Here is a great example of how you can meet interesting people and enjoy yourself in stressful situations.
A few years ago, when my dad lived alone, while he was in his late 80’s, he dropped a microwave on his thumb. Don’t even ask how that happened. If you have older parents, things like this just happen. I rushed over and took him to the hospital.
So we’re sitting in this tiny room for a long while. Apparently it was a very busy evening, and my dads injury wasn’t very serious (I guess compared to the other patients). Since we had been there for some time, my dad and I stopped chit chatting awhile ago. The room was so small that I was sitting in the frame of the doorway looking out into the hallway. Down the hallway, about 35-40 feet away was a prison guard. Yes a prison guard. And I’m going to say it. A big, muscular, intimidating, African american, prison guard. (Actually these guys look more like porn stars, it was the best I could find. If I knew I was doing a blog at the time I would have asked for a photo :-)) Not surprisingly, he was guarding a prisoner behind a curtain.
Now this is a suburban little hospital. Not an urban hospital. I’m not used to seeing prisoners or prison guards. I don’t even know where the nearest prison is. So this was vastly of interest to me! Got the visual?
OK, back to me sitting in the door frame looking out being bored. Prison guard, standing guard, mighty and tall, but, looking pretty bored. I make eye contact with him….and I twiddle my thumbs in that culture crossing, non verbal… I AM SO BORED way! He cracked up!! We both did. It was great! We didn’t say anything after that. Too much physical distance between us to be able to speak.
But about 15 minutes later–yes, my dad still hasn’t been attended to-they moved us because they needed my dads room. Where did they move us? To the hallway, right in front of the two prisoners they were holding–I kid you not!
Well now I’m right in front of the guard and we start talking. Isn’t it nice that I already broke the ice with the thumb twiddling? There were two prisoners and two guards to each prisoner. One of the prisoners happened to be in x-ray at the moment. I took a peak behind the curtain and the prisoner he was guarding was handcuffed to the bed. I didn’t ask why the prisoners were in jail– I thought that would be against prisoner/guard confidentiality. Is there such a thing? Feel free to comment on this if anyone knows.
By the end of my dads visit, I was talking to all four of the guards. We had a little coffee klatch going on. I learned that the women’s prisons are much worse than the men’s ( meaning, I guess, that the women are scary and they do not want to work there–that’s the feeling I got from what they said). The guards were also so sweet to my dad. The work being done on my dads finger all was done in the hallway so the guards saw everything. It looked pretty painful. They talked to my dad and said what a trooper he was etc. They kept him entertained etc. It was heart warming.
I also got to ask them how they felt about laymen keeping guns at home. They are totally for it. They want all their wives and girlfriends to have guns at home. They told me police are basically for “follow up after the fact” not for protection at home. They can’t be. They can’t get there in time–it’s not possible.
I’m not adding my personal opinion because I don’t want this to become a political blog. What I’m so happy about is to hear peoples opinions I never would have heard because of the life I live. Some people think their side of the story is all there is but there are SO many different points of view.
So the next time someone tells you, you can’t have a good time in the emergency room, or to stop twiddling your thumbs…. Look at what can happen!
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