The Suitcase Lady


November 6, 2007, 11:43 pm

The other day a friend of mine was venting her rage over the convoluted security rituals we all endure at airports. My only advice was the classic St. Francis line about learning to accept what we cannot change.

On reflection, however, there are a few concrete measures that can improve life in the security line.

The most obvious is, unfortunately, not feasible. Flying in the nude isn’t legal. But I do try to come as close to this ideal as I can. Stripping down to the bare essentials does send a visual message to the authority figures that there is not much left to mess with. In summer I can pare down to only two items of clothing, one being a dress. (Shoes don’t count, because they are coming off.)

Diamonds and jewelry are not a girl’s best friend at the airport. The other day I had the misfortune of being behind a woman who apparently did not know that jewelry aficionados are prime terrorist suspects. It took her three trips through the scanner to locate and cast off all her multiple rings, bracelets and necklaces. She definitely needs a class in bead and string jewelry making.

Other accessories also can make you an instant center of attention. Giant belt buckles and big metal buttons send a person directly to the pat down line as do western style hats, jackets and skirts decorated with metal studs. Metal hair hardware is a real alarm ringer, too.

Shoes deserve special mention. Face it, you will probably have to take them off. Would it be wise to wear those cute, high boots that lace all the way up to your knees? No wonder I see lots of people wearing flip-flops at airports … in the dead of winter. These people aren’t slobs, they are just patriots.

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