Ahhh! C’est beau. C’est vraiment beau.

23Jan08

Two posts today! Exciting, no? A brighter man would have saved this for tomorrow morning so that he wouldn’t be stressing about coming up with something to write. However, rationing and patience aren’t my things.

Neither is common sense, apparently.

So, I went to the eye specialist today.

It isn’t a big deal. I had an issue a while back and got it fixed. It wasn’t a major deal to begin with, but he said that if we let it go unchecked, it could damage my retina. I’m no expert, but I don’t think retinas grow back. They aren’t like limbs. So, we took care of business. Now my peepers are peeping normally.

Huzzah!

Still, every once in a while I go back to make sure everything is cool. And today was one of those visits.

He normally sees patients at a hospital an hour and a half or so away. But, every few months he comes to my town to see old people. And me. When asked, before my first appointment, if I’d rather drive an hour and a half or, you know, 45 seconds… I wondered if he could do the examination while I sat on my couch and watched “Deadliest Catch” on DVD.

When I walked in the office this afternoon, every head in the waiting room snapped forward to see who entered. I was greeted with attempted whispers asking “Who is that?” in both of our official languages.

I checked in and took my seat.

Then an aggressive, and soapy, smell assaulted my nose. This displeased me. Still, I tried to remain patient, here in this pungent cloud of Avon old lady perfume and roads not taken.

My appointment had originally been set for 1:45 pm, but this wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew that they typically ran pretty late. So, I called before heading to the office. The chica told me that they were only fifteen minutes behind. So, I arrived at 2 pm on the nose.

And waited for 35 minutes. And that was for the pre-appointment eye chart looky-loo.

I should mention that I didn’t bring anything with me for entertainment. No mp3 player. Not even my phone. I could have been texting random silliness to some of you good folks. “Frogs have no ribs! True story.”

They did have a TV though. And it was showing programming from our local TV station. Today that consisted of something involving a bunch of footage of people in kayaks paddling around with a school of black fish, while elevator music played. And played. I can’t remember exactly what black fish are. A type of whale? Porpoise? Something. They are big and black (really!) and jump out of the water like a dolphin. And yes, I live on the ocean. I am just fairly oblivious to my surroundings.

After, like, twenty minutes of watching this, and listening to old people argue about where the footage was shot, a new lady came in. She was probably in her fifties. And she was VERY excited about the black fish. It was like she had went to her senior prom with a black fish and this was bringing back the loveliest of memories for her, and she was capable of forgiving him for getting a bit handsy.

“Ahhh! C’est beau. C’est vraiment beau,” she said to nobody in particular. Then she turned to a lady, who was 80 if she was a day. She was little. And her hair looked a lot like that of the chauffeur guy/bad guy with heart of gold in ‘Adventures in Babysitting.’

This was the conversation. I am translating it to English for you. I’m nice like that.

Lady in her 50s: Oh, I love black fish. Do you love black fish?

Lady in her 80s: No.

Lady in her 50s: You don’t??

Lady in her 80s: Can you eat them?

Lady in her 50s: Haha. No. (“Haha” is the same in English or French.)

Lady in her 80s: *Dismissive old lady sound* (Kinda like “Smeh!”)

And… scene!

I was working hard not to laugh at that. And I had to avoid looking at the TV or the lady in her 50s.

So, for a while I just sat and stared at the wall. David Puddy-style!

Other than during a brief period of giggling about David Puddy, this got boring.

I should also mention that this office, when not being used for eye stuff, is a diabetic clinic. So, I spent some time reading diabetic informational posters. That lost much of it’s appeal when I convinced myself that I experience every symptom of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

I then noticed that an older woman — in her 70s, I suppose– had pulled out a notebook or journal. And it was full of all kinds of writing. I resisted the urge to ask her if she was a blogger and if she wanted to exchange links. Barely.

Thankfully, the clinic lady came and called my name at this point.

The doctor is a cool guy. The first thing he said was that he liked my sneakers. (The white ones.) Then he immediately put in the yellow drops of evil. I am not sure what they do. Probably freeze your eyes, right? I’m not much of a details man. I trust that he knows what he is doing. That’s why Universal Health Care pays him the big bucks, right?

While he checked my eyes, we mostly discussed The New Yorker. We experienced the generation gap, as he talked about curling up in bed with a copy, while I talked about reading it online.

I was out in about five minutes.

So, I made a follow-up appointment for a year from now and headed for the door. As I opened it up, I heard, in two languages, old lady voices asking,

“Who was that?”

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12 Responses to “Ahhh! C’est beau. C’est vraiment beau.”

  1. 1 B2G

    In the old ladies’ conversation right at (ironically) “‘Haha’ is the same in English or French” I laughed out loud and my co-worked turned and said, “Are you laughing at me?” all angrily. I guess she was on the phone. I hurriedly said no and then tried to read the rest without laughing again, because I was scared. Just thought you should know.

  2. 2 lfar

    Nobody speaks french here… that means you’re more canadian than me. RATS.

    also, wonderfully titled.

  3. 3 Michelle Ann

    That is hilarious! Sounds like a cross between Northern Exposure and Newhart. I read it again just to laugh some more!

  4. 4 JenBun

    I LOVE the line with “pungent cloud of Avon old lady perfume and roads not taken”! Great description! (and now I feel like I’m back in a writing class, giving criticism, and racing to be the first one to say “Great description” or “Nice imagery”! But still, great description.)

    I don’t actually know what c’est beau, c’est vraiment beau means. I’m from Southern California– we speak Spanish here! I’m guessing it means that they are pretty. They are very pretty?

    I don’t know what black fish are either. And I live on the ocean, too. Maybe they are only prevalent in Canada.

  5. 5 mindy

    Is that office used as a car dealership when it’s not being used for a diabetic clinic or an eye clinic?

    Sounds sketchy!

  6. 6 Libby

    tu es bilingue! sweet canadianness.
    and srsly. what is the DEAL with such looooooooong waits at the eye doctor. it’s quite ridiculous – i’ve had to wait for nearly an hour most times!

  7. 7 Susie

    Haha I love it. I was at the dr. office today too and sat listening to these trashy people talk about their pill addictions and how the girl had lots of ish go down when she worked at “Dunks” (Dunkin’ Donuts). I was trying so hard not to laugh and I couldn’t help but listen.

  8. 8 Hope

    Haha!

    And those drops? Definitely the yellow drops of evil. Although, I do like the way everything looks sepia-tinged. :)

  9. 9 sid

    LOL! Thanks so much for translating this for me. Your really are a darling.

  10. 10 Tanya Kristine

    haha. (you know what that means)

    are you a fellow hypochondriac? very good, tres bien.

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