YOU know when you're lining up at the public toilets and you really need to ... let a toddler go ahead of you?
You make eye contact with their parent and you know straight away this is "situation-serious".
You go. I can wait.
This is the only right and grown-up thing to do and ultimately avoids all of the heartache and/or mess.
Plenty of adults did the same for my girls when they were younger, whether we were on planes, trains, ferries or freeway rest stops.
But waiting in line at the Albury Botanic Gardens on Easter Sunday, I began questioning the unwritten rules of Skipping the Loo Queue My Darling after letting the seventh child in a row go before me.
The first two were no-brainers to push through. They were doing the toilet jig and clutching at, well, themselves. The second two just cut to the top of the queue, oblivious to the fact you'd even need to line up at all. Child No. 5 looked like they needed to do a No. 1, ASAP.
The first two kids were no-brainers to push through.
They were doing the toilet jig and clutching at, well, themselves.
The second two just cut to the top of the queue, oblivious to the fact you'd even need to line up at all.
Child No. 5 looked like they needed to do a No. 1, ASAP.
Number six was following suit.
The seventh child turned up with a mum I knew from our school bus stop. Though it wasn't her child, she was clearly well-known enough to the child to be delegated toilet chaperone.
You go. I can wait.
Meanwhile, my daughters who had been zipping around the Children's Garden ran by, shouting: "Are you still waiting, Mum? You were at the front of the queue 20 minutes ago!"
Frustratingly, the Children's Garden throne room has two toilets and a change table, all behind a single door, meaning only one person could go in at a time unless they were related or travelling together in a band. This day, it seemed to be singles day!
I thanked my lucky stars, I had only two glasses of Posh Plonk Shiraz over the two-hour Music in the Gardens.
When bus-stop-mum emerged, she said: "Now you go! You've been waiting for ages and have already let plenty of people go in front of you."
That was my cue to get out of the queue. Don't mind if I do.
A mum, newly-lined up behind me with her young daughter, looked less than thrilled I hadn't let them in, but by this stage I just had to cut and run.
You wouldn't let seven cars merge in front of you in traffic; there's going to be an accident or worse still, road rage!
MORE MATERIAL GIRL:
If you're not busting or hangry (hungry-angry), however, queues can be entertaining enough and even good networking opportunities.
I met my best friend at university waiting in a line for four hours to enrol for first-semester subjects. The queue snaked up three sets of carpeted stairs and it was a long way to the top in the end.
More often than not, I welcome a small queue in the supermarket.
I like to sneakily check out what other people have got in their trolleys or baskets. I'm a food perv, I guess.
I wonder what people are having for their dinner that night. What are they making with the fennel?! I want to know. Damn! I did not see the Odd Bunch bag of limes. Then I need to step out of the queue, again!
Discussing this with my husband, I found he is similarly afflicted.
He recently saw a shopper at the supermarket checking-out with 10 honeydew melons, three watermelons and a bottle of Windex. He had to stop himself from asking what they were up to.
Had he have been queuing for service in Spotlight, I feel like different rules would have applied.
No one has any qualms about asking you what you're making from four metres of retro print cotton drill.
If you're lucky, they'll probably even tell you how to best hem and Scotchgard your new tablecloth.
To cut a long story short, different queue etiquette applies wherever you go.
And if you need to go fast, avoid children's playgrounds!
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