When I first did it, I was filled with anxiety. But my belief in it forced me to overcome it.
Today was my third time. I had just under an hour until my flight departed as my belongings moved on the conveyer belt. This time, I steadily looked at the TSA agent who was checking the bins and said in a strong but quiet voice, “I would like to opt out.”
She directed me to stand behind a female passenger who just opted out. The TSA agent asked me to point out my belongings—I pointed out the three bins and my bag. Last time in New York, I remember the TSA agent wondering aloud how I was able to fit all the five bins in two bags. This time, the TSA agent said nothing.
I stood waiting behind the glass gate, somewhat nervous that I would miss my flight, but certain that I couldn’t wuss out. I had taken a stance on opting out. My mind wandered to the idea of my biological clock ticking—I do want kids, after all…right?
The TSA agent called out again to her colleagues behind the security line, “Female opt out request, please! Female times two!”
“Are you opting out too?” the female traveler in front of me asked. I nodded and we exchanged knowing smiles.
It was my turn and the female agent led me to a screening area. She asked me if I would like a private screening and I declined. She asked me if I had any sore or painful spots and I also said no. Standing on barefeet, she asked me to spread my legs and put my arms out with palms upward to the ceiling. Quietly, I observed the commotion around me—watching a fellow female passenger make nervous comments—”San Franciscans must love this…” She seemed both amused and anxious. I noticed an obvious pregnant bulge.
Then it was over and I arrived at my gate…and I just waltzed into the flight since boarding had already started. 30 minutes to spare.