From BlackWhite magazine - issue 05, covered
Marion (Maz) Holman shares her story of a colourful queue and the virtues of patience in the face of a looming lockdown.
It was March 2020 and a lockdown had just been announced to start in a few days’ time. In a rush to make sure I had everything I needed before the shops all closed for at least a month, I found myself waiting in a line outside my local Resene ColorShop for an hour and a quarter to purchase two litres of paint because my daughter Amelia convinced me that painting her room would be a grand idea. I got to talking and laughing with total strangers during my wait.
When I made my way to third in the line of 19, I could actually feel my heart surge. One guy turned up and went straight in, trying to avoid the line. We pounced on him. He left with his tail between his legs. Amazing what Kiwis will do under stress!
An elderly gentleman with a lump of timber and two empty wood stain cans was pacing like a caged tiger. When another new potential line-upper approached and asked about the queue – and then said he’d try elsewhere – we all called out, “Good luck there, mate! And don’t bother with the other place either!” because the collective wisdom of the line knew better. He said he might return, and the elderly man asked him to bring a port-a-loo back with him. Pacing explained.
Finally, it came my turn to go in. I cheered, and so did some of my line buddies. I ordered my paint, and as I was paying and chatting about the queue situation to the Resene man, he leaned forward ever so slightly (while still keeping a socially distanced gap between us) and said in a hushed tone, “You wanna know something? We didn’t even make that line. They did it themselves.” He was shaking with silent laughter, and so was I. I said I wouldn’t tell them.
Out I went triumphantly to my car, put the paint in, then couldn’t help myself. I came back to my line buddies near the entrance and shared with them what Mr Resene told me – but quietly, though.
“Get outta here!” said the man who had been praying that the guy ahead hadn’t bought up all the Resene Quarter Tea.
“Really? We don’t have to line up?” said the young mum. I said, “I think you’d better – it’s really making Mr Resene man’s day.”
And off I drove, still giggling, as four more people joined the line of 23.
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