10 Creative Things to Do While Waiting – Lite

by | Creating | 10 comments

“Waiting in line is a great opportunity to meet people, daydream, or play.” —Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You hate waiting—in a line, in a waiting room, in a restaurant foyer. It drives you crazy.

Forget about being productive. If waiting drives you crazy, then have some fun creating suggestions like these.

Best for while you wait in a waiting room:

mage courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

mage courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Pretend you’re working on a survey.

Say it’s a gynecologist’s office. On the back of a receipt from your  purse, keep counts of the number of women who wear:

  • lipstick
  • skirts
  • sneakers
  • costume jewelry
  • nail polish

Work up the percentages. Optional: Blog about the GYN fashion trend.

2. Rip coupons and articles out of your own beat-up magazine.

The magazine must appear to belong to the waiting room. Track how many people give you dirty looks. If you’re the brave type, interview them. Ask what bothered them. The noise or the appearance of vandalism? Another blog possibility.

3. Re-cross your legs in sets of 10, alternating legs.

You can treat yourself to dessert after your appointment—guilt free.

4. Try new fashion designs with your clothes.

Roll up your sleeves. Roll down your knee-highs. Tuck in your collar around your neck. Button up your sweater and then unbutton the middle buttons.

5. Study others’ noses.

Pretend you’re a plastic surgeon. Decide how you’d rearrange each schnoz in the room.

6. Remove everything from your purse or pocket.

Make collages on the coffee table.

Best for while you stand in a line

Waiting in Line7. Give the person in front of you a massage.

Good chance you’ll get to move up a space in line for your kindness.

8. Pretend you’re at a party and perform the Snail Shuffle.

  • Optional. Place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you.
  • Creep your right foot out to the side, placing your heel on the ground. Inch your right foot back in.
  • Repeat.
  • Creep your left foot out to the side, placing your heel on the ground. Inch your left foot back in.
  • Repeat.
  • Scuff forward once with both feet together.
  • Scuff backward once with both feet together.
  • Scuff forward three times. Keep the steps short.
  • Repeat the steps, until you reach the front of the line.

9. See how much closer you’d be to the front if you could rearrange people by height.

If the result is depressing, try rearranging from the least to most obnoxious. That should give you a better position—you minding your own business, and all.

10.See if you can pick up and return everything on the candy and gum racks before you reach the cashier.

Hey. Store people put those things along the checkout aisle for you to touch. If you succeed, they should give you a pack of gum.

You can use these ideas, or get creative with your own, and make your waits a little less painful.


What creative activity have you come up with for us to try while we wait?

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  1. Joanne Sher

    Okay – TOTALLY fun post! I am ABSOLUTELY gonna have to try some of these while I’m in the waiting room with my hubby this afternoon! Thanks, Zoe!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      May I recommend the crossing and recrossing of legs. The exercise is quite invigorating.

  2. Mary Schneider

    Might want to ASK before giving that massage. If a stranger randomly touched me, I might respond badly. Too many vets etc out there with PTSD, not to mention sue-happy nutjobs, to go around touching people without prior consent.

    Funny stuff tho. Did you get these from watching your 6yo wait in line? Because most of them, mine totally would’ve done (or did do!) at that age. 🙂

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      You’re right, Mary. And why you’d move up in line. Or get a bloody nose!

  3. Delia Latham

    So cute! I want to be in front of you when you start handing out massages… lol

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Delia. You wouldn’t freak and give me a bloody nose?

  4. Marcia A. Lahti

    I often picture people in waiting rooms in dressing rooms trying on the outfits that they are wearing. I remember a book where the main character knew the deepest needs of the people he came in contact with and that’s what I wondered about the people in the waiting room Thursday.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Marcia, thanks for the new activity to try while we wait.

  5. Jane Foard Thompson

    I have always been a people watcher. I pretend I’m reading, but I’m usually watching people, figuring out what makes them tick, what their story is, etc. Sometimes I even pray for someone, when it is obvious they really need it.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I do the same, Jane. The thing is, if one strikes up a conversation with me, I’m often surprised how far off base I was.

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