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Sometimes you meet wise people in the least expected places. I remember meeting this old señora, a few years ago, who cut to the front of the grocery store line without warning or hesitation. She pushed me and all of us in the line with all the thousands of bags she was carrying around.

Her presence alone was enough to discourage anyone to say anything about what just had happened.

It’s 2021 and I was standing in line to the Spiderman’s presale. The line to get them was long, people waited a long time and it was clear the movie was headed towards their inevitable weekend box-office smash, but at that very moment, for some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about that fierce señora from years ago. 

What would she do in this scenario? 

The lessons of the señora

  • Arms and elbows open. In this COVID era, distance is key but it also works to dissuade the Señora line-cutters. You must keep your distance between yourself and everyone else. This will make it much harder for the would-be line cutters to get through and that pesky virus will have a harder time getting to you too. 
  • The line and signs aren’t always accurate. You’re who decides the path you’re taking. Don’t be afraid to investigate. Most people just see the crowd and beeline to the back. Instead, beeline to the front – it’s ok if people look at you crazy – it’s not like you’re going to stay there if it turns out there is indeed only one ginormous line. But many times you will find that there are actually other entrances, special lines, and shorter lines that have been obscured by the sheeple in the back. Those Spiderman’s presale tickets are yours. Take control of your destiny, just like the Señora did (but obvs don’t cut because only little old Señoras can get away with that). 
  • Don’t. Look. Back. Leave the past in the past and focus on the future, and your only future lies ahead, at the Spiderman presale ticket window. It’s tempting to look back to see how much longer or shorter the line has gotten. But so many things can go wrong. You might see an old acquaintance who decides now is the time to rekindle the relationship for the benefit of a line cut, then you’re stuck chatting it up about cats and the weather for an undetermined amount of time. Really anything can happen. Don’t risk it. Keep your eyes on the prize. 
  • Don’t worry about the security guards. They are there to protect you, not to kick you out of the line. And TBH, they might be useful should an army of Señoras show up to the Spiderman’s presale. 
  • Carry bulky bags. Now, this is important, no matter how tough your presence is, you’ll need more help to keep the social-distance violators in their own personal space. Bags add more volume, which means you can create a zone of protection much easier. Plus, you can carry some snacks, extra cell phone batteries, and other useful items, which is a win/win situation.

The moment of truth

The lessons ran through my head. That old Señora (which may very well be my tia, my abuelita, or mamá), prepared me for this very moment. She didn’t hesitate, nor did she care about everyone else in the line. If she was looking at me right now, standing in the line for the Spiderman’s presale like everyone else, would she be proud? Of course she would. Everyone knows you don’t earn line-skipping privileges until you’re 75 years or older, so in the meantime, we have our line-improvement strategies ready. 


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