Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


For the past four and half months, I have spent a lot of time in hospitals and doctor offices. My brother is going through a lot of tests for various problems, including kidney disease and heart issues. After suffering two strokes, several other medical problems were discovered, and we have been traipsing from one place to another. It is wearying for my brother, who endures these tests, and awaits diagnoses and treatments. He is a trooper and is carrying on as best he can.

For the sister of the patient, many idle hours have been spent in waiting rooms, passing the time with books, newspapers, magazines and whatever else is at hand to occupy the time. Many other people pass their time in these waiting rooms or hallways outside of testing areas using their cell phones. I have been privy to various and sundry one-sided conversations. Not intentionally. It can hardly be called eaves-dropping when the person is talking, often times in a loud voice, seemingly oblivious to the presence of anyone else.

Some conversations are brief and to the point. "We are almost done here"; "We are waiting for the doctor"; "Pick up Johnny after school".  I have no problem with those type of calls. Unfortunately, 95% of the other calls are often intensely personal causing a sense of discomfort to those in the proximity.

These snippets of conversations involving people and situations can make you squirm in your seat, trying to avoid eye contact with the caller, or, at times, sending stares of disbelief in their direction. Why do I have to hear about "granny's enema" or "there's no way I'm pregnant, we haven't had sex in weeks" or"get your f***ing ass down here now", or the long, drawn out description of "the worst manicure I ever had".

I am not sure if it is a lack of good manners, or a belief that everyone wants to hear about their personal business, or just sheer ignorance of the barriers between public and private subjects. At any rate, sometimes these brief glimpses into other people's lives are almost entertaining, but for the most part I find it aggravating and just one more torment to tolerate while sitting in a crowded waiting room and the doctor is way behind schedule.

I would love to carry a few of these cards

 image source


mxtodis123 said...

I have to agree with the cell phone business. I don't need to know everyone's personal stuff. It's awful here in the city. You'll be heading down the subway stairs when the person in front of you will stop in their tracks, whip out their cell phone, and say 'I forgot to tell you. She's also going out with so and so's boyfriend.'

Ashling said...

How very true--and extremely funny! And trying for you, when you have your own concerns and worries.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You need an iPod with headphones to tune out those annoying yakkers!

Linda in New Mexico said...

use to be, long, long ago when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, that folks wanted privacy for their "bitness". But now, anything goes and anyone can hear it. It is embarrasing and frustrating.
And the scary thing is if you were to say something to the "loud mouths" they probably would "go off on you". Cuz that's the way it is with them. People are nutz.
Sorry for your having to endure. Persevere my dear....or get that I Pod as was suggested.
Oma Linda

Magic Love Crow said...

I sooooooooo agree with you my friend! When mom and I go on our little road trips, sometimes we take the train. Last time, there was a guy talking about his surprise birthday party for his wife and how he is flying everyone in! SHUT-UP!!! Do I care?? I hate cell phones! I don't even own one!! Hugs my friend ;o)

Danni said...

*This* is exactly why I don't leave home without my ipod and earphones. While many people may think it's rude of me to do so, it keeps me from being put in awkward bystander situations.

I think those cards are awesome though, I've seen similar ones for people who park poorly and really want to hand them out...

Lady Caer Morganna said...

Oh, I STRONGLY agree with you,my friend! Manners? What manners? Most people with cell phones I find personally to be totally ignorant and rude! Makes you just want to grab the phone out of their hand and say to them, "Get real, will ya?"

My sympathies,


Aine said...

Oh, I know!! And you know what? If we didn't have cell phones, we actually might talk to the people around us and make new friends! Imagine! Even though cell phone makes communication easy, strangely it alienates us as well. Just one more gadget to keep us plugged in and tuned out.

Anonymous said...

I actually don't mind those phone calls :-) I think it's strange that they don't care that we can here everything they say?! I never have my phone turned on while being at a hospital or any other place where thereä's lot of people, I don't like sharing in that way :-) :-)

Have a great day!

SharleneT said...

I'm going to make a banner for the back side of my tote bag! Just let it lie there,quietly, doing its job in waiting rooms. It would also make a great book cover!