The airport gods had it out for me today. Normally I would say I’m a successful flyer apart from being called “Sweetie,” “Honey,” “Baby,” and “Lil’ Elle” (Ya know, like Elle Woods, a la Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde? Because apparently if you’re blonde you automatically fit the description of Elle Woods), today, however, my Elle Woods persona was apparently dormant.
You know when you just know your bag is going to be overweight? That even though you hoped and prayed and sacrificed your light-wash jean jacket because you had already packed your over-sized jean jacket, you just weren’t going to be under that 50-pound mark? Scales are so cruel.
I was checking two bags, a modest-sized one and then one which could have definitely fit two toddlers inside. If you aren’t following, I was worried about the toddler-sized one.
I stepped up to the counter, and I instantly knew this was going to go poorly. That is because I was trying to get the worker who was a younger male (don’t judge me, I know who I am, I know what I can do) but instead I was pointed to an older woman who I knew was going to absolutely despise me.
My bag weighed 62 pounds. Like, I get it. You can’t let that slide. The smaller bag was only 25 pounds and I jokingly asked if I could take that unused 25 pounds and tack it onto the bigger bag. She said, “no.”
So, I took out some heavier things and managed to shove a few in my smaller bag, and then just threw the rest of it on the ground by my backpack and decided that I’d figure that out in a minute. I was at 51 pounds. I looked at her hopefully.
“It needs to be 50 pounds, ma’am.”
I took out a sweater. 50.2 pounds. I looked at her again.
“It needs to be 50 pounds, ma’am.”
At this point I was sweating profusely and I had an electric heating pad by my feet (I have a bad back, okay), along with a black canvas dress, a long grey sweater, two bags of toiletries, a jean skirt, and one shoe. Fantastic.
I took out one pair of socks. 50 pounds.
My main goal at that point was just to get as far away from this woman as humanly possible, so I just held everything in my arms and waddled over to the seats near the windows to reorganize myself. I managed to find a spot for everything, except for my laptop (which I needed to take out for security anyways) and the one shoe.
I got in line and stepped up to my TSA friend who checked my boarding pass and my driver’s license. The following is how our exchange went. The portions of my dialogue that are in italics are the things I wanted to say. The rest is what I actually said.
TSA Man: Well hi there! How are you today?
Me: Pretty good, how are you? Today sucks, thanks.
TSA Man: I’m well, thank you.
Me: Fantastic. Yeah I know it’s proper to say “well” not “good.” Go away.
TSA Man: Wow! Is this even you? You changed your hair!
Me: Haha yeah that was 5 years ago. I also gained 10 pounds since then, did you notice that too?
TSA Man: Don’t forget to renew your license! It expires in June. Have a good day!
Me: Thanks! I FREAKING KNOW IT EXPIRES IN JUNE I HAVE HAD THIS CONVERSATION WITH MULTIPLE OHIO BMVs AND MY PARENTS.
Somehow, security was fine.
I exited security and decided I was going to need to find some sort of additional bag to carry my laptop and my single shoe. As soon as I exited the security area, I came across a Victoria’s Secret. I said, good enough.
I stalked around the Baltimore airport’s very own Victoria’s Secret while I spoke to my mother on the phone in an extremely exasperated tone. My backpack was slung over my shoulder, my laptop was in the crook of my arm, and then somehow I was also carrying my wallet, my headphones, my boarding pass, one goddamn shoe, and my phone.
I wandered around the store and complained while I looked for some type of bag to make my life easier. Eventually it was clear that my three options were a sparkly blue tote, a pink and white striped backpack, or a faux leather black and white tote. I went with option three for reasons I don’t think need to be explained. The woman in the store had been watching me from behind the counter and, I’m assuming, also making fun of me, which doesn’t really bother me because in any other case I would have joined her. Her name was definitely either Kelly or Janet. She didn’t tell me her name or anything, and she didn’t have a name-tag, I just think her name was Kelly or Janet.
I had decided I could trust Kelly/Janet and I told her I was “being tested today.” Being the skilled saleswoman that she was, she asked about my woes. I explained that my baggage had been overweight.
Me: Yeah at one point while I was taking stuff out of my suitcase, it weighed 50.2 pounds and the woman still wouldn’t let me through.
K/J: Shut up!
Me: I know right?
K/J: What a bitch!
K/J: Where are you headed?
K/J: Oh I’m sorry.
I’m disappointed I didn’t get Kelly/Janet’s number because I feel like we would have had some wild conversations, and I would probably never run out of underwear.
So then I found myself sitting outside of my gate with my backpack and my brand new fake leather tote bag. The tote contained my laptop, a book I paid way too much money for because hardcover, my water bottle, and one freaking Metallic loafer. A small girl came up to me to look at the planes outside of the window. She was carrying one of those little plastic magic fairy wands. Our conversation went something like this:
Little Girl: Look, those are airplanes.
Me: Yeah, they’re pretty big huh?
Little Girl: Which one are we getting on?
Me: Well we’re at Gate A5 and that plane is at Gate A5 too so that’s the one we’re getting on.
Little Girl: No, I think you’re wrong.
Little Girl: I curse you! *waves wand and runs away
Also, just to keep you updated, the fire alarm went off about 40 seconds after I was cursed and I didn't really see any point in looking for an exit.