If you are putting an underage person on a plane, you may request a hall pass so that you can accompany them to the gate. You have to give them a dna sample, and if you also happen to have children with you they must memorize their own social security numbers and bark them out when asked.
Here's how it went. The line for Southwest check-in went through the maze, across the room to the door and doubled back. I do not happen to be exaggerating. The old Auntie Suz would have been in big trouble as the 15 minutes I would have allowed to get my nephew checked in, through security and onto the plane would not have cut it. Yes, I have actually made people miss flights in my past life. But now I am more responsible and more frightened of my sister. We were early (sort of). We got the baggage checked and headed to security. As we took off our shoes, I overheard a man say "this kind of security is good for Americans. We're getting so we can't bend down and get our own shoes off." We all walked barefoot through the metal detector and met our stuff.
The security agent says, "whose orange handbag is this?" I confess it is mine, and tell him he is more than welcome to rifle through it. And then he picks out an Aveda bag with a very very very expensive bottle of hair tonic serum stuff which didn't work miracles and was in my bag (with receipt) so I could return it at Providence Place mall on my way home. I begin to hyperventilate. They are going to confiscate it. They are going to make me use the whole bottle right there. They are going to violate the terms of my sales receipt and I will be a) out the money and b) unable to go shopping with my refund. He tells me to take it easy. I have more stuff coming through, right? I cannot see how this is helpful and begin figuring out how I will explain to my sister that I sent her son on without me. The umbrella stroller pops out of the machine and the security agent rifles through the mesh bag (egads, he put his hands in there. Who KNOWS what is in that bag) and pulls out a mostly empty (cereal crumbs in bottom) zip lock bag. I am suddenly very glad and proud of myself for such poor housekeeping skills. Aveda bag is zipped into cereal bag and we are off and running.
We have about 30 seconds to say goodbye at the gate and then he is in the gangway waving and I am shrieking "Bye! I looooove you!!!!!!" and blowing kisses. A female passenger looks at me and says, "my son would kill me if I did that." I explain that he is not my son and therefore there is no recourse. I can do whatever I want. He is lucky I didn't wear my purple polyester toga.
I pick Lucy off the floor where she has sprawled due to running in Crocs on carpet ("mommy, why do you call it a 'faceplant'?" she asks me later). We brush ourselves off and try to find our way back out.
And then we hit the mall. I return my very very very expensive bottle, but I spare her the story (it's comforting to know that I will blog about things like this later and so don't have to tell unsolicited stories to everyone I encounter throughout the day). I also pull out my You-Have-Spent-Way-Too-Much-Money-at-Aveda gift certificate for a free perfume. It is actually called a Pure-fume Spirit something or other and requires that the recipient fill out a short questionnaire to establish recipient's Dosha. You then get to pick from one of the scents that's specially blended to balance your Dosha. This is tricky, because they are very nice at Aveda and I'm sure they took special precautions to not make it sound like their clientele is routinely unbalanced and they are doing their best to remedy it.
I am "Infinity/Air" which may explain a lot should I chose to find out what it explains. I do not actually like the scents recommended for my particular element and so wind up with something that will make me still more unbalanced. Specifically, "Water #7".
This is good, the unbalanced bit, because as my nephew gets older I am afraid I am getting to be less Completely Certifiably Crazy in his eyes. It used to be so fun chasing him around the house with a cake of tofu. But as time goes on, I think he's just grateful that we haven't decided to do away with running water. Nothing surprises him anymore.
I'll just have to try harder. And I've got just the Pure-fume Spirit thingy to help me do it.