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I hardly slept that night. I was nervous, and excited, but wanted to play cool.
In the morning, my mom took me to the airport.
"Now remember, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do."
"I know Mom. I'll be fine. Thanks. I'll see you later."
I took my bag out of the car and headed into the airport terminal.
I had to be there a minimum of two hours early. It had been a little over a month since the September 11 attacks. Security was tight.
I verified who I was and picked up my boarding pass.
Then I made my way over to the long security line.
Finally it was my turn to go through the metal detectors.
I took out all my earrings, removed any other jewelry I could think of and tried to pass through again.
The other passengers were agitated by me. I couldn't think of what else it could be. My pockets were empty. I was shoeless. There wasn't a whole lot else that I could remove.
I was taken to another room for closer inspection.
A security woman pulled out a wand and began to run it along my body. She began scanning me at the bottom right foot. She moved up my leg, then towards my torso. The wand was chest high, Beep. Beep. She took a step back and looked at me. Then she repeated the scan starting on my bottom left side. As soon as that wand was chest height, Beep. Beep.
The guard asked me if I was hiding something in my bra.
I was dumbfounded.
Another guard had come to investigate.
"Miss? Are you wearing an underwire bra?"
My cheeks went red. Every small chested girl knows that padding and underwire are her friends.
"Yes," I answered.
Both security guards laughed. They said I was free to go.
I put my shoes back on, and grabbed my suitcase. The whole underwire fiasco had taken a long time and I was going to miss my flight if I didn't hurry.
I finally got to my boarding gate, and the place was desereted.
I went up to the counter.
"Yes, I'm MomBabe. I need to check in?" I offered up my driver's license and boarding pass. The girl scanned my ticket.
"Oh, yes. May I have your bag?"
"My bag? It's a carry on."
"Yes, I know. Due to new security measures, we have to inspect passenger bags."
"Yeah, but I already went through that. My bag went through that little machine thing and it was fine."
"Miss, we need to check your bag. It will only take a few minutes."
I handed it over. The check in girl passed it to another security guy who threw my suitcase onto a table.
He tore open the zipper and ripped my bag apart. He took each and every item out of my suitcase and put it on display. Horrified, I watched as this man dumped my underwear out and began rifling through it. Suddenly, the inspection ended and my once delicately packed suitcase had its contents thrown back in and zipped up.
He brought my bag back, and the check in girl sweetly smiled and finally allowed me to get on the plane.