1. The stress of having to remove the contents of my pockets, my cardigan and jacket, my choker and my boots and bundle them into multiple trays on a conveyor belt, while people wait impatiently behind me.
2. Walking through the security scanner and knowing it might beep. (No, I’m not a criminal. But I do wear hairclips.)
3. Having to put my boots back on afterwards. They have bloody laces. And I always have to find a clear space on the floor where I can put them on without being in everyone’s way.
4. Having to put my choker back on. Without a mirror.
5. The risk of being “searched” i.e.. patted down. God, this is arguably the worst one. The possibility that I will be picked for searching after I walk through the scanner looms over me as I remove my personal possessions. Please not me. I do not relish the idea of a total stranger patting my body. Even if they’re authorized airport security. It is probably a fetish for some, but I’ll gladly stay away. At least the member of staff that pats you down is always someone of your own gender. Even so, can you think of anything more awkward?
6. Actually being patted down. Not just the possibility of it. I had my flipping hair searched in Morocco. Furthermore, there was the risk that anything embarrassing could happen, like my clothing could come loose or a button could pop off, and having a stranger’s hands on my body would not increase the ease with which I dealt with that.
7. Having to stand in a full body-body scanner. I take back being patted as the worst item on the list. Having a machine seeing under your clothes beats that hands-down. Literally hands-down. It gets worse. Because there’s actually someone looking at the scan.
8. When the people who work there are rude, impatient or lacking in understanding.
9. When your mother is forced to go and stand in a different queue to you and the rest of your family even though you guys have already reached the end of the line – because her passport isn’t the same as yours.
10. When the security staff take away your expensive lipstick and face powder even though they have no reason to, simply because they like the look of it and they want to keep it for themselves.