Monday, September 23, 2013

Conversations with Random People: Six

We had been sitting in the doctor's waiting room forty-five minutes (having arrived the standard five minutes ahead of the appointment)* when BBBH said, "That's it.  I'm leaving."  Now I've seen her pull this on previous occasions.  Her patience with the doctor's scheduling practices is limited.

"Why did you make this appointment?"  I asked.  She rehearsed the litany of complaints, which I already knew, but reiterated that this kind of wait was ridiculous.  I was able to calm her sufficiently to keep her there the additional ten minutes it required before the attendant opened the door and called her name.

Now she is cloistered in the exam room, and heaven alone knows how long I will continue to wait.  And I am cold.  And I have been cold for an hour.  So I decided to step outside for some soothing sunshine.  As I near the exit, I pass a couple who are also waiting.  Guessing ages is difficult, but it is clear that these people have both reached the portals, or have passed through the gates, of "The Golden Age."  The lady is smartly dressed, as though she might have another appointment after this one, in a place somewhat more elegant.  Her hair is that blondish-white that is reflective of the years, and she wears it just a bit longer than do many women of a certain age.  It curls softly to her shoulders.

The gentleman has on an orange and white horizontally striped polo shirt.  His hair is very short, quite curly, and white as the proverbial snow.  He is seated in a wheelchair.  He is strapped into his conveyance.

I stop beside his chair, look at the woman, and say, "Did I hear you say you live in Swayzee?"  Which of course I had heard when they arrived a half-hour earlier.

"Yes, we do.  Except for several years we spent in Utah, we have lived there all our lives."  She described the exact location of their home, and I could picture it in my mind's eye, for I have been up and down that road many, many times over the years.

"I lived in Converse many years ago," I said.  "I worked in Greentown."

"What did you do there?" he asked.

"I was a teacher."

"Oh," she asked by the tone of her voice, "then you knew Dorothy H?"

"Well, no.  I think not.  Perhaps she went there after I left.  I moved from there in '69."

"Yes, perhaps she came later.  Let's see.  My oldest started school there in 1972."

"Indeed that would have been after my time there."

"The mister hunts coyotes.  Even though his Parkinson's causes him much grief, our grandson, who is six-four and weighs about 240, takes his Grandpa out with the dogs."  He gets the hides cured, you know, over at. . . " and here she named a well-known taxidermist.  She had pronounced the name of the prey as I do, ky-oats.

Here the old fellow spoke up, eyes alight with memories of his younger day.  "My passion when I was younger was breaking horses.  Could have stayed in Utah forever!"

And he and I had found common ground, for though horses are not my thing, they are definitely the thing of my eldest stepson.  For him, life has its meaning in horses, and thus our conversation had direction until the nurse opened the door and called the next patient.


Vee said...

Surprising that the "horse people" from Utah were so dressed up. Probably making the adjustment back to being Hoosiers!

When we arrived dressed up at a Colorado Springs funeral home visitation, someone told us he could always spot outsiders because of the way they dress. Most there were very casual - lots of jeans.

vanilla said...

Vee, indeed. I wonder why I always change out of jeans when I go to a visitation (and they are all too frequent these days). Well, I wear jeans seven days a week, but there are certain places I don't go dressed that way, namely church and calling on a family at a funeral home. Yes, it does make me feel "out of place" in either venue these days, but I feel right.

Sharkbytes said...

I'm with you (per the comment). I choose the clothes that make me feel right- phooey on what others think (well, except maybe in a few places, like court) I am seldom motivated enough to strike up random conversations, although it's been known to happen.

Pearl said...

Lovely little study, Vanilla. :-)


vanilla said...

Sharkey, phooey, indeed. If they think at all. Maybe it would be nice if people put a little more thought into how they present themselves. But that's just me.

Pearl, your kind words delight me, for you are the authentic writer.

Lin said...

It's amazing what you learn about folks when you talk to them. Sometimes their stories are very simple, but just as enjoyable. It's also a good way to pass the time while waiting...and waiting...and waiting.

I'm with your gal--I walk out after an hour of waiting. My time is money too.

vanilla said...

Lin, everyone has a story.

I have seen BBBH walk out; but in this case, nettled as we both were, I did not want to have to make a return trip. That is time, too.

Secondary Roads said...

But what a great conversation you enjoyed that couple. Your BBBH might not agree, but you must have enjoyed it. I would have had.

Check out today's Non Sequitur cartoon strip. You'll probably agree with that one.

vanilla said...

Chuck, to care that little about what others think of me is a consummation greatly to be desired, but not yet attained.