I know this is not any kind of earth-shattering revelation, but it seems to have sunk to new levels of depravity and humiliation.
And sometimes you don't even have to actually fly.
Every other weekend or so, the Princess flies to Portland to visit her father. Since the Princess is 11 and in order for her to be able to fly on her own without an adult, I have to pay a super-special fee to the airline of somewhere between $25 and $100 - depending on the airline - each way. This extra fee is very important and compensates the airline for....
Actually I'm not sure what this fee is for. Maybe the extra pat on the head from the gate agent? Frankly, I think the airlines find it somewhat comparable to checking a heavy bag....they put a sticker on her and everything.
Regardless, because she's a minor, I'm allowed to take her through security to her gate and wait there until takeoff.
Lately, she's been flying out of San Jose because the rates to Portland are slightly less expensive. The San Jose airport is very cool and mod and screams "I'm the Silicon Valley airport, bitches!" It is also in the process of a massive remodel, which has included the purchase of new high-tech security scanning equipment that I'm pretty sure can see what I had for lunch.
Everybody needs a nemesis, right? The San Jose airport security scanners are my nemesis.
EVERY TIME I walk through these damn things, I set off the alarm. EVERY TIME.
Now, I'm a pretty seasoned traveler. I know the security drill inside and out. Laptop out. Liquids in baggie out. Belt off. Scarf off. Shoes off.
I usually stick with my "safe outfit" when I know I have to face security in any airport...cotton cargo pants (with no metal rivets), t-shirt, wrap, ballet flats. All comfy and metal-free.
But every time I walk through the damn security scanning machine at San Jose I set off the alarm and am then treated to a super-special pat down that includes what is essentially a breast exam by a TSA agent in front of a large crowd. It's so great.
I've come to the conclusion that it must be the underwire in my bra that is setting the damn thing off. So each time, I try a different bra. Each time I am hopeful that THIS is the bra that TSA will finally concede is not threatening to national security.
This last time, I kinda lost my shit. I was wearing metal-free sweatpants, a tank top, simple bra with thin underwire and socks. I intentionally broke every fashion rule in the book JUST so I wouldn't set off the damn scanner. I was ready. I was pumped. There was NO way any beeper was going to go off.
So I sent my daughter through the scanner first. Nothing. Good to go. Whew.
And then I followed her.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Me: I have NOTHING on me to set this off? Do I look like I have metal on me????
TSA: Ma'am, do you have an implant?
Me: What? It's my bra. I'm telling you it's my bra. It's got to be my bra. I like nice bras and they set off your scanners. Please don't make me go through the pat down.
TSA: Please step over to the screening area, ma'am.
Meanwhile, my daughter, who has witnessed this interaction a few dozen times already, is rolling her eyes and trying to pull half a dozen things off the security belt by herself.
Me: My daughter needs help. Can I help her get our stuff?
TSA: You can't touch your things. Sorry.
They then proceed to once again feel me up in front of a large crowd.
Me: I haven't been to my OB/GYN in awhile. Do they feel healthy to you?
TSA: I'm sorry about this, ma'am.
Me: They're nice, right?
TSA: It must be your bra, ma'am.
Me: Ya think? Now can you please explain to me how I can wear a bra and NOT set off your scanners?
TSA: I don't know, ma'am.
Me: Should I take my bra off in line? Put it in a container with my shoes?
TSA: You can go collect your things now.
It's here where I decide this is a battle I'm never going to win and leave in a huff.
This whole series of events has now left me in mortal fear at the security checkpoint at every other airport. I break into a sweat at about the same time I'm putting my shoes in the bin. I hold my breath and pass through the scanner. AND IT NEVER GOES OFF.
The Princess flies out of San Jose again next weekend. I swear I'm going to reach underneath my shirt while in the security line and do the under-the-shirt bra removal. Set the girls free and sail through security.
There's no rule against that, right?
How come Lady Gaga doesn't have to put up with this shit?