Originally published in the Miami News-Record on February 7, 2016.
Our youngest daughter Kady has been having some health problems for a few months now. We have been visiting Tulsa frequently to see a doctor there and he is running a lot of tests to get to the bottom of this mystery. It has been a long, frustrating process to say the least. The reason I mention it is to get to this point: all of this doctor’s office-ing we’ve been doing has given us so many opportunities to people-watch. And oh, have we experienced some real doozies along the way.
Kady is always armed with an iPad or book to keep her entertained when our waits stretch out too long. Most of the time she’s engrossed in either of those, but sometimes the conversations around us are too much for even her to miss. We have learned about virtually everyone’s political views. It’s amazing how when one person starts in, everyone else in the waiting room suddenly becomes a political analyst. We have encountered Democrats, Republicans, a few Libertarians, and a LOT of know-it-alls. We have heard all sorts of views on polls, primaries, candidates, platforms, and I have to say, folks around here are pretty adamant in their stances. To the point I wonder if some are bordering on treason. Eek. Those are the conversations where we just bury our heads in our books and hope we get called to an exam room soon.
I am well versed in the most popular conspiracy theories, including Area 51, and the assassination of JFK plus so many more. I know all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and essential oils. There was one particular exchange between two WWII veterans that brought tears to my eyes because one of them reminded me of my Papa. We’ve seen our fair share of sleepers over the past few months, too. Some snore. Some just lean until they wake up, then doze back off, slowly, slowly leaning again and again. Some don’t care of you notice, some wake up and look around to see if their doze was detected. One particular fella decided to take a snooze while his infant son took his own little snooze in his carseat. That one made me a tad nervous. When another guy got a little too close to the snoozing father and son, I almost tackled him. No one was getting abducted on my waiting room watch.
A few weeks ago the conversation turned to favorite breakfast foods. Virtually everyone in the waiting room was fasting for their tests and that always makes for some great recipe exchanges and reminiscing about comfort foods. One woman said she was getting bacon and eggs when she got done, even if it was 3 in the afternoon. One guy wanted a big platter of biscuits and gravy. I just wondered if any of them were having cardiac testing done.
My favorite character so far was the elderly Russian woman in the nearly-floor-length mink coat who was trying desperately to make someone, anyone understand that she was “WERY WERY SEEK” and would only speak to male employees because “Wimmin zey do not know enny-zing”. Although I did get a giant kick out of the guy who the redneck-iest redneck I’ve seen (and that’s saying a lot considering who I’m married to), covered in piercings and tattoos, wearing shorts and socks with sandals when it was 29* outside and spent over an hour trading stocks over the phone. Loudly. And he made a lot of eye contact to be sure you were listening.
That was the day Kady, while sitting in the chair beside me, sent a text that said, “Dude is totes obnoxious. But I think he’s got the inside track on some IBM stock. Better call your broker. Or the FBI. He MIGHT not be legit.”
We sure hope the doctor gets us a diagnosis soon.