God's Word for Today

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Female - No Alarm!

Several weeks ago (12/5 thru 12/7) God was kind and the circumstances fell into place for me to be able to join my husband for the weekend in Puerto Rico

Before telling you all about how wonderful my trip was I had to take a few moments and share with you a truly unique experience I had at the airport. 

Being the travel impaired individual that I am I left the house at 6:30 am to insure that I would have ample time to make my 11:05 flight. God took pity on me and for a Friday morning the expressway was remarkable free of traffic. 

I arrived at the MARTA station and purchase my Breeze pass, again my inexperience was showing as I ended up paying for two round trip fairs instead of one, but as each trip is only $1.75 I was only slightly inconvenienced and the cards are re-usable as well so I shrugged it off and proceeded up the stairs to my train. 

The trip to the airport takes about 45 minute so I opened a book (The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers, which by the way is very good, not as good as Redeeming Love but a great weekend read) borrowed from a friend and settled in for the ride to the airport. 

Fast forward 45 minutes and I arrive at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. Again God was kind and there were multiple Delta ticketing kiosks available. I stepped up to one with my pre-printed flight information and entered all the proper information and was issues a boarding pass. I was amazed at the ease of the process and my traveler’s anxiety is little by little easing away with each completed step. 

The Delta Ticketing agent on hand pointed me in the right direction toward security. 

A few more moments and I am in the line for the security check, boarding pass and driver’s license in hand I approach the first check point. 

I hand over my boarding pass and the agent, I will call her TSA agent #1 who scribbles on it and circles a few thing all the while mumbling something that with the noise of the crowd about me I can’t hear, she hands me back my boarding pass and instruct me to a different line. 

The second TSA Agent (agent #2) informs me that it is in fact my luck day. 

I have been randomly selected for additional security screening. 

Yaaa for me! 

I am curtly instructed to step into this lovely Plexiglas box. It is open on my end with a door with a handle on the other end. It looked very much like a display case at a history museum. 

As I step into the box, now mind you I am in my stocking feet as my shoes are now being examined for explosives and to my shock and amazement TSA agent #2 loudly (really loud, yelling even) announces to all present 

“FEMALE – NO ALARM!” 

In my mind I am wondering exactly what this means. I turn and walk the few short steps to the end of the display case and try the handle. It is locked. I find this just a bit disturbing. As I am standing in this lovely locked Plexiglas display case desperately juggling the door handle back and forth trying to get out  I have a lot of wonderfully random thoughts which are now running thought my brain. 

To my left I can see the sour looking TSA agent #3 as he is examining my luggage on the x-ray machine. He glances up and I smile as sweetly as I can at him. He looks at me with a scowl and I am wondering what he is thinking. He glares at me and then back at his screen, then back at me a few more time. I have to tell you it was just the littlest bit uncomfortable not to mention intimidating, yet I held my sweetest most genteel smile on my face. 

Again TSA agent #2 yells at the top of her lungs 

“FEMALE – NO ALARM!” 

Silly me, I again try the handle to my display case. It holds firmly locked. 

Again and again (and again) TSA agent #2 yells at the top of her lungs 

“FEMALE – NO ALARM!”

 “FEMALE – NO ALARM!”

 “FEMALE – NO ALARM!”

 I begin to feel like an ancient archeological artifact safety encased on display. “Look boys and girls, this is how travelers looked like in the olden days, note the glazed look of inexperience upon her face!” 

There were a few hand gestures involved “Yes! That’s my bag!” as I point to my carry on. 

Then to my right I can see TSA agent #4 begins to riffle though my grey bin inspecting my purse, my camera bag, and my shoes (again) and my zip lock bags with all my personal necessities. I am wondering if maybe I have exceeded the limit on just how many travel size shampoos you can bring in your carry on or possible if TSA agent #4 is wondering exactly how many times I am planning to wash my hair while I am on vacation. 

Every time TSA agent #2 rang out into the air with her now familiar song of “FEMALE – NO ALARM!”  I was uncertain as to the intended meaning of this now very familiar phrase. 

“FEMALE – NO ALARM!” does this mean: “Please do not worry about this poor unsuspecting woman in the display case. We have her in custody and every thing will be fine. There is NO NEED TO BE ALARMED. 

Or could it possible mean: “Let’s totally freak this poor inexperienced grey headed woman out for no apparent reason because after all there was NO ALARM!” 

I mean really, as I was safely tucked away in my hermetically sealed display case, there was nothing to do but allow my mind to wander. And wander it did! 

Were they going to let me out?

Is agent #4 going to confiscate my flat iron!

Do they really think I am a terrorist disguised as a middle aged mother of two teenagers?

Exactly what does “FEMALE – NO ALARM!” really mean?

How many more time will agent #2 yell out “FEMAILE - NO ALARM!”?

Is agent #3 going to let me have my travel size shampoo back?

I am thinking that I am very glad I have socks on and I am hoping that the last person to stand on this mat inside of this display case had socks on as well! 

Now I am beginning to become really …ALARMED! 

For what seems like the hundredth time TSA agent #2 yells (again) at the top of her lungs “FEMALE – NO ALARM!” and at last the latch at the end of my museum display case magically gives way and I am free. 

I step from my Plexiglas case and breathe a sigh of relief. 

My freedom is short lives as I am approached by TSA agent #5 …. “Step this way please.” He orders. 

I am obedient to the very core of my being and follow him. 

TSA agent #..... what is this now... lets see 1....2....3....4....5.... Ahhh here we are TSA agent #6 approaches me with her security wand. 

We play a wonderful game of “Simon Says”. 

Raise your arms, feet apart, turn around… I was expecting to be told to hop on one foot and do the hooky pooke but she only padded me down, inspected all my pocket and appendages. 

After having gone through this slightly traumatic ordeal, the only explanation for what happen next was that I had reverted back to a child-like state. I pleadingly looked at TAS agent # 6 and politely asked permission “May I sit on this bench and put my shoes on?” 

I already had a game of “Simon Says” so why not “Mother May I” 

As I sat breathing and putting my shoes back on and shoving my zip-loc bags back into my carry on I looked at all my other fellow travelers and I thanked God that I did not work at the airport. 

A few moments later as I settled in to have an egg and sausage croissant and a cup of coffee I had to pull out my journal and record this wonderfully strange and even humorous course of events. 

Once I has successfully purges my brain of the remarkable and some what ridiculous procedures of my security experience I was able to turn my focus to more pressing matters such as sunshine, warm beaches, palm trees and my wonderful husband who would in a few short hours be picking me up at the airport in sunny Puerto Rico. 

After leisurely eating my breakfast, texting my husband to let him know I had arrived safely at the airport and recording the traumatic event of my trip through security I arrived at Delta Gate A-04 at 10:05. 

They begin boarding twenty minutes later. 

So maybe leaving at 6:30 am for an 11:05 am flight wasn’t such a bad idea after all. 

Airport trauma aside, my time with my husband in this beautiful, warm, breezy, sunny, peaceful, relaxing…….place was just the medicine I needed. It was one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating trips we have ever taken. The most strenuous thing we did all weekend long was pressing a few elevator buttons and deciding what to order for dinner each night. 

It was heaven! 









Blessings

Robin

8 comments:

skoots1mom said...

I read it aloud to kiddy and hubby and they were laughing at every new agent came into the story...great job!

a portland granny said...

I felt all paniced reading of your ordeal at the airport...especially finding that you were locked int that glass cage--I would have lost it if I found a door locked! (I am always searched when I travel, because of a machine I wear on my back!) You handled it very well. I admired your attitude with them. I am always in a state of panic, worried about my purse, which they won't let me have with me. Usually I end up in tears because I let it stress me. You are to be commended for being such a good sport about it!

It sounds like the airport was just a blip in your week end and the vacation itself, was just what you needed! So happy that you could go!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

"I begin to feel like an ancient archeological artifact safety encased on display." Best line I've read all week! You just described my number nightmare--the airport experience. I'm petrified of them, and just reading this made me anxious. Glad it all worked out and you got to see that beautiful place with your husband.

God Chaser said...

what an experience-glad it ended with a lovely relaxing vacation

Helen said...

What a beautiful place. Glad you had such a wonderful times, after the trauma of the airport. How funny it was to read about it though - I laughed all the way through. I wonder what it really WAS all about - did you ever find out? I knew I was right not to fly, wimp that I am. Now I am convinced.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Absolutely gorgeous pics. The sky is a beautiful blue cascading onto the sandy beach and green palms. You have an excellent eye and excellent camera to capture the beautiful colors inside and out.

I had to compose myself while reading about your adventure. I was hopefully looking to see that you would reveal what the code actually meant "female - no alarm"...I'm suspecting they never gave an explanation of the code or why she yelled it and yelled it so many times.

Glad the adventure ended while with Heaven on earth.

Sassy Granny ... said...

I'll never forget the security agents wanding my bare feet one time. I still laugh about it, as if I have bomb implants in my 60 year old feet!

Beautiful pics!

Kathleen

godlover said...

Merry Christmas, Robin.
Marj

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