The Only 5 Times When Southerners Will Let Someone Skip Them in Line

We’re generally a polite bunch, except when you cut us in line. 

Cutting People In Line
Photo: Getty Images/izusek

Cutting ahead of someone in line is considered one of those impolite things that can instantly infuriate even the kindest, well-composed people. Even in the South where we try to maintain poise in all circumstances, there's no holds barred when the line gets skipped, no matter if we're waiting at the grocery store, for the bathroom, or to get a fried pickle at the state fair. Not to mention, it's an etiquette nightmare for anyone versed in the art of manners.

So, when do Southerners think it is acceptable—or even encouraged—to allow someone else to skip them in line? There are few circumstances, but they do exist. Ultimately, we try to be a considerate bunch. Here are the etiquette rules regarding when you should allow someone to skip the line.

If They Have Small Children

If a person is waiting in line with a young child, it's polite to help stave off any youthful frustration or parental stress by allowing them to go ahead of you in most lines when at stores, the airport, and beyond. It's in both of your best interests to avoid tantrums, and this rule is especially for those with babies.

If They're Elderly

If a senior citizen is waiting in line behind you, it's generally considered kind and respectful to allow them to move ahead. A rule of thumb: If you'd give up your seat on a bench or bus for them, it goes the same for skipping the line.

If They're Pregnant

We can call it plain bad manners to make a pregnant person wait in line for a bathroom. If you know, you know. However, we'd venture to say that this is also appropriate at the grocery store and other public spaces, as well. What's the big deal if she gets her barbecue plate just two minutes faster? She's eating for two!

If They Have Physical Limitations

For those dealing with injuries, sickness, or other health issues, it's considerate to offer up the spot ahead of you in line. This calls for personal awareness of those around you and judgment of the situation, but always err on the side of generosity. (This goes hand-in-hand with letting senior citizens go ahead of you in line in general.)

If Your Business Is Going To Take Way Longer

This goes for a myriad of situations, but mainly for those waiting in line at the grocery store (i.e. when you have a full cart and they have just a couple items) and places such as the post office (i.e. when you have many items to ship and they just need to buy stamps). Again, it requires personal judgment.

Beyond an emergency, these five occasions are the only reasons Southerners can justify letting someone skip. Just don't cut your great-aunt in the Thanksgiving dessert line, and everyone will get along.

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