The Tale Of A Kind Young Doctor Who Was As Lost As I Was

I HAD AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY annual checkup with an eye doctor who’s part of a group practice. I’ve gone to him for at least 15 years. His office is in a building called The Clinic that is part of a large university hospital complex.

A week before the appointment I received a letter* from his office telling me that the free parking garage nearest The Clinic was closed. The letter explained in words where I should go for free parking.

I didn’t bother to double-check the directions online because I’m familiar with the area. The directions made perfect sense to me and they were spot on.

I got to the parking garage, no problem.

• • •

WITH LETTER IN HAND I DID as it said and exited the parking garage through the green doors, putting me at the intersection of two busy streets. At this point I was told to look for a particular building, presumably made possible by the generous donation of some rich people.

Let’s call this building THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

Standing on the corner I looked up and down the streets and I saw nothing that said THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.

I mean, nothing.

• • •

I WAS ABOUT TO GRAB MY cell phone out of my purse when a kind young doctor crossed the street toward me and walked up to me. He asked me if I needed help finding something.

[That’s how lost I looked, a random doctor offered to help me.]

Waving the letter around I said, I’m looking for THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

He said, the what?

I repeated myself.

We looked at each other. 

He politely asked, may I see the letter.

[I imagine he thought I was an older *confused* person.]

I said, yes and handed it to him.

He read the letter printed on official university hospital letterhead, looked up and down the streets, then said, huh.

We looked at each other. 

I shrugged.

He said, I’ve worked here 8 years and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

I said, I’ve gone to this eye doctor for longer than that and I’ve never heard of THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER.  

We looked at each other. 

[I’d stumped a doctor, which is kind of a memorable moment.]

• • •

BEFORE I HAD TIME TO SAY another word the kind young doctor pulled out his cell phone and started researching where the heck this building might be. This took longer than you might expect.

I waited patiently.

Eventually he looked up, smiling, and said, THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER is the original name for The Clinic.

We looked at each other.

Then we burst out laughing, turning our heads in unison toward the building directly in front of us on the other side of the street. The building we knew as The Clinic.

We looked at each other. 

• • •

I THANKED THE KIND YOUNG DOCTOR for figuring this out.

He said, your doctor is older, isn’t he?

I said, yes.

We looked at each other.

He said, I know him personally. The next time I see him I’ll suggest that for the sake of his patients, and other doctors,  he might want to NOT refer to The Clinic as THE LOVEY & THURSTON HOWELL III MEDICAL CENTER because no one knows it by that name anymore.   

I said, good idea. I’ll say something ** too. 

We looked at each other. 

And with a smile we went on our ways, better informed about the world around us.

~ THE END ~

* The doctor’s office had tried to email me but they had an out-of-date email address, so they sent a snail mail letter.

** I never said anything to my eye doctor because when I got to his office my mind wandered, distracted by two relaxed Federal prison inmates, in handcuffs + shackled ankles, surrounded by two stern guards. The foursome was sitting in the waiting area for appointments with some doctor in the group practice.

A Spring + Summer Fling: The One About Simplifying My Blog Posting Schedule

BUT FIRST I AM ELSEWHERE…

On Saturday Yvette at priorhouse blog posted an in-depth interview with me for her ongoing monthly series.  I was thrilled to be asked to participate.  Go HERE to read the interview.

• • •

Image via @positivelytherapy on IG

If you’ve been around The Spectacled Bean for a while you may remember that last year about this time I decided to change how often I’d post to this blog.

At the time I had nothing written ahead and I was staring at a blank screen.  [History is repeating itself today, btw.]  It seemed like an opportunity to ditch my weekly posting schedule and try something new.

Because why not?

Thus I decided to change my modus operandi and post once every two weeks, usually on Tuesday, during spring and summer.  To become a fortnightly blog— and isn’t that a grandiose way to describe something so simple!

To my amazement this relaxed schedule was an excellent idea during the warmer days of the year.  Muse was onto something good.  All my happiness chemicals kicked in to make me, well– happy.

I wrote my usual posts, just less frequently;  I continued to share the comment love elsewhere;  and then I goofed off.  I was productive enough, connected as usual, but more carefree than during the colder months when I’m stuck inside.

So I’m going to do the same thing this year.  If something works, stick with it.

Right?

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment here because y’all make blogging fun.  I wouldn’t have lasted this long in blogland if it weren’t for all my gentle readers + kind lurkers + wordy commenters.  You’re the best of all the rest.

Thank you.

And with that sincere compliment I shall go forth, doing less while pursuing my Word of the Year: ENJOY!

• • •

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About being the weird one in the neighborhood:

“If I’m being totally honest I am pretty sure that I would fit the description of the wackiest neighbor. I say that because I’m the one that my neighbors laugh and wave at while I’m running down the road chasing my donkey, or taking a walk and have my son, three cats (of the 6) cats strolling behind me, my two dogs wiggling around my legs, and possibly a stray duck, chicken, or even a goose following as well.”

~ LaShelle

“There was a time, long ago, when I kept rotten uncooked eggs and threw them from my balcony onto the car when the driver hooted … if there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s hooting. He was a hooter of note.”

~ Susan

“When I got to the door, my neighbor, a very kind woman said ‘I don’t know if you’re okay with this, but your kids are playing on the roof.’ My kids were 5 and 3. They had popped the screen out of a bedroom window and as I could hear them just fine, I thought they were in the room. But nope. They had climbed onto the front porch roof, used that to climb onto the garage roof, and then onto the roof of our second story home. When I got them back in the house and asked them what they were doing I was told they were playing flood.”

~ Katie

Pondering: If You Tell Me You’re Independent, What Does That Mean?

Something pretty to enjoy while pondering…

Shortly before the pandemic began 2 years ago this month, I was at a social function with Z-D.  It was for his work.

I was seated next to a 70-something woman, a delightfully chatty child-free extrovert, who was [and I hope still is] the wife of a man who used to work with Z-D.

Thanks to many social business events we’d endured together I knew this pleasant woman as a casual acquaintance so this was good.  From previous conversations with her I knew she was a Joiner with a capital ‘J’.

To wit, over the years she’d told me that she was in a garden club, a book club or two, a dog breed club, a bicycling group, a music guild, a Bible study group, a travel club, and she was a member of a country club.

She went on a *sisters only* cruise every year and hosted parties for her nieces who were involved in multi-level marketing schemes.  She always had a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Plus at one point she had worked full-time and socialized with her workmates, seemingly every weekend.

• • •

We had a lovely time chatting, which is to say I mostly listened and she mostly talked.

As we were getting ready to leave, perhaps sensing this would be the last time we’d see each other [and it was], she leaned over to me and said in a confidential tone: “I’m independent. I need for you to know that.”

INDEPENDENT?

NEED for me TO KNOW?

SAY WHAT?

I had zero idea what she was getting at and because of the circumstances I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her any, shall we say, clarifying follow-up questions.

Over these last two years I’ve thought about that comment often and have talked with friends in real life about what it could mean.  Without context it can be interpreted in a variety of ways.  Here is what we’ve come up with:

  • I’m independent because I have money of my own.
  • I’m independent because I am free to choose which groups I join.
  • I’m independent because I don’t have children.
  • I’m independent because I’m retired and so is my husband.
  • I’m independent because I grew up as a second-wave feminist.
  • I’m independent because I haven’t declared myself to be aligned with a particular political party.
  • I’m independent because the church I go to is outside the mainstream, not part of an established protestant denomination.

So what say you, my gentle readers?  

Do you consider yourself to be independent? And if you do, what does that mean to you? Also, do you need people to know you’re independent?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  This can be an interesting conversation.

• 🌺 •

A Potpourri Of NOT Much Happening Around Here

You know, my little sugarplums, that I enjoy writing posts here, right? I tell you about what’s going on in my life. But that premise is based on the idea that something interesting is going on in my life.

And sometimes THERE AIN’T MUCH HAPPENING HERE.

However I feel like writing & using emojis. Muse is getting antsy waiting for it to NOT be January, so here’s what I have to tell you, interesting or not.

THE WEIRD CONVERSATION

While I was shopping in Kroger as I was standing in front of the cheese case a woman wearing a mask walked up to me to ask a question.  She pulled down her mask [🤨] and asked me: “do you know what uncured ham is?”

It sounded vaguely familiar, like something from my childhood but I couldn’t tell her what it was.  This didn’t stop her from sharing her woe about not finding it, an ingredient in some special sandwich, the recipe for which she waved before me as if it was a magic wand that’d spark my memory.

When I assured her I did NOT know anything useful about uncured ham, but maybe someone at the meat counter did, she wandered away, visibly disheartened.

I felt like I’d failed a pop quiz.

THE GOOD NEWS

The 30-foot tall dead tree in our neighbor’s yard, a tree that has loomed ominously over our screened-in porch for 5 years, fell down NOT on our house.  Instead it keeled over into the wooded ravine behind our houses.

There said tree shall remain for eternity… with my blessing [😇].

THE REMODELING MEETING

We finalized remodeling plans for our 2 bathrooms.  Having already had the kitchen and the primary bathroom and the laundry room remodeled by this company, it was easy to pick out the cabinets.  We’re rather familiar with them [🙄].

The cabinets won’t be here until May;  NOT sure I believe that, but I’ll try to be positive.  The rest of the decisions about tile and sinks and knobs and wall color are yet to come when we closer to the project start date and the interior designer is ready to work with me.

I’m jazzed because that’s the fun part, oh yes it is.

THE PHOTO PROJECT UPDATE

Last April I started taking a monthly photo of our backyard + a little of the neighbor’s backyard;  the previous photos are here.  They are to document the changes of the seasons.  I snap them while standing in the same place on our deck.

While this is NOT my usual higgledy-piggledy photo style [😁], it’s a fun harmless project that might prove something… yet to be decided.

These photos are the next installment.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

~ ~ 💚 ~ ~

A Short Rant About Conversations With People Who Lack Self-awareness

~ ~ ☹️ ~ ~

BEGIN [a don’t shoot the messenger] RANT

Let’s talk about something regarding people whose lack of self-awareness and conversational style is getting on my nerves this holiday season.

To wit, of late I have twice found myself chatting with a person who says something to the effect of: Here is what happened to me, it is an example of A.

I have then replied by saying: I believe you and agree with your assessment that this is an example of A.  I say this because this is what they’ve told me.

I am not twisting their words.

I am demonstrating understanding and EMPATHY.

At which point I’ve been told that I am wrong: that this situation is not an example of A, it is an example of B.  Why would I suggest otherwise?

Then they glare or snarl at me, she who has repeated back to them that which they said.  I have not embellished what they said nor have I dismissed it.

I have paid attention to them, been STRAIGHTFORWARD– and dare I say KIND to listen to their woes.

And what is my reward for being nice?  Criticism.  As if I am responsible for what happened to them, which I am not.

What I am guilty of, however, is being a mirror that has reflected back to them, in their own words, how they are viewing their reality. And for this, I am made to suffer their crabbiness, their querulousness, their low-level wrath.

[Yes, I just used the thesaurus. Can you tell?]

I’ve no idea about how to handle this kind of RIDICULOUS conversational style, but I do find that I am less inclined to ever want to speak with these people again.

And perhaps that is what they want, for me to go away taking my ACTIVE listening skills and my mirror of truth with me.

So be it, says the introvert.

END [a don’t shoot the messenger] RANT

~ ~ 🤨 ~ ~

Questions of the Day

Thinking about the rant above, have you ever been sniped at for agreeing with, then repeating back, that which someone just said to you?

If so, how do you handle the conversation in the moment and your feelings about it? Does this make you feel peeved, for instance?

If this has not happened to you, can I be friends with you and your friends? Pretty please. 

~ ~ 🤓 ~ ~