Thursday, July 5, 2007

Convention Woes

As I prepare to attend the national Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas in July, I can't help but remember the year the convention was in Reno. What a wonderful place to visit. Not only was the conference informative but I had a wonderful time playing the slots. Luckily, I didn't lose more than $20.00. I wish I could say the trip was a complete success, but unfortunately there was a hitch.

As we prepared to leave the hotel, I put my driver's license in my pocket so I wouldn't have to search for it while in line at the airport. If you've ever been to a national conference, you know you receive loads of free books. So, we were loaded down with carry on bags, determined we wouldn't leave any behind.

When leaving the hotel, I dropped our room keys in the key box and we hailed a taxi. The line at the airport was long, so we negotiated our mountain of baggage, inch by inch, closer to the counter. When we were several customers away, I reached in my pocket for my driver's license. It wasn't there. After ten minutes of panic, I realized I'd dropped it in the key box at the hotel. Unfortunately, the desk clerks were busy and in no hurry to rush it out to the airport for me.

I explained my situation to the ticket clerk. She asked if I had another form of picture ID. I couldn't think of one but searched my wallet and came across my Sam's card. She was able to accept it with a credit card, but let me know I'd be going through extra security. No problem. As long as I got on that plane, I'd go through anything.

However, I didn't really know what extra security meant. I was pulled aside, my purse and carry on bags were searched. It was embarrassing when he pulled out all those romance books with the hot covers. A wand was swished around in my bag and then inserted into a machine to test for drugs or explosives or something. Then I was told to put my feet on the marked places on the floor. In other words, "spread 'um." A female security guard passed a wand over my body, patted me down, and I was released -- after stuffing all those novels back in my bag.

Truth be told, I'm grateful to have made my flight and feel no ill will toward the airline security people. I appreciate their efforts to keep us safe in the air, and hate that I made their job more difficult. I can assure you, I won't make the same mistake twice.

Fortunately this year we'll be driving. Hope to see you in Dallas.


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