At 6am this morning, I drove my mom and younger brother to the airport because they're going to Finland for 10 days. I am very jealous because Finland is amazing and I miss my family there, but I am not envious of the airport stress they have to go through.
Airports and I never really got along very well, we have had a rocky relationship from the first time I ever flew on a plane. Triple security checks, broken planes, stranded over night during the liquid gel bombing incident, and lost luggage all contributed to my hated for airports. It doesn't help that they always smell like the stale air in the planes and that the seats are so uncomfortable at the gates that you can't relax in them. I mean really, why should they put comfortable seats in a place where some people get stuck waiting for hours on end for flights? That would just be silly.
The other reason I dislike airports is because I am part middle eastern. No, this does not mean I'm planning a jihad, it means I really really dislike the security line and the "random" security checks. I usually am unfortunate enough to have to go through the super extra tight security line and once I even got checked AGAIN at the gate. They saw my last name and had extra security come to the gate to recheck my carry on, it was embarassing. Needless to say, I get nervous going to airports and the process I go through is very similar to what the boyfriend and I did on our way to Minnesota:
Boyfriend: "I wonder if you'll be randomly selected to go through the full body scan because you're half middle eastern?" He says this in a tone loud enough for everyone in a 100 foot radius to hear.
Me: Nudged him hard in the stomach "I wonder why you always forget I'm half middle eastern until we're at the security line at the airport?!"
I walked up as calmly as I could to the security agent and handed him my boarding pass and ID. He glanced at the ID, initialed the boarding pass and pointed towards the regular security line.
Me: Slightly shocked "To this line here?" Pointing to the one for non suspected terrorists.
Security Dude 1: "Yes ma'am, please step through once security dude 2 on the other side gives you the okay."
I grinned like a kid who almost got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar and tried to act perfectly normal as I walked up to the security check. I don't know why I had to try so hard to act normal, it's not like I was a terrorist or had anything to hide (Except that my liquid foundation was in a 4.2oz bottle, not a 3oz one.. oops)
I flashed security dude 2 on the other side a big smile and shyly asked:
"Is it okay for me to step through?"
He motioned for me to step through the check point as he looked up into what I can only assume is a scanner that will either flash "TERRORIST!!!" or "Non Terrorist" on its screen. I hustled through it, holding my breath, praying no big red alarm would sound announcing to the entire airport that I was part middle eastern. To my relief, nothing happened and security dude 2 forgot all about me as soon as I walked past him to gather my carry on bag and neck pillow.
I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. One of the worst parts of the airport process was over and I could now move on to the waiting for hours for the plane portion of it. I glanced back towards my boyfriend to see if he had gathered his things from the security check yet, and was surprised to not see him behind me.
I searched for my blonde hair, blue eyed, definitely not middle eastern boyfriend, and found him in the last place I'd expect... standing in the middle of the full body scanner being triple checked by security.
I couldn't help but grin.