turned into three.

I stared in disbelief, making a sour face at the departures board for a full minute before moving along to security. Turns out the name thing was no big deal. I don’t think the TSA guy even read it! I planned to call T exuding smugness about the whole thing because moments before, he’d teased me about being detained by security and the merits of cavity searches. (Oi.)

I should have reserved the smug until through the entire line.

BEEP BEEP BEEP! 
Red bag? 
Ma’am can you please step to the side? 
ZIP, SHUFFLE, SHUFFLE, CLANK.
THIS is why we stopped you. (Cue sidelong glance and disgusted expression.)

After profusely apologizing for accidentally bringing a corkscrew/cheese knife contraption in my carry-on (it came in a picnic basket set which I’d brought on the moon, just in case), I got the full security screening. Swabs brushed all of my shoes and electronics. Madam TSA poked through my suitcase, flinging skimpy underwears around to the delight of onlooking agents. Every zipper unzipped. Every pocket poked. She even found the liquids and gels* that had avoided a quart-sized ziplock. And, for the first time in 33 flights, I received a full-on pat down. For a 1.5-inch blunt cheese knife. I wonder what would have happened had they found the pepper spray I forgot to take out of my purse last spring. Hmm.

Despite this auspicious start to the school year, I hope that remaining travel experiences are mundane. If they aren’t, I’ll let you know.

xoxo,
shawna

*In case you’re wondering, I never take out my liquids and gels. Security never notices and I figure it’s one less hassle.

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