The scene: a line you have to wait in for hours, security waiting to greet you at the door, the swift removal of articles of clothing. No, you nasties, I am not talking about some sort of high-end strip club. What I’m referring to is airport security.
Having lived in the Chicagoland area during my first year of college, I would always drive home during the holiday breaks with one of my friends. Sure, a seven-hour drive isn’t the most fun or exciting thing in the world (especially when you’re driving through rural Missouri and Illinois surrounded by cornfields, and freaking out because you are pretty sure this is the beginning of Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn”), but after hearing that some people had to actually fly on a plane to get home, I wasn’t going to complain.
That was, until my family decided to uproot themselves from Illinois this summer and move back to Cary, N.C. I grew up in this town until I hit high school age, so I wasn’t particularly nervous about that. What I was dreading was now having to fly home. The flying part isn’t what really gets to me, either; it’s the two-hour battle through airport security that makes my stomach churn.
I totally understand and respect airport security’s purpose: to keep people safe and out of harm’s way. However, I swear I always have the weirdest experiences going through security.
Over Labor Day weekend, I decided to head home to North Carolina to see my family. I did the whole “in-state tuition” thing this summer where I stayed in one of Columbia’s crappiest apartment complexes (that’s a story for another day, folks), and it had been several months since I laid eyes on my family. In fact, I hadn’t even gotten the chance to see the new house in which they were living.
Things went smoothly on the trip there, the only thing going awry being the industrial-size pepper spray in my backpack pocket being confiscated. It was the flight back where things got a little weird.
I was once again asked to go through one of those full-body scanners at the security checkpoint in the Raleigh-Durham airport. I swear I have been through that thing a minimum of 12 times. I know that they say it isn’t dangerous, and it will cause you no bodily harm, but if I spontaneously sprout a third arm, I think we’ll all know why.
After walking through the scanner, I was asked to step aside. I don’t look particularly menacing, and this is the first time I’ve been asked to do so, but I kind of started freaking out. I have no idea why, because I had no weapons (nor have I ever had weapons) on my person, but I figured that something had magically appeared in my sock or something, and I was going to be detained and arrested. Expecting a full body pat-down, I was surprised to feel the guard reach up for my hair.
For those of you who know me well, you probably know about the infamous “Taylor bun”. For those of you who don’t know of the celebrity-status hairdo, I basically wear this massive bun on the very top of my head almost every day of my life. I guess it could be compared to a sock bun, but my hair is so thick and voluptuous, there is no need for a sock — the bun is already the size of a small dog.
The guard started casually patting my roots before she worked her way up to the King Kong of buns.
And then she groped it. She literally groped my bun.
I’ve never felt so violated in my life. I mean, if you have the audacity to grope my bun, you better at least buy me dinner first.
Traveling home can be rough. But if you maintain a calm and patient attitude, especially if you have the pleasure of dealing with flying home, everything can run smoothly. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to sashay through security, just in case someone wants to get all up in your hairdo.
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