Monday, January 08, 2007

It's anything you can smear

When people would complain about the TSA's annoying guidelines, I always rolled my eyes. "It's such a small inconvenience" I would think about removing shoes and longer lines. "What's the big deal?" Sure it was somewhat ridiculous that the TSA would adjust the guidelines based on the specificities of the latest threat, but really, aren't the worse things than being barefoot on the slimy floor at Newark Airport? (aren't there??)

But that was before they started screwing with my makeup.

On the way back from a recent trip, at the security check, things were already chaotic. We were loaded down with all of the ridiculous crap that you haul when you are airborne with baby -- the books, the snacks, the change of clothes for the inevitable puke. My husband was irritated because my license is expired (and I would rather be set on fire than renew it at the DMV) which meant I was in for the pat down. And then I remembered.

"My whole makeup bag is still with me!"

I had meant to put it in the checked luggage. I started to sweat. "I have over $500 of makeup in here!"

It's not exactly true. More like $200. But I had just gone to Sephora and replaced the last makeup bag that I lost somewhere. And this bag had everything, minus the tweezers. The overpriced Stila foundation. The perfect blush my friend J bought me for my birthday whose brand had rubbed off rendering it irreplacable. Brand new Lancome mascara, not yet clumpy. Need I go on?

"Let's go back!" my husband said. "It's not too late to get it in to our bags". He knew what he had on his hands.

But it was way too late. Chloe was already careening towards the empty shoe bins and we were virtually miles from the curb where we had checked our overpacked bags.

The security agent solved our quandary. "If you remove the liquid based things and put them in the dish, you'll be fine".

But what constitutes a liquid? Cream eyeshadow? Eyebrow gel? Lip gloss? I must have been wondering aloud because the agent said "It's anything you can smear".

I purged it all, relieved (until Chloe had to be separated from her stuffed dog, and we were both given the once over with a beeping wand.)

When my attention turned back to my husband, I realized he was amidst his own shakedown. Finally he walked over to me, eyes flashing.

"You are very lucky", he said, pushing my makeup bag at me. "They wanted to take this away."

"Why?" I asked, irritated. There was nary a liquid to be seen. Just powders.

"They said you should have removed all of the contents," he said smugly. "You came this close" he said, creating an inch space between his fingers and scooping up Chloe who was chewing on the Boarding Pass.

Look, I can handle the lines. The fact that my underwire always sets off the alarm. That my husband's foreign sounding name always makes us get double checked.

But when you start messing with my beauty stash -- you have gone way too far.

Oh and also, what are they doing with all of these confiscated beauty products? Surely there are women in need with unconcealed undereye circles and unemphasized cheekbones?


At 11:28 AM PST, Anonymous weboy said...

Having been in NYC on 9/11, I have gone along with every weird decision and every stupid privation... to the point that I now - horrors, to a real New Yorker - check my bag every time, carefully removing all things remotely liquid. I only wept on 9/13 when the police (I lived on a block where there was a police precinct) shut down my block and would only allow you in if you showed ID. I just don't live in that country. It was quite upsetting.

Anyhoo... I was in security line maybe a month after Britain, when the guy behind me had his carry-on pulled... because all his cleansers and moisturizers were in the bag. "Why are you taking them?" he asked. The guard looked amazede "Haven't you seen the news?" he asked. And it was all pricey stuff. I'm glad they let you keep the makeup. I know I'd be lost without my Clarins. :)

At 4:15 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I did a Paris not to long ago! I gave Rob a tiny, very artsy, russian pocket knife before going to Spain. Well, it was really kewl. I better look for a new one and start using face powder.

Bon Voyage,


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