Operating on about 3 hours of sleep combined, my husband of 40 hours sat across from me shoe-less, his shirt up around his pasty nipples while another man rubbed him up and down. While an awkward woman rubbed my butt and patted down my vagina, our eyes met. Without attracting any more attention, I mouthed “I’m sorry.” His eyes smiled right before the man grazed his balls with his elbow. Then he wasn’t smiling anymore.
It was all my fault. Honestly.
Later, he expressed, several screwdrivers to the wind, that this was his first experience with being singled out and searched by airport security.
Mouth full of egg and cheese biscuit and several screwdrivers drunk myself, I slurred, “Well, dude, at least they didn’t take you to that back room.” I took a long drag off my drink, “Because that shit is WHACK.” I paused. “And hey, the let me keep one of my lighters.”
The Daver looked less than pleased.
“I’m sorry,” I said, chastised. “It’s all my fault.”
But was it? Was the issue with having a face (presumably) like a terrorist my fault? Certainly I’d been stopped by customs and security more times than I could possibly count, singled out from a crowd each and every time I flew since I was a small child. My father and brother, who turn equally brown skinned in the sun, get it also, but not as bad as I do.
I can’t put a toe into an airport without securing a nice frisking and potential strip-search.
While I can easily claim that I *am* an asshole, the moment I hit the airport, I turn into the mentally challenged sister from Hee-Haw. I’m all “Golly Gee,” this and “Jeepers, Mister,” that with a side of “Gee wilikers” thrown in for good measure. You’ll never see a more ridiculously PC, G-rated version of me.
And still. And yet. And how.
I’ve learned to show up to the airport extra EXTRA early. I’ve learned that flip-flops–even in the dead of winter in Chicago–are the footwear of champions, and I know to wear loose baggy pants for easy up and down access.
But this begs the question. Why me? Was I marked as a potential terrorist when I was a baby? Is this on my ever-fucking Permanent Record?
I’m going to California on Friday at the ass-crack of dawn and I’m certain that on each leg of the trip, I will be searched up and down, and God forbid I pack the wrong toothpaste or something, because I am hoping to catch each connecting flight.
(What the hell can’t I pack anymore anyway?)
(also, LA, here I come!)
And if I do end up in the clink, let it be the California clink, where not only can I make Heather bail me out, I’m sure my cell-mates will look like models. Maybe they’ll make out with me.