I hate airports. They fill me with anxiety for some reason. I really liked being able to go on this trip with Heath. What I hate most about airports is having to navigate them alone. I know Salt Lake City’s airport like the back of my hand. Back in the day people were allowed to see each other off at the gate. You could pick people up at the gate.
In high school I had a friend who worked in the airport food court. A bunch of us would visit her all the time. We would go into the airport and say hi to her then wander around watching planes take off from the inside. After a while we would go outside and watch the planes take off out there. I know Salt Lake City International airport.
I remember going to the airport to see my uncle when he left for his church mission to Tahiti. One of my cousins was a young toddler and my uncle told me I put her sandals on the wrong feet. I was in first grade. I knew how to put my own shoes on correctly but apparently I wasn’t as good at dressing other people! The memory of seeing my uncle with only a backpack really stuck with me. It bothered me to think he was going to live in Tahiti for two years and all his stuff was in that tiny little backpack! Two years later when he came home the first thing he said was, “Everyone grew up and got glasses!”
When my brother left on his two year church mission to Brazil I set off the security alarms. The TSA lady asked me to empty my pockets. I pulled out tubes and pacts of makeup. We had to get to the airport early in the morning. For some reason I thought I would do my makeup there. Oh the vanity! Setting off security alarms was a common occurrence for me. I don’t remember when it started but it happened every time. I even got to a point where I would go without jewelry with empty pockets and I still set off the alarm. I must have a magnetic personality.
Security tightened after 9/11 and miraculously I was able to walk through a metal detector without having to be wanded on the other side. Maybe I was so hot in high school TSA wanted to pat me down or run a wand up and down my body! Now with a ring on my finger no one is interested! I know, I’m so funny. But you remember a few years ago I was visiting my family and left my wedding ring at home. The Salt Lake TSA guy was totally flirting with me. If I wasn’t so nervous to fly alone I would have told him I drive a minivan and have a hunky husband with three kids at home.
Life is definitely different now. Airports operate so differently from how I grew up. I loved flying to Disneyland last year with my whole family. That was the best. I loved watching Gwen talk to her brothers as if she were the voice of authority on all things flying because she remembered our girl trip when she was 4. Flying to Hawaii with Heath was exciting. No nerves involved.
As we waited in line at the security checkpoint in the Oakland airport I considered taking off my insulin pump. I did have to discreetly go up my shirt to take off my Fitbit. Better in line than in front of everyone on the other side of the metal detectors. The insulin pump stayed in my pocket. I always leave it attached to my body and explain later. It’s usually not a big deal. This time it took five TSA agents to clear me for takeoff.
I patiently answer the same questions over and over and hold out my hands to be wanded for explosives. The lady in front of the detector freaked out when she saw me. “Get everything out of your pockets!” I told her I had an insulin pump in my pocket. She thanked me for telling her ahead of time.
I assumed the position while the glass doors circled me briefly. It took four more people to get my hands wanded and cleared. Good heavens. I even had to touch my pump with both hands just in case I was secretly trying to do something other than enjoy a vacation with my husband. Heath kept telling people that I’m a diabetic. Of course my medical alert bracelet was in a plastic bin being scanned. It took longer than usual but they eventually let me go.
Contrast that experience with what just happened at Hawaii’s security checkpoint. Police dogs walked up and down the line sniffing people’s bags. I have never seen that before. They weren’t interested in anything we had. Being the friendly guy he is, Heath was chatting with all the TSA agents along the way. One guy told us to be observant when we got closer.
It was a hint that we could get through security easily. We were directed to the pre check line. That meant we could leave our shoes and jackets on and only have our bags scanned. The one and only time I ever did that was when we went to Disneyland as a family. I don’t know if anyone would have given me a hard time about my pump at all the way things worked out. I did suspend it and disconnected it from myself. It sat in my purse. The X-ray didn’t raise any suspicions. And I didn’t set off any alarms. I have never had it so easy going through security.
Our flight is about to board now. Farewell beautiful Hawaii. I miss my babies and want to go home but can I just keep them home on Monday? I don’t want to take them to school! Although Heath took Monday off so I do get one more day of him all to myself. No need to share him with his coworkers until the next time he works from home. Blog at you later – Aloha!