The book signing yesterday went well and I sold about a dozen books. The staff was great, the customers were nice, and I got to visit with my parents! So it was a successful trip all round.
Now I’m in the airport, getting ready to board a flight for Orlando. My sister has a conference at Disney World, and I’m going along for the ride. The thought is that I’ll write during the day while she’s at the conference, then I’ll go out with her to the parks in the evening and have fun.
I’m in the middle of my trek to Orlando (connecting flight thing.) This morning was the first time I’d flown since 2000. There’s been no need to fly before now—Charlotte is 3 hours from the beach, 2 hours from the mountains, and our family is all within easy driving distance.
Of course I’d read about all the airline changes. It’s very different flying in a post-9/11 world. I used to take my son to the airport when he was a toddler and he’d be fascinated watching the planes take off and land. I’d bring a book to read and we’d happily kill a couple of hours at the airport and then drive back home. No flight, just a free toddler-entertainment activity.
So this morning I had no idea what I was doing. The security people were smiling a whole lot at me—but not, I think, in a nice way. I’d done the taking off of the shoe thing, and I took off my watch and a metal necklace I had on. Then I put my bags on the conveyer belt.
“Ma’am. We’ve got to take your laptop out, put it in a separate tub, and run it back through again.”
“Oh, okay. Of course. Whatever we need to do.” I start tugging on my laptop.
“Ma’am! Do not touch your laptop! You’re not allowed to touch your laptop.”
“Oh. Okay. You were saying ‘we’ but you meant ‘I’.” I’m not trying to be a smarty pants, I’m just trying to explain why I was violating their security protocol. I didn’t want to be detained or anything. He had a pronoun usage problem.
Harsh look from the security man. He pulls out my laptop and runs it through.
Finally I get to my gate. An elderly lady and I start talking to each other. She needs to go to get something to eat and asks me to watch her bags…I must look trustworthy. So I watch her bags….then stern announcement comes on about not watching other people’s bags. I’m in trouble again.
I get on the plane and open up my laptop. NO! Bad Elizabeth! No computers during take-off.
I’m looking forward now to getting on this flight to Orlando and making the final leg of my journey there. And writing. I think that will help calm me down.
And on the way back home….well, now I know the ropes.