Thursday, May 20, 2010

Packing it in for a Texas wedding

We're packing now for Oldest Son's wedding Saturday in Texas. I have a tux waiting for me there. I'll need a suit for Friday night's rehearsal dinner. I can wear that on the plane. Underwear and socks and a couple of other shirts, a pair of blue jeans, and my dress shoes (I'll wear the gym shoes in the airport, thank you) go in a small carry-on bag and... voila! I am finished.

If it wasn't for the TSA, I'd be able to throw my razor and deodorant and eye drops in there, too. I would have room. I could put the eye drops in my pocket so TSA can sniff and inspect and wonder about them. Replacements for the rest are easily procured at the other end of the journey.

Long Suffering Spouse, however, has to take makeup. TSA won't allow that in a carry-on... not without holding everything up to the light at least, making sure nothing is in sizes of greater than three ounces. And female readers may not be surprised to learn that she's not wearing her dress on the plane. So we will have to check one bag. When the plane lands, that will give everyone else something to do while I go get the rental vehicle.

I'm not at all sure why makeup is problematic for our government minders. After all, I am virtually positive that none of the 9/11 terrorists were in drag. Richard Reid tried smuggling explosives in his shoes; our federal protectors decided that, since one person had tried to smuggle explosives in his shoes, all passengers thereafter will have to remove their shoes for inspection. Fortunately the government has (so far) not decided to apply this same logic after the failed effort of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

I told this story before, but it's worth repeating: In the early 2000s, only a year or two after 9/11, I overheard a young lawyer on an elevator in the Daley Center. He was explaining to a friend how TSA had confiscated his nail clipper from his carry-on... but left him in possession of his then fashionable Razor scooter. Seriously: which do you suppose might do more damage in the arms of someone out to cause trouble? A large metal object or a nail clipper? (Halt! Take me to the cockpit or I'll ruin your manicure!)

And there's other stuff, too, that makes packing more difficult for women than for men. Long Suffering Spouse prefers a type of, um, undergarment that has a metal wire enclosed therein. This 'underwire,' as it is called, offers support in places where she wants support. But it also sets off x-ray scanners and guarantees a session with a TSA agent and one of their magnetic wands. So this garment has to be packed. A different garment must be worn in the airport. Neither of these will work with the dress for Saturday or the outfit for Friday. That's two more garments.

My wife is very good. She's managed to find one pair of shoes for both fancy outfits. So she's only bringing two pairs of shoes. But Younger Daughter hasn't announced how many she's bringing yet. The over/under in Vegas is at 3.5. I've got the over.

We are taking my mother-in-law on the plane. To hear her talk, she's bringing a trunk. My mother-in-law wants a wheelchair at the airport because she's worried that the walk to the gate may be too long for her. (She's probably right: Any flight I book is usually assigned the most distant gate possible. And O'Hare -- or "O'Hara" as The Late Mare used to say -- is a pretty big place.)

Chicago has a wonderful train system that connects our airports with the Loop. We can walk from our home to the Blue Line and be in the airport in 10 minutes. But, first, because walking will be a challenge for her, we must drive my mother-in-law to the airport and drop her off. She just figured out how the rest of us are getting to the airport last night. She was shocked; she thought we'd park there.

The sad truth is, were we to park in the airport, and pay the blood money associated therewith, we'd probably have to walk at least as far to the shuttle bus or people mover as we will walk from our house to the train anyway. But my mother-in-law hadn't thought about that. Now she's wondering how she'll get home. We've suggested we'll all take the train and then I'll run home and bring back the car. She's thinking about a cab at this point. We'll see how that develops. While she's afraid of taking the train, she's nearly as afraid of cabs.


Dave said...

Have as much fun as the father of the Groom is allowed to have.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

please have lss take a photo of you in your suit and tennis shoes for the blog. you don't have to show your face. i already know what you look like. ha ha ha

smiles, bee

Barb said...

Have a wonderful time and sending best wishes to the couple.

*dancing around* You wouldn't say BRA!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good luck to all on the big day!

Ellee Seymour said...

What a proud day for you I hope it all went well.

Rob said...

I've gotten to the point where I'll nearly sacrifice a limb in order to only do carry-on luggage. Very often this means forgoing convenient rolling bags, but the added mobility for clamoring through the airport makes up for the struggle of shouldering bags.