It feels a little strange going into medical buildings to write. It probably reads a little strange, too. But, you must remember that for two years of my life, this WAS my life. It was not uncommon for me to have three to four days a week chock full of doctor appointments. One to check on my surgical wound healings, another to take blood samples, another to do an ex-ray, and then another to get chemotherapy. I became very skilled at filling out endless forms, even had my 17 digit insurance number memorized and I could rattle off the names of all my medications easily.
Now, my life is so much easier. I see a doctor about once a month at the most and am not juggling work at the same time.
So, I am comfortable here, writing. Albeit, it would be more comfortable sitting in my chair at Towl Park, but this will do. It is warm and there are so many people to observe.
It doesn't take long for me to meet someone new. A large woman wearing a coat identical to mine sits down a chair away from me. I smile and point to my coat and she laughs.
"I got mine as a hand-me-down from my grandmother," she tells me. "How 'bout you?" I tell her that I bought mine at a Goodwill Store. We have a friendly discussion about Goodwill. I tell her that a lovely young lady that I know who lives in New York City buys all of her clothes at thrift stores.
"She's lovely," I say. "And very stylish. She's also slim. I think that you can shop pretty much anywhere if you are thin."
The lady concurs. We then embark on the best places for larger women like ourselves to shop. She likes Lane Bryant. I like Catherine's, although I admit that I am no snappy dresser. I dress for comfort. I pretty much live in jogging pants and sweatshirts.
"You know a trend that I've noticed?" I ask. She urges me to go on, so I do.
"Clothes for full figures are ugly, in general. You can't just buy a plain red sweatshirt. Nope. You have to wear a red sweatshirt with ugly flowers on it, or polka dots, or so much bling that it looks like someone has attacked you with a bedazzling gun."
She nods her head empathetically. "I know!" she howls. "And all the pants have elastic waistbands. I know that I'm heavy, but I don't want to look like I'm someone's grandma. By the way, I'm Angie."
I tell her my name and say that I wonder what it is about designers that they think that all fat women love baby kittens or puppies. "Nearly every time I find a nice white top, it has imprints of some baby animal on it. Or a saying about how girls love to shop."
Angie and I move on to other pet peeves. The way that the fat girl is always the designated purse holder when anyone goes to the bathroom at a bar. Like we are just wallflowers who never get asked to dance, so we're a safe pick.
"Nice to know that we look trustworthy," I say. "But, I'm not the purse monitor. "
Angie volunteers that, at her her church, she is always assigned to the boring jobs at church functions. "Maybe I just have that face that says, 'MAY I HANG UP YOUR COAT?'"
We both laugh and then Angie looks up as an older man comes around the corner with a cane. She jumps up.
"Hey, Dad, how'd it go?" she says, reaching down for a pair of gloves. "Let's just get your gloves on." The man tells her that it took so long because he had to urinate in a cup and didn't have to pee AT ALL. So, the nurses kept making him drink water.
"I would've drank coffee if I knew I'd need to piss in a damn cup! I wish they'd tell people these things ahead of time."
Angie murmurs at him and they start for the door. She waves.
"Goodbye, Linda," she calls, over her shoulder. "It was fun to meet and talk to you."
I wave back, smiling. Another peeve of mine is that people constantly seem to think my name is Linda. My name is Laura.
I must just have a Linda face.