nearly 15 years ago, i headed to the desert to meet my roommate and her boyfriend at coachella. with all the planning instincts of a free-spirited 21-year-old, i barely looked up driving directions, let alone festival rules and polices. i waited in the security line anticipating all the bands and artists i would be seeing that day. i handed over my bag to a security officer with the confidence of someone who knows she has no weapons or drugs.
"that's a lot of snacks you have in here," the security officer commented as she moved my water bottle out of the way.
"yeah. wouldn't want to be stuck out here hungry," i replied chipperly.
she laughed, gave me a long look, and zipped up my bag. "have a great time today!"
"thanks," i smiled, practically skipping away.
the moment passed without much thought until several hours later when my roommate's boyfriend started mulling over food options.
"well, i have ham and cheese if you want. also, apple slices, trisquits, fruit snacks..."
"what?!" he said with surprise.
with a sudden burst of pride in my adulting, i went on, "have whatever you like. i also have water if you are thirsty."
"how did you get this in here?"
"i packed it."
"but how? how did you get all of this past security?"
"what?" i asked, genuinely confused.
"you're not allowed to bring in any food or drinks."
"ohhhhhhhhh," i said, thinking back to my conversation with the security officer. "i think security just took pity on me. or realized i had no idea i was breaking the rules."
my roommate started laughing. "she probably figured that no one can fake that sincerity."
fast forward to august 30, 2017. i'm fighting off a pre-vacation exhaustion cold and frantically packing so chris and i do not miss our flights. between sniffles, i pack the freshly warmed leftover chicken soup from last night. as we stand in the security line, i remember that i have an apple juice in my bag.
"oh shoot! would you help me drink this before we go through security?" i ask chris.
we chug the juice and i swallow a tylenol pm just in time.
we pass through security without further ado and i settle in at the gate. i find a plastic spoon, pull out my now-lukewarm soup, and tell chris i'll watch the bags while he gets some snacks.
"you brought soup?" chris asks with genuine surprise.
"yeah, i'm still pretty congested so i thought it would feel good."
"how did you get it through security?"
"i packed it."
and i felt that same feeling i had at coachella. "oops. maybe they saw me chug the juice, heard my sniffles, and took pity?"
we both laughed. whatever the reason, i'm taking it as a good omen for this vacation.
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