I have a long and difficult history with waiting in lines. Lines are very much like commuting to my mind - suffering that must be endured for many types of enjoyment. It is a way of weeding out those who aren't really dedicated to the activity in question, of getting people who will only ride the roller coaster non stop to just stay home so the hardcore folks can do it. Many people would happily move to the suburbs if they could only get to work in five minutes, just as I would love to get flipped upside down and zoom around if I could avoid standing on concrete pads bordered by metal rails for hours on end.
This weekend I went to Centre Island with my parents and Elli. It was a perfect day for it, around 20 degrees and sunny. Warm enough to wear shorts and tshirts but cool enough that nobody was sweating and suffering. Couldn't ask for more... except that those same conditions led lots of other people to show up and clog everything up for us. We spent about twenty minutes on the rides in total and about two hours in lines of various types waiting to get tickets and waiting for the rides themselves.
My instinctive reaction is to curse and swear and refuse to be involved in such madness. Can any ride be amazing enough to warrant such indignities? I could be killing monsters on the internet after all and that is fun all the time, no lines required!
There are mitigating circumstances of course. While my mom was waiting in line with Elli I got to talk to my dad and vice versa which is actually the point of the thing. Varied conversations with shifting groups of people is a good way to pass the time, and catching up is really the thing I want to do. The main complaint should be that I am doing so while standing in a line in a crowd instead of happily ensconced in my chair at home. Of course Elli was more than eager to stand in outrageous lines to have her three minutes of thrills but that is at least in part because she still isn't aware of just how much the rides *cost*.
Someday she will want to go to theme parks herself I imagine and then I look forward to watching her try to figure out the cost for herself. Is it really worth eight hours of flipping burgers at McDonalds to stand around for a couple hours and get a few minutes of thrills? Those sorts of calculations are the thing that excites me as a parent. I want to see what she does, find out how much she emulates me, discover what she is really like when she begins to come out from under my shadow. Plus I look forward to being able to impart nuggets of wisdom! Which, I can only assume, she will largely ignore. She will learn by screwing up and dealing with the blowback like all of us.
Until she is that independent though I suspect I will be stuck waiting in lines.