The Waiting Room

Sitting at the Quick Care. Nine people are waiting. All are looking at their phones. The youngest is about six, the oldest is…Well… Me. The women are universal in keeping their purses on their laps. It seems a defensive position. What they are defending is unclear. The purse or themselves. Maybe a defensive wall against the strangers that fill the room.

Everyone looks healthy with the exception of a one year old with his hand bandaged. He seems frustrated because he favors that hand to pick his nose.

Three generations of Moms come in escorting a little boy. When his name is called they all bum rush the nurse. She firmly explains that only his Mom can escort him back behind the door. Grandma and Great Grandma fall back to their seats. Grandma whips out her iPad. Great Grandma stares blankly at the door. She’s worried until they come back.

Two more women join the group and immediately assume the defensive purse position. Maybe it’s a trend. Obviously I’m not up to date with the latest in purse positioning.

Our waiting is interrupted by a blaring car alarm. It drones on and on. No one flinches. I look to see if our car is still there. It is. A security guard comes in and asks if anyone has a Caravan. Dad with the little boy with the cell phone reaches into his pocket and silences the alarm with his key fob. The room collectively releases a sigh of relieve.

A name is called and a group springs from behind a partition. They’ve been hiding. Mom and two teenagers, a boy and a girl. Boy looks scared and the girl keeps her head down as they go back to the doctor. I wonder if someone’s preggers? After a short, short while the group reemerges. Girl is not preggers. She has an eye infection that Mom discusses a little too loudly. Teen-aged Girl is both visibly relieved and visibly embarrassed. interesting combination but not unheard of.

The little boy and his Mom emerge. He’s brandishing a freshly bandaged little hand. Key Fob Dad and Cell Boy stand up and they all head to the Caravan.

Purse count is now up to nine. Two women have clutch purses. One places hers beside her. The other places hers in the Defensive Position but it seems too small to provide an adequate defense. They immediately whip out their cell phones which makes it unanimous with the exception of the Mom Brigade who focus on Dwayne. When his name is called they all go back to see the doctor. The nurse is defeated by sheer force of numbers.

Oh good, an older gentleman has sat down. That brings the Geezer count up to two, counting me. I notice we’re the only men present. Neither he nor I have a purse.