However, after spending a majority of my time being hurled through the air in a fragile metal tube, I’m getting sorta testy about a few things.
WHAT TO WEAR: More and more I’m finding that I’m dressing for TSA. No, I’m not trying to get their attention; I’m merely trying to survive. So, as I don my travel clothes I’m thinking, okay, the belt needs to wait. Now I don’t know about you, but on most of my clothes the belt loops are actually functional and the proper usage thereof generally keeps me from running afoul of most local decency laws (not a problem in Vegas, apparently we don’t have any of those laws, but most other places frown on having one’s pants around one’s ankles in public—or so I’m told.) So, this can be a problem.
Then there’s the footwear conundrum. Maybe I’m overly squeamish, but trodding around barefoot in the filthy TSA lanes makes me shudder. So I need socks. And shoes without laces for expediency. I challenge you to find the perfect pair of slip-ons that will look nice with socks and that flirty little sun-dress that will be just the thing to have on when I arrive in any destination south of the Mason-Dixon line. Socks, slip-ons and sundresses may be alliterative but together they are a huge fashion faux pas. Huge.
And the climate variation conundrum: Somehow I missed the memo that requires the conditioned air inside of airplanes and airports (and most other public buildings) to be kept at a temperature appropriate for hanging beef. So, along with that sundress that will be appropriate outside, I need a coat, preferably stuffed with the donated soft down of some poor goose, to survive the transit and still be able to feel my hands and feet.
And then the memory conundrum: Having had to shuck half my wardrobe to get through security, I now have to remember to collect it all. Easier said than done. Invariably I’m darting back to collect some bit of something I’ve left behind.
HOW TO SURVIVE: Somewhere along the line, the Powers That Be graced me with a super-human power: invisibility. But, there’s a caveat (isn’t there always?) My particular power only works when I’m trying to activate water faucets, drinking fountains, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and toilets. You know, the one’s with the sensors? Yes, to them I am invisible.
So I am the one darting around the bathroom thrusting my hands under faucets that I know work having just watched someone else make them work flawlessly. I way my hands, and nothing happens. So, I try different speeds, alternately flapping them wildly, then moving them slowly as if guided by a spirit over a Ouija board. I don’t know why I try—nothing ever happens. Every now and then I’ll get someone who will reach over, move their hand under the faucet, and magically, water appears and the kind savior will grace me with a look most reserve for small children who just can’t seem to function in the adult world yet.
So, the other day, at the airport in Jackson Hole, WY, I ducked into the bathroom to reinstall my belt., my shoes, and my sweater. While there, I decided to take advantage of the other opportunities presented. Everything went swimmingly until I faced the paper towel dispenser. I waved my hands under it, in front of it, on the sides…. Nothing. I was beginning to lose my cool when this young woman reached over, grabbed the tiny ribbon of paper extending underneath the machine and pulled out a towel. She thrust it at me with a pitying look.
No sensors—this was one of the old-fashioned kind. I had looked under there, I really had. I just hadn’t been able to see the paper.
I’d left my glasses at TSA.
What are your pet peeves about traveling?