I am an avid rule-follower and a control freak. Not a good combination on a normal day. But send me to the airport to get on a plane and all my addictive triggers kick in.
I have the normal irritations with the people who carry on enormous bags. They hold up the line of passengers as they spend several minutes trying to jam their suitcase into the overhead bin. (Wait. That does irritate everyone else, right?)
But I have to take it a step further. On one leg of a recent trip, we were on a tiny commuter plane. The man in the seat across the aisle from us had just such a bag. He couldn’t cram it into the overhead bin so he tried to shove it under the seat in front of him. When that didn’t work, he just left it on the floor and put his feet on top of it.
I squeezed my husband’s hand in a vice grip. “That’s never going to work,” I whisper through gritted teeth.
“Maybe it won’t.” He shook his hand to return the circulation. “But it’s not your problem, right?”
He’s technically right. The man’s bag was not my problem, but it was a problem for my angst ridden personality.
Security screening at the airport is another big trigger for me.
“What? I have to take my shoes off?” the woman in front of me asks. While she unlaces her *thigh-high boots, my Rule Following Alarm starts ticking. [*slight exaggeration]
“What do you mean I can’t carry it through?” she says holding a bottle of water. “I haven’t even opened it yet.” My inner Control Freak begs to intervene.
The security guard announces that all jewelry must be removed and I notice that the woman sports a gold chain with a cross on it. I shove my hands in my pockets. As we inch forward the guard makes the no-jewelry announcement again and points to her necklace.
“This?” she says, lifting the chain off her neck. “Surely, you don’t want me to take this off.”
I break out in a cold sweat as she pauses to slowly remove her belt. “What kind of a country do we live in?” she complains.
“A country with rules!” I want to shout.
We are within inches of the x-ray machine when the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Right before the woman’s security bin slides on to the conveyor belt she turns it longways. My fingers itch to reach out and turn the bin the other way so as to keep them the shortest distance apart in order to slide through the process quicker.
This is my third and final issue (yes, family, I said FINAL.) I’m the Idiot Savant of Organization. I walk into a room and my brain rearranges every piece of furniture into it’s most logical position. A trait that has caused me no end of problems.
Oh yes, I’m a Triple Threat. A Control Freak, Rule Following, Idiot Savant of Organization.
I understand they have officially removed the term “Idiot” from Savant. But in my case, I think it still applies.