Friday, July 26, 2013

Conversation with a Nosy Nurse

Dr. Vardakis was running an hour behind by the time it was Cliff's turn to have his procedure done.  A very talkative nurse who was helping prepare him for surgery kept up a running stream of talk, mostly questions.  Something that was said led to the question, "How long have you two been married?"  
"Since 1966," I said.  "You do the math."  
The years go so fast, I never know right off the top of my head.  It's the same with the ages of my children.  
She seemed astonished, and told us what a great accomplishment that was.  Another nurse came in and they were being all light-hearted about something and she burst into song, making up words as she went along.  The poor thing couldn't carry a tune, but she was enjoying herself.  When she paused, I said, "Don't quit your day job."  
She and the other nurse laughed and laughed.  I decided perhaps I might have hurt her feelings, so I said, "It's OK.  The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best."  
"Oh, that's good," she replied.  
"I read that on Facebook," I told her.  "You can learn a lot on Facebook."  
"So you're on Facebook?  How many friends do you have?"  
I thought a moment, then said, "Four hundred-something, I think."  
"Really?  How did you get so many Facebook friends?  Do you just go around asking people to friend you?"  
"Oh no," I answered.  "I rarely ask to friend anybody.  See, I used to go to this Christian chat room that no longer exists; I'm Facebook friends with a lot of those people.  And then there are people I interacted with in online forums for years, I'm friends with them.  Like Tractor Tales, which is mostly a bunch of older guys that like tractors.  Oh, and my blog!  When I get a friend request, I always ask if I know them from somewhere, and a lot of times they say they read my blog."  
"So you have a blog..." she said skeptically.  "What do you call it?"  
"Just Me."  
"Just me?  What is it about?"  
Since the Ipad was in my hand, I summoned up my blog and showed her what it looked like. 
"Is that your farm?" she said, seeing the header picture.
"Well, it's only forty acres.  It isn't a real farm, more of a play farm."  
"So," the nosy nurse said, "you have a blog.  Did you always want to be a writer?"  
She wasn't going to stop with the questions.  
"I am a writer," I answered.  "I just don't get paid for it."  
"Yeah, that's what I mean.  Did you want to be a writer for a living?  Shoulda coulda woulda?  That kind of thing?"  
"I love to write," I said, "but I wouldn't go back and change anything about my life.  I love my life."
Now Cliff was laughing, and told her, "See how she is?  We live in a trailer house!"  

Finally the two of us had stumped her, and there were no more questions.  

And to said nurse, in case she googles "just me" and arrives here:  You should probably be a shrink.  Do you see how all your questions led to my realizing how blessed I am and distracted me from the concerns I had about the procedure Cliff was waiting to have done?    


Traci DeSheles said...

Awesome! Can't imagine being that nosy but it had good consequences!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think nurses are such special people. They do have a knack for putting people at ease without them realizing it. Hope she follows your blog now!

Anita said...

I must be nosy, too, because I can see myself asking questions like that, except in a way that implies that I am asking permission to "ask." If I get any hint that I am being pesky, I back off right away.

Your nurse buddy is searching for more meaning in her life, a change in her life, or more fun in her life...but you probably know that.

Us "writers" always need material and she gave it to you!

Married in 1966? If "my" math is correct, that's 47 years. Nice job!

Margaret said...

Interesting and nicely done. I think the message here is that people are fascinated with others and how they live their lives/what's happening to them. Otherwise, there would be no facebook or blogs. :)


Instead of feeling ill at ease, she, they made you feel comfortable during a stressful situation.

Jon said...

I hate to encounter strangers who ask a myriad of questions. I know a dentist who does that. He asked me about 500 questions while he was drilling my teeth.