Jay Lake: Writer

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[culture] Waiting, in line or otherwise

I have no patience for waiting, in line or otherwise. Sometimes you have to — airport security, for example — at which point I put on my big boy pants and deal. But I won’t wait for a restaurant table or a movie ticket or at a music venue or a festival. My absolute limit for hanging around a restaurant to be seated is fifteen minutes, and that’s mostly governed by my laziness in not wanting to go elsewhere. As I’ve often said, they could be hosting the Second Coming and free chocolate on the lawn, and I won’t go stand around for it.

The only real exception for this is when I’m with a friend who really wants to do something, and I want to be with my friend. At that point, I’m not waiting in line, I’m spending time with a friend who happens to be doing something I wouldn’t normally do. It’s a mental shift.

This means there’s places I like around Portland I very rarely get to eat at anymore. The Screen Door, for example, or Apizza Scholls, where it’s incredibly difficult to get in unless you show up early and wait for them to open. I love the food at both places, but my life’s too short to spend it hanging about for an hour to get a table. (And this ignores my current health issues, which make waiting in line almost literally impossible for me because I cannot stand in one place for more than a couple of minutes without needing to sit down.)

I can’t figure out if this is utterly reasonable of me or an irrational tic on my part. I don’t suppose it matters much either way. I’m happier not being frustrated by standing around, that’s good enough for me.

Do you wait for things? What do you get out of it?

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