Glenda Marshall: Conquering my arch-nemesis: LAX


Glenda Marshall received the Ventura County ‘Female Student of the Year’ award and will be honored on December 12 at . Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Glenda Marshall

Last week, I traveled by myself on an airplane for the first time. Given that I am only five months away from being a legal adult, I wish I could say that I had a relatively easy time navigating the terminals. Unfortunately, it was quite the contrary. I love traveling, but I must say that LAX has officially become my second least favorite place on the planet, only surpassed by Las Vegas (a.k.a. the cigarette/crazy people capital of the world). If you are curious why my adventure was so unnerving, I have provided a short summary of my trip below.

 The stress started on my shuttle ride down to the airport when I spent the two-hour drive freaking out that I had put too much hummus in my vegetable wrap and that it was going to be confiscated at security (if you don’t know, hummus is considered a liquid by the TSA.)

This would have been bad for two reasons:

 1) I would’ve had to buy a $10 fruit cup for dinner.

2) I would’ve had to face an airport security guard (The last time that happened, I got yelled at by a woman who looked like she ate small mammals for breakfast. Can you say scarred for life?).

 Luckily, my hummus was not mistaken for an explosive, so I made it through security quite smoothly.

 I then faced my next airport challenge: finding my gate. After miserably walking in circles trying to figure out why the arrows for Gate 67 kept leading me to Gate 64 and Gate 65, I started to contemplate if Gate 67 was like Platform 9 3/4 and if I should start trying to run through walls. Luckily, I soon realized that the up arrow meant “walk straight” and not “go up the escalators” (in my defense, it was 11 p.m. and my logic was not 100 percent reliable).

 I then proceeded to sit down at my gate and momentarily reveled in my success. Unfortunately, my happiness was short lived. I wanted to listen to music, but faced a major obstacle: my headphones were sitting on my dresser at home, right where I had put them when I went to get my suitcase out the basement. Alas, I could not tune out my anxiety with musical consolation. To cope with my disappointment, I tried to sing songs in my head, but the only one I could think of was “Crying On A Suitcase” by Casey James because I was sitting in an airport next to my suitcase secretly crying about my missing ear buds. Finally, I just decided to go buy a pair from the gift shop across the way.

 You would think that after I was able to cleanse my soul with some Jonas Brothers music, I might feel better. Wrong. For some reason, the only thing that I could think about was what would happen if my plane crashed onto a wacky time-traveling island and my life became a pathetic interpretation of the TV show “Lost.” I know it was probably dumb to be contemplating the possibility of my plane crashing right before I boarded, but I couldn’t help myself. It didn’t help that the guy sitting next to me turned out to be a doctor.

 Finally, I made it onto the plane, and, while the women next to me were very nice, sleeping in a moving vehicle has never been my greatest talent, so I would hesitate to say my night got much better. But despite everything, I made it to Maryland. While I think it is fairly clear my trip was not easy, I have to say that I do possess a strange sense of satisfaction knowing I got to my destination. Regardless of my struggles, I made it, and, in the end, I think that is all that matters.

What do you think?