It’s been awhile since I posted a “Say It Saturday” post. Of course, it’s not because I have nothing to say – unless it’s before 9 a.m. If you’ve read my previous two posts on this topic, the intent is to write simple posts about current events, homeschooling, or just a random thing that’s on my mind. This week is very random: Lines. Not an element of art, or tan lines (although as I type, I have a bit of a sunburn), but lines that you stand in. And wait. And wait, and wait. Who the heck likes lines?
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I heard a joke sometime ago: “How do you confuse a group of homeschoolers?” Punchline: “Ask them to form a line”. I can say from experience, this is no joke. I have witnessed the confusion on more than one occasion, and that is the funny part. Really though, who likes to stand in a line? Our family recently vacationed in Kentucky, and visited a few places where there were lines. While I was waiting in a large line for overpriced pizza at an amusement park, I noticed something. Lines. It has been over a year since I’ve noticed lines, much less stood in one. While I was standing there, several thoughts were going through my head. Obviously, the first thought was how long is it going to take to get a slice of that overpriced pizza? The strange thing is that I was happy to actually be standing in a line. To see people, their full faces, (and their feet) made me think of the way things used to be, and should have always been. I sure did miss those amusement parks, sporting events, and concerts with my teenage kids, as did the rest of the world.
Do we need lines?
The other thought I had while still waiting on that overpriced pizza, was how lines can be healthy for us. Lines provide opportunities for small talk with a stranger. I know not everyone does that, but I sometimes do. I find that most people enjoy communicating with other humans. It’s what we do. Chit-chat has many benefits, and if you think I’m making this up, check out this article. I shared it on my personal Facebook page a couple of months ago, because I really do miss human interaction in our fear-filled world – even with strangers.
Small talk with acquaintances and strangers is an “important source of novelty” that adds unpredictability and variety to the everyday and gives all parties an opportunity to find commonality on neutral ground. Without small talk, we are boring ourselves at best. “Gillian Sandstrom
When is the last time you were given or received a compliment while in a line? The simple act of telling someone you really like their shoes can really boost one’s mood. Letting the cashier or food server know they are doing a great job can put a positive spin on their day as well. Can you imagine what most of them have had to deal with this year?
Opportunity in lines?
Not everyone is an extrovert, nor do you have to be. I feel I’m somewhere in between. Like this cartoon, I often need recharging so I stay up late and relish in my time alone. With practice, the little conversations makes it easier to have deeper ones. Imagine what small talk could lead to?
Do you have something that you could just talk about all day long with little to no prep? For me, that would be homeschooling. I can joke about it, give information about it, crush misconceptions about it, encourage others already in it, and defend it with all I’ve got to the naysayers. Looking around me, I wondered how many of those kids I was standing in line with at the amusement park were home schooled, or what they thought about virtual school. I did not take the opportunity that day to mention the “s” word (school), because in all honesty, I (like them) were on vacation. It was the farthest thing from my mind and I’m sure theirs. I did think about being mindful of opportunities at the right time and place, and things I might could say to open the conversation. Imagine how that could change one’s life who is currently struggling with their school situation right now.
It’s really bold and out of my comfort zone, but I was inspired last week. I was at a Bible conference, and a preacher was telling a story of waiting in a restaurant lobby. He simply asked a man if anyone loved him enough to tell him where he would spend eternity. With the man’s approval, he soon had his Bible opened and showed five bikers how to have an eternal home in heaven. Isn’t that awesome, how small talk can have a permanent effect on how one may spend an eternity?
Beginning to like lines.
Are you beginning to feel differently about lines yet? Did you ever think we would miss them after being put on restriction for a year? I know I didn’t. I can’t say I love lines yet. Even still, I pre-purchase tickets to attractions and order groceries to get out of standing in a line. But I have changed my thinking about lines. I’ll end this post with a couple of tips to encourage chit chat for the introverts.
One is t-shirts. T-shirts can be great conversation starters. If you’re a homeschooling family, check out Homeschool Style Co. (for 20% off use code homeschoolfanatic). Amazon is a great place to find funny t-shirts. People are more likely to talk to you if you have a sense of humor. I also tend to wear t-shirts with my state on it when I’m away from home. I even met someome from my area while on Navy Pier’s Sky Wheel in Chicago of all places! The final tip is to smile. Smiles have been hidden for so long. There is so much more I could say about this, but just know that everyone has a perfect smile when they use it.
I hope you feel differently about lines now that we are starting to get back in them. If you have any good line stories, drop a comment below, I’d love to hear about it!