I was at the doctor's office last week trying to convince someone with a prescription pad to give me some decent meds. My usual pharmaceuticals are too strong for le bébé (due to the lame and sorry ears of which I've previously lamented) and therefore totally out of the question. While I was in the waiting room, I had the most enormous surge of affection for my mother-in-law that I've ever had, ever. (And that's saying something because she watches my kids so that I don't have to be institutionalized, and also, she gave me the keurig.)
As I was sitting there, awkwardly trying to cross my legs, in complete denial that my belly is now FAR too big to attempt to keep my legs closed no matter how skilled of a contortionist I may be, an elderly woman got out her cell phone and made a call.
She called her law office. I know this because the volume on her phone was so loud that I could clearly hear the clerk on the other end of the line.
The only thing more awkward than listening to her renegotiate her will, offer her son's full legal name, disclose personal financial information, and discuss her real estate properties loudly and in front of everyone was what happened next.
As soon as the elderly lady hung up the phone, a second woman whipped around in her chair and said,
"There is not one single part of your brain that told you how completely inappropriate it was for you to have that conversation here in front of all these people, huh!"
1. There was no good way for the elderly lady to respond to this. It was a statement, not a question. 2. The mean woman didn't move to sit next to the elderly lady. She didn't whisper, pull her aside, or mention it on her way out the door. 3. The mean woman did not speak out of concern for the elderly lady. 4. The mean woman was loud, huffy, superior, snide, accusatory, and...well...mean.
The only thing more awkward than being present for this confrontation was when the elderly lady said,
"I'm sorry, I can't hear you sweetie. I guess everyone in here is so stuffed up with colds, hee hee hee. What did you say now, sweetie?"
At which point the mean woman repeated herself and followed up with a completely ridiculous rant about how she was going home to steal the elderly woman's identity to make a point.
The only thing more awkward than that was when the elderly lady, still giggling, TOOK A POLL OF THE WAITING ROOM. (The common sense. Where has it gone?)
"Was anyone else here bothered by the conversation I just had? Hee hee hee."
I thought, "Surely, surely, there is not a third person in this waiting room crazy enough to get involved."
Oh, Kate, how you underestimate the stupidity of humans. And the number of crazies in middle Georgia. After all, Honey Boo Boo's interview house is less than a mile from my doctor's office so maybe none of this should surprise me.
A third woman piped up and said, "Well, this was neither the time or place..."
I will spare you the play by play.
The point is, I sat there for fifteen minutes listening to three total strangers squabble and peck at each other in the doctor's office.
As I watched this little social experiment unfolding I thought to myself,
"Hold the phone, that lady is somebody's MOTHER-IN-LAW."
That belligerent woman who WOULD NOT DROP IT is somebody's mother-in-law.
And that is how it came to pass that on a Thursday morning, sitting in the doctor's office, I had the most enormous surge of affection for my dear, sweet, mother-in-law, who would never chastise another person publicly in a waiting room.
It also occurred to me, as I sat there, how much of the world's ugliness would be cured if we all just learned when to keep our mouths shut.
"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." [Proverbs 17: 27-28]