What waiting lists should I be on?
September 21, 2009 9:50 AM   Subscribe

What waiting lists should I be on?

I'm in my 20s, living near DC (Arlington), looking for waiting lists to get on now so my future self can enjoy life. Assume a good but not extravagent professional salary (no private jets).

Country club
Marina slip
Unique vacations

Not interested in:
Sporting events
Things open only to a very small area (e.g. neighborhood swim club) - county or state level is OK
posted by djb to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (28 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
What a strange way of thinking. Can I suggest you decide what you actually want first, and then see whether a waiting list is required?

Otherwise this sounds a bit too Stepford-consumer to end well.
posted by rokusan at 10:02 AM on September 21, 2009 [10 favorites]

Do you expect your future self to want these things? My own future self will, hopefully/presumably, have a good but not extravagant professional salary, and none of those things appeal to me in the slightest. Very-long-term waiting lists like those tend to be conspicuous-consumption items that prove how incredibly important you are. There are some exceptions - if you want to own a boat, and a particular marina is especially close, that's a good list to be on. But... country clubs? Watches? I think the Tesla is pretty freakin' sweet, but I can't imagine getting one purely to buy something I had to wait for.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2009

You're not likely going to find many receptive answers on a forum like this. In any event the waiting lists you should be on are those from which you will derive satisfaction. If you think belnging to a particular club is important for your career or life then you should be on that waiting list.

But seriously: most people on Metafilter don't seem to be the people who put themselves on a wait list to join a country club.
posted by dfriedman at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Section 8 Housing
posted by R. Mutt at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2009 [15 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess I should rephrase this as "What interesting/useful things are out there that allow one to spend time on the waiting list when it's less bothersome?" Like waiting for a full-sized CSA share while I'm living alone.
posted by djb at 10:10 AM on September 21, 2009

R. Mutt beat me to it! Public housing is a bitch to get into. Unfortunately you can only make a certain amount a year. You can't have any felonies either.
posted by mokeydraws at 10:12 AM on September 21, 2009

Best answer: Not to be morbid, but... if you are a vet, or have any relatives nearby that are vetrans... you may want to get on the waiting list for Washington Crossing National Cemetery.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:14 AM on September 21, 2009

Interesting new online services and the like often start out with a wait list or by invite only, e.g. Google Voice (and Gmail way back in the day). Ravelry started out with a wait list - not that you're necessarily into knitting, but for me it was well worth the wait. I know there are other awesome sites with waitlists, but I'm not in-the-know enough to recall what.

They're often free, useful, and unlike luxury goods, won't fall out of fashion by the time you're actually able to get it.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:24 AM on September 21, 2009

Best answer: The reknown El Bulli restaurant in Spain is already booked for the rest of 2009. Reserve for 2010 or later.
posted by runningwithscissors at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

An exclusive daycare and/or private school for your potential children.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 10:32 AM on September 21, 2009

I've heard that some daycares and private/experimental schools can have wickedly long waiting lists. Are you planning on having kids? If so, might want to start researching where your potential little one should spend its days.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:33 AM on September 21, 2009

Doh, Sadie beat me to it!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:34 AM on September 21, 2009

Best answer: I don't know if this fits exactly with a "waiting list." But, to secure a reservation in the only lodge inside Big Bend National Park, you must make plans at least/more than 1 year in advance. This has been true for years (decades?).

This was similarly true for staying in one of the 7 geodesic domes at Elqui Domos, Chile, last I checked (but may not be true now).
posted by Houstonian at 10:39 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bayreuth. Applying (and being rejected) every consecutive year increases your chances greatly.
posted by L'homme armé at 11:00 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Along the same lines as Houstonian, there are some cabins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that are cheap and comfy, with hot showers, in the peaceful and shady Phantom Ranch area. You can get there by mule, or on foot. A friend and I managed to scoop a cancellation at one of these (the phone operator was amazed, this never happens) and I cannot recommend it highly enough. You can book them a year in advance and they fill up right away.
posted by PercussivePaul at 11:07 AM on September 21, 2009 [6 favorites]

Are you athletic and adventurous? The Antarctica Marathon has reservations available for 2012.
posted by kittyprecious at 11:53 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

A trip into space on Virgin Galactic
posted by zeoslap at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for bringing that up, Frasermoo. I'm not trying to start a conspicuous consumption flamewar. I mentioned clubs because (as OTA mentioned), the cost/benefit tradeoff is often quite good, but there can be a multi-year waiting list.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone - keep 'em coming.
posted by djb at 12:12 PM on September 21, 2009

Anyone can join Kickstarter if they want to browse or fund projects, but to start your own project there requires having one of their very limited invites. Those things are like gold. So you have to join as a mere funder first and then wait and wait until your magic number gets called, or something like that.

Does anyone have an invite for me? I already tried begging on Twitter.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:11 PM on September 21, 2009

Is the future you getting married? I know many of the most prestigious locations to get married require bookings years and years in advance. Especially if you want to get married at your college/university's chapel.

(You can then, of course, have the reception at El Bulli, sail off in the yacht for which you, after ten years of waiting, obtained a slip for, and start in on making those future children who are already on the waitlist @ the 92nd St. Y preschool in NYC).

Or you could just enjoy life now...
posted by slateyness at 1:19 PM on September 21, 2009

I wanted to second the reservations for Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon - best vacation ever, but my grandmom, who gifted me the trip, had to book over a year in advance for a trip in July.

And hiking in July wasn't as bad as youd think.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:59 PM on September 21, 2009

If you are interested in playing an exotic musical instrument, like Irish Flute or Irish bagpipes, wait lists for these instruments can be upwards of 4 years from the best makers.

But you probably don't.
posted by sully75 at 3:19 PM on September 21, 2009

Some vineyards have waiting lists.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:18 PM on September 21, 2009

In the same vein as Section 8, affordable housing in San Francisco is also done by waiting list, I believe. This is notable because it is not strictly for the poor-- much of it requires an "average" income, and you get to buy the place, not rent.

The current income maximum appears to be $63,350 for a single person.
posted by alexei at 7:21 PM on September 21, 2009

Following up and expanding on IndigoJones' advice: many many small high quality wineries/vineyards sell everything they make on a subscription basis. They can't expand production, so those people on their mailing list get first chance at purchasing the wine. So, if wine interests you as a hobby, then you should investigate small wineries and get on their mailing lists. I don't do this myself but have friends who do, and my impression is that the order of opportunity goes in chronological order of joining the mailing list. For many highly desirable small wineries, if you join now it will be years, if ever, you get a shot at buying their wine. Which won't be cheap, by the way. So you could do some research and find new wineries to join. I'm sure there are discussion forums about this. Interesting question, by the way. Good luck.
posted by conrad53 at 7:26 PM on September 21, 2009

Here's an article from Vinography stating that now is a good time to get on those vineyard mailing lists.
posted by nihraguk at 8:02 PM on September 21, 2009

If you can get on the wait list for a Gallahger guitar now, and start practicing daily on a cheap used guitar, by the time it comes you'll be pretty good. Alternately, if you can convince Wayne Henderson to build you one, practice daily and by the time you get it, you can be a virtuoso with an instrument to match.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:27 AM on September 22, 2009

The only waiting list I've ever signed up for was for The Colbert Report, when it was first announced as a new show several years ago. I forgot about it, but lo and behold, many months later I got an email notifying me that I had two tickets. I had to fly out to New York to attend, but it was definitely worth it to me. The Daily Show supposedly takes a long time to get tickets to, as well. Don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for, though.
posted by carrienation at 10:42 AM on September 22, 2009

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