max 2 carry-ons

Last Thursday, I was coming back home from Santa Barbara. It was a business as usual. I always connect through Phoenix and I always have to walk very far to get to my connecting flight.

While I was walking through the gates, I stopped in front of this gift shop. I always passed by this gift shop but on that day, something caught my eyes.
They had the cutest lion and dog beanie dolls. I had this urge to get them for Aaron and Jordan so I bought it without hesitation even though they were $60 each! I also bought a cute handbag for Katie.

Now, I had a carry-on luggage, a backpack, and two medium size shopping bags.
I know that TSA policy allows only up to 2 carry-ons on board per person.
However, I didn't worry about it much because these were really cute dolls, which I had purchased inside the terminal AND I was sitting in the First class cabin.

When I reached my gate, I walked up to the gate desk and started talking gently with a smile.
"Hi, I know that TSA policy blah blah but I saw these cutest dolls blah blah wanted to get them for my kids blah blah by the way I have a First class seat blah blah".

After I finished talking, she gave me the dirtiest look and told me straight out that I need to either consolidate my bags into two or check them in.

I was thinking to myself, "WHAT a BIT*H!!!! I was being so nice... and I'm sitting in a First class cabin!"

So I sat down and opened my luggage. I managed to stuff the lion and handbag inside the luggage but there was no way that the dog doll would fit inside.
So I decided to carry it in with me like a pillow, since people do carry in their own pillow or comfort thingy that goes around the neck.

I was then thinking that may be she's having a really bad day or there's a reason why she has to be strict about the TSA policy. At the moment, I was no longer angry at her. I just prayed that she may be able to find peace if she's having a trouble time. I also felt guilty that I was expecting to be accepted or treated exceptionally.

When I boarded, I was sitting in a First class cabin holding the cutest dog doll.
You can picture how funny it may look for a grownup dressed in a business casual, sitting in a First class cabin, hugging the cutest dog doll. I immediately explained to my fellow passenger about my situation. I guess it was more of my self defense so that he doesn't judge me in a wrong way.

I was sitting in a aisle and now all the Coach cabin passengers are passing by and looking at me. They all gave me a smile.... there were couple of kids that couldn't turn their eyes away from the doll that I was holding.

The Coach cabin line was being backed up and there was this old lady standing in front of me. She gave me the biggest smile ever. So I shook my head and told her, "It's a long story...".

She then told me,

"It's okay, I understand...
What's his name?"
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