Thursday, January 10, 2008

The waiting room

This week has been the week of the eye doctor. I was with Polly for three hours at the eye doctor on Monday, and with Zoya for her appointment yesterday.

Both times went well. At Polly's appointment we waited for the doctor for an hour and fifteen minutes. Poor Polly was basically asleep when it was our turn in spite of her mother singing "the wheels on the bus" a dozen times. With Zo, we got in to the doctor fairly quickly. But we had to wait afterwards for the technician to adjust her glasses.

There was a family picking out frames in a conjoining room off to the side of the waiting room. There were rows and rows of frames; pink, brown, blue, black. One very nice, very over-worked woman was dutifully, pleasantly helping the family. The door was closed.

Zo and I found seats and settled in to wait. From my view I could see the mother talking and a little girl trying different frames on, rather leisurely. OK, fine. About thirty minutes into it, I started to wonder if other services were offered as well, like, oh let's say, getting a loan from the bank. I felt the frustration monster wake and begin to move around from within, but attempted to act nonchalant like everyone else waiting in the waiting room. After all, that is why a waiting room is called a waiting room.

At forty-five minutes my consultation with the frustration monster officially started. He was unhappy with his rude awakening. I was apologetic. My foot started to tap. Zo was zoned out watching Teletubbies on the television set hoisted up in the corner, out of reach of little fingers and smudges.

Finally the door opened. I expected to see the mother and daughter happily stroll out of the room. But instead I saw black wheels, a foot pad...a stroller. No, it wasn't a stroller, it was a wheel chair holding a precious girl, she looked about ten. Her arms were all bent up and she looked far off into the distance. A smile was on her face. Her mother lifted her up a bit, trying to get her to sit a little higher. Her sister stood behind the wheel chair silently, waiting to go.

It took a while, but the mother and the sister and the technician finally found glasses that would be just right for this girl.

When I had Polly it was like God reached down from heaven and stamped in red on my forehead: "life is not just about you." Sadly, it's not permanent ink that he uses, therefore I need a new stamp often.

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