One of my favorite things, if not my most favorite thing, is when people feel the need to talk on the phone in public places. Like in the quiet lobby at the dentist office, that I’ve been oh so lucky to frequent the last two months. I really feel privileged to be invited in on the phone conversation about how your boyfriend gave you an amazing orgasm last night. “Oh my god, Jen. It was…oh em gee, amazing. I don’t know what I did to deserve that, but I couldn’t even move afterwards.” No, I’m sorry. It does not matter how hushed your whisper, I can still hear your incredibly inappropriate recant of your “amazing sexual experience.” Get off the phone. There are other people in your vicinity. You’re right, you didn’t deserve it, he feels guilty for looking down your best friends shirt at the dinner party last night. But in his defense, it was low cut.
I also really love the screaming children who are terrified to get a shot, the couple in the corner trying their hardest not to have a loud disagreement about whether they’re going to Chili’s or Chick-fil-A for lunch, or the lonely woman next to you who has to complement your bag and then carry a conversation with you about where you got your got your “shoes, they’re so cute!”
Lobbies stress me out. I don’t have children yet so I’m going to enjoy casting death scares in the direction of the ear piercing shrill of your child’s terror until I’m in your shoes. Take her to Chili’s and pay because you never argue with your lady in public. And, I just want to get past level 274 on Candy Crush so, thanks for the compliment, please silence yourself. I just want quiet. I want to sit there and read Marie Claire and wait for my name to be called.
Eating in a quiet space is another invasive occurrence. And it’s always an apple or a bag of chips. Yesterday I called a student up to the front desk in my office; he asks me to look into his financial aid and then immediately starts chowing down on a big freezer size Ziploc bag of pretzel chips. I’m not creative enough to make that up. I tried very hard to refrain from saying “you must be really hungry right now, huh?” Because you were not eating pretzel chips when you were sitting down for 20 minutes waiting to be called on.
Today, I had the pleasure of missing another hour of work for a dentist appointment. If you read The Wisdom Teeth Debacle, my teeth are fine now, thank the Lord. But, today’s visit was especially entertaining. There were probably seven people scattered about the waiting room, patiently waiting to be called back. Most of us were on our cell phones, a few people flipping through a magazine or filling-out paperwork.
A few minutes after I sat down a man came in and sat down a seat away from me. We smiled hellos to one another. I wondered why he had to sit there, so closely to me. There were so many other open seats available next to more inviting, friendly, attractive women. I was disappointed. His flannel shirt and acid wash jeans reeked of patchouli and chewing tobacco. He sat with his arms crossed over his chest and looked around the room for a bit until his eyes landed on the television. The movie “Duma” was playing. I only know this was the movie because I convinced myself that the actor playing in the film was Idris Elba. I found out it was not Idris Elba but Eamonn Walker from Chicago Fire. I still spent the next 30 minutes IMDBing Idris Elba’s resume.
Mid trailer for “Long Walk to Freedom,” I hear from my left:”Ahhhh oooahhhoooo mmm ahhhayyy yaaaa oohhooo.” Yes, the man next to me started to chant, quite loudly. Our fellow waiting room companions shifted their eyes in confusion to our row of seats up against the window. His however, still glued to the television, oblivious. This went on for a good five minutes until the scene on the television interrupted his tune. “OH wow! That is so cool. That. Wow. So neat! Look at that.” I peeked up from my phone. He was looking at me and pointing to the TV, attempting to convince me that what was on was as amazing as he thought that it was. I offered a polite smirk with excuse me, what? eyebrows but didn’t turn my head toward the television. He gave up with a shrug and went back to being enthralled with the program. “Now that is stupid. I can’t even believe that.” He shook his head in disapproval.
A few minutes later the girls from behind the counter called me over to the desk to have me pay my copay. I thankfully obliged. When I returned to my seat, I had to step over his feet because they were sprawled out in front of him. “Oh gosh, miss. I’m so sorry, this is just such a good movie.” As he said this, he sneezed into his bare hand and then as he crossed his arms back across his potbelly he wiped his snot covered hand on his side of his flannel shirt. I shuddered in disgust. The dental assistance called my name to be seen before I could take my seat again. I left a few minutes later with the good news that my infection is gone and there was no reason to return any time soon. As I walked through the lobby on my way out my friend in the snot covered flannel shirt was again chanting a new tune and rocking back and forth with his eyes shut.
You can always count on a scene from the lobby to give you a good story to tell your friends.