Emergency rooms are filled with people waiting to be seen. As well as people waiting with the people waiting to be seen. On a busy night the brightly lit room can be the source for all kinds of characters. On Saturday night I observed many interesting people and wondered what stories they could tell. There was a teenager in a very short blue fleece robe. It was decorated with snowmen. Her hair was plopped on top of her head in a floppy ponytail. She struck up a conversation with another girl in interesting attire. The other girl was wearing baggy pants adorned with hot sauce bottles and a man’s loose-fitting white t-shirt. Because you sit in such close proximity of other’s in the waiting room you have no choice but to hear the conversations going on.  The girls talked about children and how many they planned on having. The robe girl said she would have seven. She didn’t care if anyone thought she was crazy. She wanted seven children because she was an only child and hated it. The hot sauce bottle girl explained she was pregnant but lost her baby. She was in the emergency room due to complications from a miscarriage. I listened a bit and played out scenarios for them in my mind. I pictured the robe girl with a screaming baby rested on her hip and another in a high-chair throwing food and wondered if she would really make it to seven. The hot sauce bottle girl had a bit of an edge to her. I envisioned her as the type of girl that ran the show and refused to take smack from anyone. What kind of mother’s will they become? I will never really know but I had fun making up a life for them. My attention shifted from them to an older man sitting by himself with his palm rested against his chin. I thought he looked familiar but couldn’t place where I saw him before. Worry and sadness painted his face. He was obviously concerned for whom ever it was he was waiting for. I later realized he was a customer of mine that frequently visited the restaurant. In front of him was a young couple. The boy scrunched down in his seat, his legs were spread out in a carefree fashion. He didn’t pay half as much attention to the girl as she did to him. She kept affectionately rubbing her hands against his legs. As if she was warning the other girls of his status. My eyes shifted to the floor and what caught my attention surprised me a bit. It was no longer faces I was studying. It was toes. Seven out of nine of the girls in the waiting room were wearing flip flops. There were casual flip flops, sequenced flip flops, flip flops with stripes and flip flops that have seen better days. And if there are flip flops then you know there must be toes. If you are going to wear flip flops I think you have an obligation to your toes or shall I say toe nails to keep them presentable. Don’t put flip flops on if your nails are curling past the skin of your toes. It does you an injustice. Wearing flip flops is like buying a house on an Avenue. You have a responsibility to keep them clean, primped and maybe even decorated. I know, the fact that you are in an emergency room may mean you didn’t have time to focus on what you were wearing. But keep in mind you probably will be waiting for hours. The other people in the waiting room with you have no choice but to focus on the other’s in the room at some point. I will remember the faces and toes of all of the people in the room that night. Mainly because of what they were wearing, whether it was a snowman robe, hot sauce pants or flip flops. They made a statement and didn’t even realize it. I wonder if someone else looked at what I was wearing and thought, what was she thinking? I was one of the two that didn’t have on flip flops. My toenails were not ready to be seen.  They needed an emergency room of their own, preferably one in a salon with a nice comfy chair and deep bubbly foot bath.  

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