As you may know (because I’ve found a way to work it into every conversation, blog post, and Facebook status over the past few weeks), I had a raging case of Whooping Cough that ruined my life from February to April.
My house turned into something out of an episode of Hoarders, my kids had to raise themselves (and who even knows what they wore to school during those weeks, or if they did their homework? I can’t worry about that now), and I missed out on what little social life I have for weeks, but perhaps the biggest Whooping Cough related trauma to befall me during that horrific time was that I HAD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.
I don’t GO to the doctor.
Essential oils, herbs, and Plexus cure EVERYTHING in my book. Or, at least, everything but Whooping Cough. It’s probably because I got a little too arrogant and bragged a little too long and loud about how I never get sick, and for months I’ve been all Plexus miracle cure for everything yada yada yada. NEVER SAY YOU NEVER GET SICK. It’s like calling the Titanic ‘unsinkable.’ You’re just asking for it.
It was truly humbling to my pride. And worse, put me in doctors’ waiting rooms no less than FIVE TIMES.
Yes, my friends; FIVE separate doctor visits.
With waiting rooms.
With people in the waiting rooms.
Are those not among the worst places in the world? AS IF you don’t feel bad enough, you have to go sit amongst other sick people. Not just briefly, either; it’s a universal principle that the worse you feel, the longer you have to wait in a waiting room. And seeing as how I had MANY hours with which to study waiting room people, I’ve become an expert on how to annoy your fellow sick people the most.
Not that I would ever want to; I just try to sit there quietly and read my book. And not talk to anyone, breathe on anyone, or make eye contact with anyone. Because for those of us who ONLY go to the doctor’s office when we’ve reached the lowest point of despair, WE ARE NOT FEELING THE PEOPLE.
Another universal principle of waiting rooms? No matter the size of the room or how many available chairs there are, Annoying People will come and sit as close to you as possible. Seriously, the room can be 600 square feet or the size of the Astrodome, YOU can make a concentrated effort to choose the chair THE FARTHEST distance from another person, and THE ANNOYING ONE WILL COME IN AND SIT IN BREATHING DISTANCE OF YOU. I mean, do they EVEN SEE those other empty chairs?? The 600 square feet of empty chairs??
So without further ado, the seven most annoying people I encountered during my Whooping Cough tragedy:
7. The Sick Person. Yes, I know it’s obvious that there will be sick people in the waiting room, and before you judge me too harshly for putting ‘sick people’ on the annoying list, I’m not talking about polite, quietly suffering sick people. I’m talking about the ones who yack up phlegm without covering their mouths. The ones who snot and snort all over their sleeves and hands and then paw all over all the magazines. Just, yuck. The mucousy contents of your lungs should be kept to yourself, and if you need to go hack something up, go do it in the bathroom. Thanks.
6. The Nail Clipper. I’m not even kidding, a lady sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME in a ginormous, otherwise empty waiting room and proceeded to clip her nails. She didn’t even try to catch the clippings. NO. She let them just haphazardly fly where they may. Listen, SOME of your basic grooming needs to happen behind closed doors, and I shouldn’t even have to mention that. I’ll grant you that nail clipping is on the “Optional to do Behind Closed Doors” list, BUT do I REALLY need to ask you not to do it in public? WITHOUT EVEN CATCHING YOUR STRAY CLIPPINGS? Fingernails are dirty and unsanitary, and clipping them in public is just rude. COME ON.
5. The Gum Popper. This makes my neck tense up just thinking about it. Also falling into this category is anyone making any kind of repetitive noises, such as pen clicking or any kind of chair-tapping or what have you. Maybe it’s my A.D.D. that makes repetitive noises particularly torturous for me, but gum popping is homicidal-making on a GOOD day, and factor in the misery of being in a doctor’s waiting room feeling like death, and WE ARE ALL SILENTLY FANTASIZING ABOUT YOU CHOKING ON YOUR GUM. Just stop.
4. The Two Gossipy Women. These ladies ALSO plopped down RIGHT ACROSS FROM ME in an empty waiting room the size of an airplane hangar. There I was, where I had DELIBERATELY chosen the seat in the WAY BACK of the room, just trying to keep on breathing, and quietly mind my own business and read my book, QUIETLY (did I mention quietly?), and Gladys Kravitz and her BFF discussed at length all the OTHER ladies at their church loudly and in all the detail, expounded upon some super interesting stories of other people’s failures, and then some really tragic and dramatic stories about their own kids. Loudly. It’s just very distracting to try to read a book while Days of Our Lives is being played out RIGHTTHERE.
3. The Friendly Person. I KNOW this is going to make me look really snotty and snobby when I say this, and PLEASE understand that I REALLY DO LIKE PEOPLE…. on a good day, when I’m not dying of Whooping Cough and waiting excruciating hours to see a doctor. But when I’m clinging to life, in the throes of a debilitating sickness that’s sucking the life out of me, I don’t want to chit chat. I bring a book for a reason. I don’t know how to send ANY sort of clearer signal that I just want to sit there and read my book than to bury my head in it and respond to you with grunts instead of actual words. I try all of this. I’m as rude as I can possibly be with Jesus in my heart. And yet, Chatty Cathy sits beside me, undeterred, airing her ENTIRE flight of ideas that sounds something like, “So, good news – I saw a dog today. Have you seen a dog? You probably have. How was school? Was it fun? Did you get a lot of homework? Huh? Do you have any friends? Do you have a best friend? Does he have a big coat, too?” Next time, I’m going to skip the subtle cues. I’m just going to play deaf and ignore.
2. The Mom of the Precious Attention-Seeking Child. Look, we ALL think our children are precious. All of them are rare and delicate snowflakes and are SO unique with their God-given specialness. We get it, you LOVE your kid, YOU think he’s brilliant, YOU think he’s the most special thing EVER, and YOU think he’s way more important than any of the rest of us. What you need to understand is that WE don’t love your kid. We’re sick, for Pete’s sake, and you helping your child to put on a performance to showcase his brilliance to the waiting room is NOT MAKING US LIKE HIM. You sitting by idly, or worse, ENCOURAGING the kid to spin, dance, sing loudly, climb on the furniture, and bump into everyone’s legs in his big attention-seeking show is NOT FUN FOR ANYONE BUT YOU. We don’t care if he can read at age 3, or if he can list all the presidents in order, or if he can recite complex calculus equations. Nobody is in the mood to be impressed while they’re waiting to see a doctor, EVERYONE is rolling their eyes, and I think I speak for all my fellow sick and suffering waiting room peeps when I say we’d all appreciate it if you’d teach Precious Boy Genius to CONSIDER OTHER PEOPLE, especially the sick ones.
1. The Cell Phone Talker. CAN I GET AN AMEN. There are entire YouTube videos devoted to the Loud Cell Phone Talker. HOW DO PEOPLE NOT KNOW, in this day and age, that there is no worse character quality you can have. I would rather be a liar or a cheater or a baby-seal-clubber than to ANNOY PEOPLE WITH MY CELL PHONE TALKING. And one day, if you see me handcuffed and being shoved into the back of a squad car, it will be over an altercation in which I snatch someone’s cell phone and stomp it to kingdom come. That’s it. That’s how I’ll be arrested, the first time. But don’t tell me you won’t all be clapping and cheering.
Whew, I feel better having vented about all this.
And you’ll be glad to know I’ve recovered… The Whooping Cough Cataclysm is a thing of the past, thank God, so here’s hoping* there will be no more waiting rooms in my foreseeable future.
*but you’ll never again catch me saying never…