Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Airport Security

I am always fearful that David is going to lose his temper when going through airport security in NYC, and that we’ll miss our flight, at best, and be locked up in some secret dungeon at LaGuardia, at worst. I don’t fault him, really, for getting so perturbed. When you’re going through security with two little children, one of whom is utterly unmanageable -- making sure your daughter doesn’t run down the up escalator while you’re taking off your shoes; remembering to remove laptops from backpacks; locating the boarding passes; explaining the liquids in your sippy cups – well, its stressful enough. Add to that downright unfriendly security people and you’ve got yourself a disaster-in-the-making.

David hates it because he always feels like he’s breaking rules that no one ever explained to him in the first place.

“Sir, you need to remove the laptop from the sleeve,”

“You. Again. You can’t put anything else in the bucket with your laptop.”

“And your belt. Gotta come off.”

“Sir, sir, SIR! You need to push the buckets through.”

That just about did it for David. “I have to push it through? Since when?” he muttered as we put on shoes on, “I have to do EVERYTHING now?”

When we flew back from Knoxville, however, it was an entirely different story. While I was busy collapsing the stroller (which incidentally, the security man offered to do FOR ME) Seconda dashed over to the X ray machine where Primo, who’d been paying attention at LaGuardia, was helping to push the buckets through. Except Sec was just sticking her hand in the machine.

“Honey, don’t do that!” exclaimed a security worker about my mom’s age.

At which point I reached over and yanked her back.

Then the woman APOLOGIZED to me for startling my daughter. Who was, incidentally, totally unfazed. It would take the Nimean Lion to startle this one. Still, the woman said to me, sweet as cherry pie, “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to alarm her, you know, but I was just scared since she was puttin’ her hands right on inside.”

“No need to apologize,” I replied.

Then the security worker on the other side of the machine suggested I have a seat while putting my shoes back on and told me – get this – to take my TIME. Toto, I don’t think we’re in New York anymore.

Did you know they have wooden rocking chairs in the airport in Knoxville? For your PLEASURE. Not only regular rocking chairs, but tiny kid-sized ones, too, and double-wides, in the event you want to snuggle with your loved one. They offer you rocking options, is what I’m saying. Free of charge. Take your time. Have a lulling rock. And a free refill of sweet tea while you’re at it.

I’m not saying New Yorkers aren’t friendly – hell, I’m a New Yorker myself and I’d like to think I’m compulsively congenial – but the man told me to TAKE MY TIME. Going through airport security. Amazing.

The South has its merits, I’ll tell you what.