Childhood demands an excruciating quantity of waiting around. Waiting for adults to finish talking,waiting for Christmas, waiting to grow up. The ultimate form of of waiting is being forced to stand in line. We lined up for the morning school bus. We queued for the water fountain, recess, lunch, dismissal, and the afternoon bus home. I despised everything about lines. Didn't everybody?
Of course not. There were kids for whom standing in line was making the scene, being where the action was. Missing a line was like missing a party. I remember them streaking across the playground, singing out a joyous call, like the call to prayer: "Line up, line up, L-I-N-E-! U-P-!" It was the high point of the day. Only there could they play out the urgent social dramas of their lives. Who stands next to whom. Who let who cut. Who is whose best friend today. They must have felt about line-standing the way I felt about spelling bees--a golden chance to show the world what you're made of.
For me, waiting has no redeeming features. I dislike suspense or anticipation. I don't think getting there is half the fun. That's one reason dieting is so damned hard. It's all about waiting, waiting for normal body processes to do their inevitable but very, very slow work of burning off stored fat. Yes, the process can be sped up by exercise. But still it's like trying to empty the swimming pool, not by opening a drain, but by letting the water evaporate.
My dear reader, you have been listening so patiently. Now you have some advice to give me, don't you? I'd love to hear it. Get in line!