I used to love the airport as a kid. We would arrive early to pick up a relative, usually my grandparents, for the holidays. I loved the adventure of it. The parking lot, the long walk into the building and then the security line.
During long walk down the hallway to the security line the excitement would build. I loved every minute of it. No need for a ticket, they just let you roam the whole place.
One holiday, it must have been Christmas, we had two trips to the airport. The first trip was pretty uneventful except I was pretty curious about the metal detector. How much metal would it take to set off? My winter coat had a long row of metal snaps, maybe a dozen in all. I was pretty sure today would be the day I would set of the detector. As I approached I wondered what they would say, how closely they would search me and how loud the beeps would be, it was exciting!
Sadly, no such luck.
I planned my strategy in the car ride home from my next trip in a few hours, I would load my pockets with change.
I was only about five which meant all the money I had was mostly nickels and pennies, it was the metal I needed.
I was ecstatic when I set off the alarm that day, not so much for security and my parents.
Flash forward to today, I am at the airport waiting for a flight. The security lines, masks, and ongoing alerts for safety.
I miss the days of the joys of the airport.
(Years ago I used to take a ton of redeye flights. Transportation to the airport was difficult so I had to show up sometimes as much as six hours early. I loved walking through the empty walkways in the deep night. The quiet of a super busy place is fun to experience.)
5 thoughts on “There was this time I set off the metal detector…”
I love this memory slice. Isn’t it funny to think of the perspective shift from kids to adults? My childhood airport memories are also filled with more joy than my current airport experiences. Thanks for sharing.
I can see why a trip to the airport can stir up some excitement in a kid. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about it, now having made hundreds of these trips with living overseas the past 20 years. The anticipation is still there, but also mixed with some apprehension as I’ve had some close calls with missing flights, missed flights, cancelled flights in the mix. The security process now feels a lot more like cattle herding. Let me tell you about riding the trains…
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I remember meeting family members at the airport who had layovers in our city. We’d just go in and hang out with them (and aunt, a cousin, a grandparent) until it was time for them to board their next flight. It seems so strange to think about it now.
I am terrified of setting off the metal detector! How refreshing to see another way to view this whole protocol.
It is so sad how things have changed so drastically- I get why is had to but the is sad in itself as well. I love how you hoped to set the detector off as a kid…