Friday, March 15, 2013

Few Smiles in the Dentist's Lobby

Waiting in the dentist's lobby while Vikki gets a cleaning. Took hours. Musta been pretty nasty. - A gaggle of rowdy kids took the place over. When one would come out with their goody bag, the whole herd destroyed it. Little parachutes were flying everywhere, toothbrushes were on the carpet, and a flossing pick was shared, everybody trying to decide what flavor it was. The oldest decided it was mint, but I doubt there was any flavor left when she tasted it. A distraught mom just saved a sample tube of toothpaste before it was stomped. The staff were glassy-eyed, still working at their customer service persona, but you could tell it was wearing them down. A three year old was quietly driving a toy truck through the whole building, and decided my chair was it's garage. He held the truck up to me, I took it and said thank you, and he started to bawl. Evidently, I was only supposed to look, not touch. "English", I said, and handed it back. He wiped his tears and chose a different road, occasionally giving me a suspicious glance. A girl about seven had targeted another about her age from a different family. She was chanting "WHAT AN ANNOYING LITTLE GIRL!", getting louder with every verse. The whole place was getting uncomfortable. The other girl was trying to respond, but was shouted down. People were looking up from their cell phones. The staff was out of their chairs, investigating. The mother of the screamer continued her paperwork at the desk, and the mother of the victim just watched, letting things play out. I, stupidly, got involved. I gave the noisy one my meanest stare and most authoritative voice.
"Stop that!"
She crossed her arms and humpffed into her chair.
I turned to the other girl. "Are you annoying?".
"Sometimes", she said.
"Aren't we all."
I wish that had been the end of the story. But the other girl started the "annoying" chant again, the "sometimes" annoying girl hissed "Ridiculous!" at her accuser as she was escorted to the exam rooms. Somebody near the door said something to the mother of the "ridiculous" clan and she responded loud enough for everybody to hear.
"What I AM, is a mother of five foster children, some of whom are just learning to control their behavior, and some who NEVER will. They still require health care, and going out into public. All I can hope is that people will at least try to understand if not help." Then she left.
I guess the village let the kids down.
I was feeling smaller than when I came in, so I tried to get the gal in the business office to smile.
"I brushed my teeth once..."
"So", to Vikki, "I could hear you in the lobby bragging about the grandchild that's not even born yet!"
Just a smirk.
I looked at the bill, looked at the lady handing it to me, and said "What an annoying girl!"
She has beautiful teeth. Go figure.

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