EVERYONE knows just what an impatient person I am, but what everyone does NOT know is that I have the patience of a saint when it comes to the BIG things– it’s the petty things that drive me wild– like waiting in lines. I HATE WAITING IN LINES!
Lines usually crawl forward thanks not to the inefficiency of the officials in charge, but to the everlasting stupidity of the people in line. For example, a few times a year I deign to get onto a flying cattle car with dozens of other people, simply to get to a destination quicker than I would had I decided to drive. Naturally, this being 2007, most of the world’s travelers are subject to the whims of a few crazies and, therefore, subject to the indignities of things like Airport Security Screening.
I don’t really mind the inconvenience if it means that the woman standing in front of me might be relieved of an AK-47 and a pair of shoe-sole detonation devices; I would actually be grateful. What I DO mind are recurring examples of the following…
On a recent trip to Brooklyn, begun very early in the morning, I found myself being herded along with hundreds of other travelers as we wove our way through the byzantine machinations of my airport’s security maze. I was pleasantly buzzed on caffeine; my foot cream was working its wonders; and my jockey shorts fit snugly, yet comfortably. No problem, right? WRONG.
The Bluto ahead of me, whose entire demeanor screamed HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, felt compelled– after sweating, fidgeting, and sighing– to complain to me: “What the HELL is taking them so long up front?” I took one look at the load he was prepared to shunt through the security system, and offered a rambling, existential response: “Well, look at all the CRAP you people insist on traveling with. Do we really need all this stuff? What are we, nomads? Are there no creature comforts at our final destinations? No WONDER it takes six weeks for a planeload of people to get settled… no WONDER the stewardesses are bitchy! Can you blame them?”
I got no response. In fact, his television-seasoned brain labeled me as a potential threat to his masculinity, probably because I spoke in complete sentences, was thoughtful, and used the passive voice. We proceeded through security with no further comments.
Fast forward a few months, to Christmas 2007. I am once again in the security line at my home base, and I present my photo ID when asked. It’s my state driver’s license, which has been updated by phone every seven years since 1987– thus, the photo is a bit outdated. Apparently, the security officer was unfamiliar with my type of driver’s license, which was unnerving enough; however, when he (defensively) told me that he was unfamiliar with my type of license, I replied– employing those annoying ‘hellooooo!!!!!’cadences– that it had been renewed by telephone, and was actually quite legal. Without batting an eye, he directed me around a corner and against a wall, where I was eventually frisked, felt up, and wanded. I was expecting to be brought to the secret, window-less room, but alas… no such luck. (I wonder what’s in there– a coffee maker? Pinball machines? Discounted clothing?)
Granted, I’m grateful that my odd, old fashioned driver’s license drew enough attention that I was set aside for further prodding, but the tiny, rose-colored-glasses-wearing man deep inside me chafed at being treated like just another calf wending its way through an abattoir. I suppose I can avoid future instances such as these, but that would mean going to the state driver’s license office and standing in line for days and days just so I can get an updated license… but I HATE WAITING IN LINES.