I almost missed the plane. Of course, right? I got to SeaTac airport early, checked in, got mostly naked to get through security, hopped the train to my gate and there I was… without my backpack! This backpack not only had my favorite sweater, shmancy chocolate that Violet had picked out for Kristen, and a rockin ipod playlist for the trek to Jess’s party, this backpack had my hair product!
I had eight minutes until the plane boarded. I had a serious decision to make.
Since spraining my ankle I haven’t run. I haven’t even tried. And up until the exact moment of realizing that I had forgotten my backpack at the security checkpoint I wasn’t even sure it was possible yet. But like I mentioned my hair product was in that bag and I had 8 minutes.
I ran. Oh how I ran.
I hopped the train backwards towards the security checkpoint and in my frenzied, hair product-less obsessed mind, instead of staying past the security check point area I ran right back out of the secured part of the airport into baggage claim. WHOOPS SQUARED.
So now I had 5 minutes and I was exactly where I started when Violet dropped me off over an hour ago. I continued to run. (At this point running was totally unnecessary as there was really nowhere I could run to, but it felt good and it was giving me a false sense of being proactive about my situation.) I saw some TSA lady about to get into an elevator and decided she was my last hope. I half yelled, “Excuse me! I know you spend too much of your day having to deal with panicked morons like me… I know that, but will you PLEASE help me!” She rolled her eyes and started walking towards the security check point, waving her hand at me, without looking at me like, “Come on you sad, lost little animal. Mamma’s here now, you dumb little baby.” And I followed her with big eyes and endless hope, like a lost, little, dumb baby bird.
She went to the front of the security check line and yelled, “Hey! Sam! I got another one here. Left their backpack about 15 minutes ago. Flight in 5.” And then my angel TSA mamma bird who kind of hated me was gone.
Sam opened several of those rat maze like rope things that the line of folks weave around while peeling off all things metal and putting all liquids into a clear sack. He took me right to the front of one of the metal detectors to know one else’s approval or delight. I again got mostly naked, walked through the gates of oh-my-god-I-might-actually-make-my-flight and then some woman in some special tower 20 feet away waved my backpack at me. I gave her a thumbs up and she waved at me to come over.
When I got there she had hid it behind a desk and ask me, “Oh ya? What color is it?” And my brain though, “Wait? What the hell? You just showed it to me.” But there was no time for trying to question our internal homeland security processes and procedures; I had a flight that left in 2 minutes! I said, “Red.” She said, “Mm hmm. And what’s in it?” I said, “A fabulous gray sweater, a couple of purple rubber ducky devil ducky things… um, my bathroom bag (i.e. my hair product!!!) and some…” She cut me off and handed it to me. I thanked her profusely as I once again did what I could to be as proactive about catching this plane as possible and I ran like no one’s ephing business.
I ran down several flights of stairs, hopped back on the train and ran to the gate. Everyone had already boarded. A guy took my ticket and said, “Go! Hurry!” I ran down the ramp and onto my plane. I did the walk of shame past several isles of already-ready-to-go passengers who all stared at me and gave me pointless and predictable dirty looks. I was sweating like mad as I crammed my bag into an overhead bin. I found my middle seat, in between a woman reading Genesis and another woman who spoke no English and who would insist I take a piece of her chewing gum every 30 minutes or so for our entire flight.
The cabin doors closed as the flight attendant came by and said, “That was a close call, sir. Please put your seat belt on.” And off we were. Off I was. To New York.