I am seated comfortably on the couch waiting for my appointment. I pull out my new Kindle, feeling very smug that I remembered to bring it because 1) the only magazines available are parenting magazines, and 2) it just looks really cool to be sitting around reading on your Kindle. I feel very calm and organized and well-read. (By the way, I’m reading The Weird Sisters and it’s fantastic so far. So good that I am wishing I had a physical book so I can underline all of the good sentences. The highlight thing doesn’t really do it for me. But the dictionary function is all kinds of awesome.)
The door opens and two women enter. They are both short and squat, so they look as tall as they are wide. Kind of like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I only mean this physically, I don’t know about intellectually. One is very pregnant, the other is not. Although there is an entire empty couch across from me and various chairs, the pregnant lady (I’ll call her “Dee”) beelines for the other end of the couch I’m sitting on. Well, she doesn’t beeline because let’s face it, none of us can move that fast while carrying a human being in our gut. But she does move with great purpose. The not pregnant lady (I’ll call her “Dum”) rushes to position the pillow behind Dee before she sits down. Apparently, this is Dee’s favorite spot and she likes her pillow just so.
I smile nicely at the pair of them, even though I generally like my personal space. But it’s 3 o’clock on a Monday afternoon, I just quit my job and have nowhere to be, and I’ve got my Kindle and my new I-phone and I’m pretty zen these days.
In my book, Bean is hulling the strawberries. I use my nifty dictionary function to look up that word and then look up calyx and then corona and corolla and so on. This dictionary function is addictive. I am so engrossed that I miss the beginning of the Tweedles conversation, but when Dum makes a sudden shaking movement that sends me up into the air on my end of the couch, I am forced to look up and eavesdrop.
The sudden motion was Dum ripping the band out of her hair and shaking her head vigorously. She then very daintily places her fingers on her forehead and begins to gingerly push around on her head.
Dee is on her mobile device. It’s not an I phone or an Android but some inbetween version as far as I can tell. Bigger than a cell phone. Not as big as an I Pad. Dee pushes a few buttons and stares intently at the screen.
Dum suddenly stops her hands as if she’s receiving a message. “Here,” she says. “My head hurts here.”
“Is that where you hit your head?” asks Dee.
“No,” says Dum. “I hit the back of my head. But my head hurts in the front, like when I get my headaches.”
I wait for Dee to ask if this is one of her normal headaches, but she doesn’t. Apparently, Dee is neither a doctor nor a lawyer nor a logical one.
Dee squints. “Well, it says here it could be a concussion. Or a tumor. Are you seeing black spots?”
Dum is still softly pulling at different parts of her head. She is a large woman, but she moves very gracefully, sort of like a fat ballerina. She seems to point her fingers, if that’s even possible.
“Hmmm, only when I stare at the sun. Does that count?” Dum answers.
Dee doesn’t answer immediately. Is this something she has to think about? My wonderful book has long been forgotten. I had no idea you could diagnose brain injuries via your cell phone. What did we do before Web MD?
I am waiting with bated breath to find out if Dum does indeed have a brain injury or if she’s just slightly stupid (does Web MD diagnose stupidity?) when Dee interrupts her own diagnosing to answer her phone. The ringtone is a quacking duck.
“TONY? IS EVERYTHING OK?” Dee yells into the phone. “It’s Tony, at Sammy’s school,” she loud whispers to Dum. Yes, Dee, we all know who it is.
Dum giggles. “You’re yelling,” she says sweetly, as if it’s a cute quirk of Dee’s personality. Dee shrugs.
“WHO GOT BIT? SAMMY GOT BIT OR SAMMY BIT SOMEONE?” Dee yells. “Someone bit Sammy,” she says to Dum. She apparently is going to give Dum a play by play of her own phone call, even though everyone in the waiting room can hear her.
“SOMEONE BIT SAMMY? BUT HE DIDN’T BITE BACK? OK, IS HE OK?”
Dum opens her mouth wide, like she is shocked. “Is Sammy ok?” she whispers to Dee. Dee holds up her finger, as if to say wait for it. Dum grabs her hand to hold it, showing her support. Now I’m thinking that Dum has quite the crush on our girl Dee.
Dee gets off the phone and puts in her purse, the brain injury apparently forgotten. She makes a big show of closing her purse, sighing loudly, folding her free head over her forehead.
“He’s okay,” she finally tells Dum.
Dum exhales loudly. “Thank God,” she says. “Sammy is just a sweet, sweet boy.”
“He is,” Dee agrees. “You know, there’s a biter at his school, but it’s not Sammy. I know who it is, but I’m not supposed to know.”
Dum then tries to guess various potential suspects at Sammy’s school. Dee finally gives up the information. Some kid named Jordan. Boy? Girl? Who knows.
Dum again tells Dee how sweet and precious Sammy is. “You got really lucky,” she tells Dee. “He’s really so much sweeter than all the other kids.”
Dee nods. “He never bites at school. He bites me at home, but I just pinch him back on his arm, as hard as he’s biting me and he usually stops.”
Dum laughs. “That Sammy. Such a trouble-maker. So precious. He reminds me of Mom.”
Ah. They are sisters! The similar squatness, the hand holding, the closeness, the pillow puffing, now all seems sweet rather than the creepy Single White Female crazy vibe I was getting.
Unfortunately, my name is called at this moment and I am whisked away, never to know whether Dum does indeed have a brain injury, or if Dee has other genius parenting tips that I can take note of.
Morale of this story? Besides, don’t be so loud in a public place that you become the unwitting fodder for a bored writer’s blog post? It’s that people always surprise you. And are never what they seem. Which is what keeps life interesting.
Thank you ladies, for thoroughly entertaining me.