As you may know (because I found a way to work it into every conversation, blog post, and Facebook status), I had a raging case of Whooping Cough that ruined my life for three straight months.
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 worst trauma to befall me was that
I HAD TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.
I don’t GO to the doctor.
Essential oils and chicken broth cure EVERYTHING in my book. Or, at least, everything but Whooping Cough. It’s probably because I got a little too arrogant and bragged about how I never get sick, and yada yada yada NEVER SAY YOU NEVER GET SICK.
It’s like calling the Titanic ‘unsinkable.’ You’re tempting the Lord Almighty.
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.
And it’s a universal principle that the worse you feel, the longer you have to wait in a waiting room. With people. Did I mention the people?
Another universal principle of waiting rooms?
No matter the size of the room or how many available chairs there are, THEY will come and sit as close to you as possible. Seriously, the room can be the size of the Joel Osteen’s Megachurch, YOU can collapse into the chair THE FARTHEST distance from civilization, and THEY WILL PLOP DOWN IN BREATHING DISTANCE OF YOU.
I mean, do they EVEN SEE those other empty chairs?? DO THEY?
And it’s never the quietly agreeable ones, either. It’s these people:
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 calling ‘sick people’ annoying, I’m talking about the ones who yack up phlegm without covering their mouths. The ones who snot and snort all over their hands and then paw 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.
6. The Nail Clipper. I’m not even kidding, a lady sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME in an otherwise empty waiting room and proceeded to clip her nails. She didn’t even try to keep the clippings from haphazardly flying about the room. Listen, SOME of your basic grooming needs to happen behind closed doors, and while I’ll grant you that nail clipping is on the “Optional to do Behind Closed Doors” list, do I REALLY need to ask you not to do it in public? WITHOUT EVEN CATCHING YOUR DIRTY AND UNSANITARY STRAY CLIPPINGS? COME ON.
5. The Gum Popper. This makes my nostrils flare 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 mouth noises are homicidal-making on a GOOD day, and factor in the misery of being in a doctor’s waiting room feeling like death, and I think I speak for everyone when I say WE ARE ALL SILENTLY FANTASIZING ABOUT YOU CHOKING ON YOUR GUM.
4. The Two Church Ladies. 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 willing myself to keep from flatlining, and two ladies from the WMU discussed at length all the OTHER ladies at their church in all the prayerful detail of how other people had disappointed Jesus. Loudly. It just adds an extra layer of pain to BE DYING OF WHOOPING COUGH while Days of Our Lives is being played out RIGHTTHERE when they coulda sat WAYYYY… … over …. ….THERE.
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 mostly alive. But when I’m in the throes of a DYING, 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 -ALONE.
I try all of this.
I’m as rude as I can possibly be with Jesus in my heart.
And yet, Cathy keeps on, airing her ENTIRE flight of ideas like Buddy the Elf when he met Michael after school that day. Next time, I’m going to skip the subtle clues, play deaf and ignore.
2. The Mom of the Precious Attention-Seeking Child. Look, we ALL think our children are rare and delicate snowflakes. We get it, you LOVE your kid, YOU think he’s the most special baby boy 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 is NOT MAKING US LIKE HIM. You sitting by idly, letting Little Prince spin, dance, and bump into everyone’s legs in his quest for attention is NOT FUN FOR ANYONE BUT YOU. We don’t care if he came out of the womb reading medical journals, or if he can recite all the presidents in pig latin, or if he’s the star of the Good Will Hunting sequel.
Nobody is impressed, 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, especiallllllly the sick ones. Gosh.
1. The Cell Phone Talker. I mean, 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 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 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…