Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Life in the Slow Lane

Yesterday I was at the bank, waiting in a fairly long line, and a guy came by and offered to take my deposit and give me a receipt 'so i wouldn't have to wait.' I needed cash back, so he couldn't help me.

But as I was standing there, I realized that I DID want to wait. That I LIKE to wait in lines. That I LONG to wait in LONG lines.

Waiting in a line is about the only time, during the day at least, that I can just Zen out...go into that zone where you don't think, but let your mind focus on nothing, like a cat staring at a wall. Or you CAN think about things that matter, like rolling a line of poetry around in your head, what color to paint a wall, what kind of sunflowers to plant, what a friend said, sex and how you want it, elegant numbers, etc.

Along the same lines (NPI), I think grocery store checkers are too speedy. No, I take that back. Sometimes I'm in a bitch-hurry, and then they are too slow, but most of the time, I love to languish at the grocery store, study the cheese section, wander the cool aisles, stand in front of the ice cream freezers spending too much time deciding to buy any or not, read bad magazines while I'm in line, then put them back without buying them.

This takes me back to my childhood, going to the store with my mother and brothers on summer nights at, like, 11 pm, playing football with a roll of paper towels, running around getting things for her. Then we'd stand in line while the checker took forever, chatting. It took forever, and was a lot of fun.

Now, I get to the line, and they zip you through SO fast that the next person is staring at you while you stuff your debit card back in your wallet and shuffle past, even though it took all of 70 seconds to do the WHOLE transaction even if you have a FULL cart. What with the conveyer belts, UPC code scanners and all.

Don't get me wrong. I don't need to be overly friendly with my checker. I don't need to chat about their dog. When I'm in a hurry, I'm TERRible. I'm a total bitch and stare at people (even poor little old ladies) who write checks in grocery store lines - "now HOW much was that? WHAT's the name of this store?" I'd never say anything, but I seethe. When I'm in a hurry. And that is altogether TOO often. I even go through the self-check-out line when I'm irritated just so I won't be grumpy...it is usually SLOWer, but at least I'm in control of my own grocery destiny...I'm just saying that sometimes standing in a line is the only brain down time a lot of people get in a day, and I KNOW I don't get enough of it. Hence brain fatique, bitchiness, and a sense of go, go, going....

I know, I'm a hypocrite and a whiner. But if I had more time to stand in lines, thinking, perhaps I could reevaluate my own morals and align them with my chosen ideology (if I weren't a nullifidian).

Reinstate lines! Create SLOW lanes. Serve tea.