Box Yourself In — Literally — at “While You Wait”

Waiting: It's something that most of us loathe. For most people, waiting is a part of life. We wait for traffic, slow internet speeds, lines at the DMV -- and most of the time it drives us crazy. Just when you think your patience is at its end, a woman in Charlottesville is making it a point to test your patience.

Jennifer Tidwell, a Virginia native who hails from the rural wetlands of the Northern Neck, prefers to be called "The Attendant" when she's in character. Tidwell's current exhibit, "While You Wait,"

tours around the Charlottesville area.

It consists of a wooden box, just big enough to house a human being.

"I provide a space and mechanism for others to stop and experience presence, to pay attention to what is going on around them," Tidwell said.

Inside the box, you'll find nothing but an object that you will have to spend five minutes with. While you wait, Tidwell will hold your belongings, children or pets.

"The Attendant" uniform, reminiscent of an early '40s aviator, has presented the public with views of nature, natural objects and other art objects inside the box.

"I show up, keep my uniform pressed, stay present and provide a space," she said. "I make time for it because it's also my work, even though it doesn't pay."

Tidwell was also executive director of CLAW USA, a non-profit alliance of theatrical lady arm wrestlers raising money for charity. She's also had a career in web design, video production and even construction, which is what currently takes up most of her time.

As for the future of "While You Wait," Tidwell hopes to break through the "bureaucracy," as she states it, and put "While You Wait" outside near the big-box stores at a place near you.

"While You Wait" is currently open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations around the Charlottesville area. For new locations and times, Tidwell's Facebook page is the only means of finding current exhibit times and locations. Charlottesville, Va., is about two and half hours from downtown D.C.

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