My flight to San Diego was out of Dulles at 8:23 on a Saturday morning.
I'd checked in online the day before, and got to Dulles about 7:10. The line for people who had already checked in but had to check a bag was only marginally shorter than the other line. And it crawled. Which makes you feel like really, what's the point?
Usually I try to only bring a carry-on, but this time I'd simply packed too many shoes. The price of vanity.
The line was painfully slow. I zoned out and shuffled along as the line progressed.
There was a thin, blonde, twitchy woman in front of me with her thin, blonde, bored teenage daughter. The woman kept craning her neck and scanning.
"Do you see Daddy? Where did they take him?"
You could tell they'd had this conversation before. The daughter had very calm responses.
"I don't know."
"I just can't believe they have him on that terrorist watch list."
"It's because of his name."
"He doesn't have a terrorist name. It's not like he has a Middle Eastern, terrorist-sounding name."
"No, Mom. You know it's because he has a totally cheesy ordinary name that terrorists like to use as aliases."
"I know. I know."
I was itching to ask what Daddy's name was. But didn't.
Time passed. The line barely moved. The woman looked around every few seconds.
"Here he is!"
Daddy - an innocuous looking white guy - appeared. Empty handed.
"Where are your bags?"
Daddy replied, "They put them through."
"Well, clearly it's a better deal to be on the terrorist watch list."