I am not sure but I think I am engaged to a TSA airport security agent, because recently she visited places on me that only my husband has traveled.
We were on our way to catch a flight at the Southwest Florida International Airport recently. A security agent pulled me out of line because, uh, well, I don't know. Maybe it was my pink Croc shoes, my dress with wildly colored flowers and my alligator earrings. Maybe she thought, "No one would really wear these clothes in public. I'll search this wildly oddlooking woman."
I remained calm because all I had to hide were my stretch marks and varicose veins. I was waiting for the security lady to wave the wand over me, checking for metal like 24-carat gold, which unfortunately was not draped all over my body. But, instead, she told me that she was going to pat me down.
So, she put on her latex gloves, like the gynecologist and proctologist. So right away I am thinking, "Uh oh!" She began to pat me up and down and all around, including my — as my prudish aunt used to call them — mammary glands. But it was when she asked me to step one foot forward that we changed from getting to know one another to dating.
Yup, she got private with my privates! Off on a bench putting his shoes back on, my husband watched the little affair. He didn't know whether to be jealous or be a hero and rescue me. So, he stood there with his mouth hanging open. Since I was wearing a dress which was now up to my thighs, I was regretting not taking the time in the shower that morning to shave my legs.
I said, "How do shy people react when you are doing this?" She said curtly, "Do you want a private room?" Well, I knew I was at a dangerous crossroads, my dear sweet readers. I could say, "Are you asking to marry me?" or "Isn't that illegal in all states but Nevada?" or "You are lovely but I prefer men — George Clooney in particular." But I knew this may not be funny to the very serious woman with her hands on the inside of my thighs. So I said, "No" and watched two women nervously hurrying to put on their little orthopedic shoes, before the security agent started dating them.
Now, I know a few Fort Myers airport agents were fired this summer for not pulling enough of us old geezers out of line to check and make sure our girdles weren't filled with explosives. But I didn't know that they traded the "let me wave this wand over you" to "let's have dinner, drinks and go back to my place." Now, I was convinced that the TSA has these agents whipped into a frenzy making sure that not even body odor gets through on their watch! But that was before we headed home.
For our return flight, we arrived at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Trying to avoid another erotic fling with a TSA agent, I am smiling sweetly and not wearing my pink flamingo earrings and purple Crocs as I originally planned. I get to the first security checkpoint, when the agent inspects your license and boarding pass. There is a big difference between me now and me in my old license picture — 135 pounds to be precise.
I said to the agent, "Do you notice any difference between me and my picture?" He looks at me, then the picture, then back at me, and said, "You changed your hair."
Well, he may not be the sharpest tack in the drawer, but then again, he did give the typical male answer to the same question we females have asked men for centuries. It's was definitely good to know that some things never change.
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Andrea Cooper was a journalist, environmental land use planner, international speaker, published author, and a New England resident. Now, she happily lives with her husband, Coop, in Naples where she makes a nuisance of herself by forcing people to look at pictures of her granddaughters, Sienna and Addison. Her column appears every other week.