Today I was catching up with my friend Heather's blog and a thought came to me while reading it. The first thought was this, "I hate all you women out there who can just go to the mall and fight the throngs of people for your Christmas shopping without a child (or four or five) hanging from your pant leg." But then I remembered that alot of you women are my friends, so I retracted that statement and realized that there actually IS a better way. :) And hold onto your hats because I NEVER thought I would say this, but I believe the Russian's DO have this one figured out.
Imagine with me now, that you are in Russia (think no anti-smoking laws ANYWHERE!) Now imagine that there are three hundred people trying to check-out (or check-in, or get in, or pay, or whatever) and the space in which to do so is about 10x12. Now, imagine that there is no such thing as personal space, I was here first, or even so much as the CONCEPT of an organized line. Have you ever been to Macy's in New York on Black Friday?
Okay, then you've got a semi-picture of what a "Russian queue" is like (I say semi picture because there's really no such thing as a line in Russia.) So, at this point you get that it's mass chaos (this applies to cars too, but that's another post.) Anyway, so why the heck would I be wishing for that at Christmastime? Because the one thing the Russian's really do have figured out in the line department is that if you have a baby, if you are old, or if you are pregnant, you get to go right up to the front. It's not that people tell you to go ahead of them... no, you don't have to wait to be invited. It's a very accepted and expected cultural norm that you just WALK RIGHT TO THE FRONT!!!! (gasp) if you have a babe in arms. Isn't that AMAZING!??? I mean, seriously, can you imagine?
Now, this brings me to all sorts of conclusions about Russian and American culture. I could make some generalizations about what this says about our country AND their's, but for right now, I am just really wishing that we had this same courtesy in our country because that, my friends, would make shopping with a toddler well worth the time and effort! :)