Wednesday, August 30, 2017

vacation mode

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."

"but how?"

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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