Disliked While Waiting In The Doctor’s Office

I dunno. This is a weird one…

dscn7707

• • •

LATE LAST WEEK I WAS sitting in my PCP’s waiting room.  I was there for my annual check-up.

I had on my basic summer look: v-neck short sleeve t-shirt, bermuda shorts, leather sandals.  Curly hair pulled back with two barrettes. Hoop earrings. Recent pedicure. Nice purse. Rimless glasses.

And I was reading a book, a mystery.

Another patient, a conservatively dressed 40-something woman, checked-in at the reception desk, then walked by me to sit directly across from me.

As she went by I moved my feet under my seat so that she wouldn’t trip.  This movement, which people generally acknowledge with a tip of their head or a thank you, earned me a glare.

• • •

BUT IT DIDN’T END THERE.

After this woman, who had long straight hair and was wearing a long skirt, long-sleeved cotton blouse buttoned up to her neck and ballet flats got settled into her seat, she continued to glare at me, looking me up and down.

I began to wonder what she was seeing when she looked at me:

  • A wanton harlot with bright red toenail polish?
  • A stoned hippy wearing Birkenstocks?
  • A liberal feminist reading, of all things, a novel? 

I smiled back at her, as polite people do, then went back to reading my book.

• • •

SHORTLY THEREAFTER HER NAME WAS called, and because of the waiting room chair configuration, she had to walk by me again.

This time she glared + snorted derisively as she walked by me;  she needed for me to know that she didn’t approve of me.

For some reason. Nonspecific.

[Another patient across the way, a woman dressed about like I was, rolled her eyes and grinned at me as it happened.]

• • •

NOW OBVIOUSLY I’M NOT LOOKING for validation from strangers who I encounter in my daily life, but the fact that something about me really irritated this conservative woman fascinated me.

And truth be told, I was equally fascinated by the fact that I rather enjoyed the sense of power it gave me over her.

I mean, if I can bother someone by merely existing in their view, imagine what I can do when I decide to speak.  😉

• • •

Question of the Day: 

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a stranger’s hateful stare for reasons you could not figure out? And if so, how did it make you feel?  

• • •

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted most days.

48 thoughts on “Disliked While Waiting In The Doctor’s Office”

    1. Kate, that’s the question! I was healthy, wearing clothing that was discreet and clean, minding my own business, just waiting. But this woman saw me for someone other than who I was. It was weird. She was projecting something on me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It has rarely been a hateful glare. The concern seems more about their safety, as it “wow, you don’t see those kinds of animals in the wild anymore – I wonder if he’s trained,” or “Gosh, I thought Jabba the Hutt was an animated character.” That sort of thing. You, my Dear Bean, get the jealous look as you are mentally and physically free – and that probably bothers folks like your latest contact who can’t or won’t be who they are. Keep being the great example of how a person should live that you are – We’re keen on the Bean!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Z-D, I think you may be right. I was freer and more relaxed than this woman, and that made her upset. Unhappy. Thanks for the kudos. Gotta say I love your: “We’re keen on the Bean” saying. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to think about people’s motivations. Maybe you look exactly like the woman who had an affair with her husband. Maybe her whole life she’s had it pounded into her head what a “real” woman should be like and her disdain is envy. If anything, I think this way to defuse the negative experience, so I can get on with my day without feeling like a schmuck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle, you make a good point. I reminded her of someone or some idea that upset her, so she tried to lay her hurt on me. Didn’t work, of course. But got me wondering…

      Like

  3. I’m always uncomfortable with people staring at me. Often, I believe they’re staring at me and they’re actually not, it’s all in my head. You felt fascination in her disgust with you where I would feel the need to remove myself from the situation. On the occasions where it was obviously a purposeful and hateful stare, I remove my mobile from my pocket and flip the flash on and off, like I’m taking a picture. 90% of the time, it freaks them out and they stop staring at me with hateful laser-beam eyes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Susan, made my laugh on that idea. Who knows what that woman did… or does… or does not… do. Just kind of a weird experience. 0.o

      [Are your comments working now? Have tried to say things, but system wouldn’t let me.]

      Like

  4. Maybe she doesn’t like anybody, even herself? I must have had people who reacted to me that way, bearded, ponytailed, sandal wearing (dropped the tie-dye t-shirts long ago) aging Hippie that I am, but can’t think of any specific incidents.

    Like

    1. bob, I imagine that you’re right, she dislikes everyone equally. I didn’t take it personally because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I’d offended her. Now you, hippie-boy, on the other hand, would have given this woman a fright! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Im a Black woman in America, so yes, Ive been on the receiving end of more than a fair share of disapproving / no obvious reason for the irritation – type looks, snorts and such, lol. I too enjoy, sometimes, knowing that my mere existence has caused someone a modicum of consternation. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dana, beautifully said. I tell ‘ya, it was the goofiest thing. I knew that when she looked at me she was seeing something that displeased her, but what…? However, causing someone a “modicum of consternation” was fun. Got to admit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps it was the mystery story. What was the title? Maybe mystery stories are beneath her. Or, by moving your feet to be polite, she took it to mean you thought she was fat and couldn’t walk by without stepping on you. Thanks for the laugh this morning!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh yes. I know the type.
    When we go ‘down home’ with my MIL, I am a fancy city girl and this has been an area of contention for … well, at least since we got married. No one seemed to mind when I was just the fancy city girl friend of his sister, but now I’m his wife, so … my ‘godless’ ways are much more powerful, I suppose on accounta fancy city girl wiles. It seems to have gotten better over the years, perhaps since we’ve stayed married.
    I have to take it all with a grain of salt, for many of these people judge my MIL for not wearing her hair long, or for wearing pants — and she’s quite godly.
    I agree, it’s a powerful position to be in.

    Like

    1. joey, love the idea of: “fancy city girl wiles.” Do you suppose that’s what this woman was thinking? I sympathize with your ongoing family dynamic that puts you in this situation frequently. Sounds like you have a good handle on your situation, whacko has it is. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved ZD’s Jabba the Hutt comment. I always think that I know why some people stare. I could be wrong but I’m not left wondering WTF? like you were. Several people have said you either reminded her of someone or she thought you were someone else. If that’s true, perhaps you’re lucky she didn’t walk up and punch you or dump her coffee on you or something.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good point, Zazamataz. She didn’t seem aggressive, just utterly disapproving. If I’d been sick while sitting in the doc’s office, I could understand her dislike. But there I was just sitting there in my midwestern middle-class middle-age finery, and she didn’t like me one bit!

      Like

  9. Elementary, my dear Ally Bean . . .

    1. Her cousin (Holy Roller #2, Olivia Walton doppelgänger, carrying Bible) told her about the visit to your house.

    2. When she saw you brazenly breezing through a mystery, without apology, rather than contemplating God’s word, she went full-throttle into Church Lady mode . . . complete with tut tuts and judgmental stares.

    Either that, or you refused to buy Girl Scout Cookies from her daughter’s troop.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would have enjoyed that power too! What a very judgmental and silly woman. Sometimes when I wear my Mardi Gras outfit I get strange looks, and POSSIBLY some disapproving ones. 😉

    Like

    1. Margaret, I didn’t realize how much control I had over this women’s attitude until she snorted at me. I’d done nothing, yet she was upset. There’s a lesson in there, probably applicable to daily life. Now about this Mardi Gras outfit you claim that you wear…

      Like

  11. That is a weird reaction. I’ve never had quite that problem before. People generally take the time to at least get to know me before deciding whether or not the dislike me.

    Like

  12. Goodness, it must be really hard to be her, when just the sight of someone can set off such unpleasant feelings in her that she reacts in that way. I wonder how long she carried it around for. How odd. I would feel slightly uncomfortable to be the object of so much silent scrutiny, but then amused at the joke, as it’s clearly on her. I bet she didn’t bargain on people all around the world knowing about how she treats total strangers. Maybe her voices were whispering things to her…? Odd and amusing. I would have been tempted to ask the other lady who was dressed in a similar way to you what she thought.

    Like

    1. Polly, I didn’t know exactly what to do in this situation, so I smiled and tried to ignore her. Clearly I represented something unlikeable to her and she needed for me to know this. Hadn’t thought about mental illness as the reason for her behavior, I was fixated more on the idea of me being too “wild” for her sensibilities. I agree I would have loved to chat with the other woman who smiled at me, but I was called back to see the doc before I got the chance.

      Like

Comments are closed.