On Avoiding the Wand

I finally figured out why I keep getting cavity searched when I fly. (Well not really, but you know what I mean.)

The last 3 or 4 times I’ve flown out of Dallas-Ft Worth airport, I’ve dutifully removed shoes, watch, placed my iPad in the bin, stood on the yellow footprints, arms up, and then heard security call for a female agent. I knew what that meant. She was coming for me, wand in hand and ready to pat me down, again. They even patted my hair. The Transportation Security Administration agents were always very professional and polite. I, however, was always suspicious and incredulous that I looked like a danger.

I stopped wearing baggy, cotton sweat pants and tops, which were part of my layered strategy to accommodate whatever temperatures I encountered during my travel.

Yesterday, in my no-iron blue oxford and khaki pants I bounced onto the footprints, sure that I would pass quickly move along to collecting my iPad and carry-on bag. To my surprise I heard the male agent say, “Switch.” Instantly a thin female agent took his place in front of me. My countenance dropped. She waved magically over and around me,  finding nothing harmful. Then she swabbed my palms! Good grief. I was passed off to an older agent who advised me it would take a moment for the swab results.

I said, “What did I do to deserve this?”

She replied casually, “Your necklace.”

original jewelry from aSI' Beads

original jewelry from aSI’ Beads

I’m sure my mouth dropped open at that point.  My necklace? Oh my goodness, I feel naked without earrings and always wear a tiny sentimental necklace. Yesterday I was also wearing a colorful chunky one. So my jewelry, which I somehow was unaware of the need to remove, was causing me to fail security and then opened me up to all kinds of attention to remove me as a threat.

Now, I don’t think any of the TSA security folks ever actually thought I was a threat. They were just following protocol, I assume. But how come no one ever told me to take off my jewelry? Was I helping them meet a quota for pat downs?! Well no more! Going forward I will not put on my jewelry till I get to my seat. They will have to find some other gypsy to frisk.

After I fly home tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it went.

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