Face to Face Communication

So my wife and I are pregnant. I know some people take issue with me saying it that way, since technically she is the only one who is carrying a baby, but I feel like I’m a part of this process too. I get to wake up at night almost every time she does, I took care of 90% of our household duties during the first trimester when she would come home from work too exhausted to remember her own name (it’s incredible how such a tiny thing can suck so much energy out of a person, but I know she’s not alone), and I’ve spent several days re-designing a bedroom that was perfectly fine before we decided to build another person. Note to would-be parents – getting pregnant tends to involve a lot of paint and drywall dust.

Anyway, we are pregnant. And recently my wife needed to schedule a blood test, presumably to make sure that she still had some blood. (Spoiler alert – she does.) So she did was every tech-savvy person does these days – she got online to make the appointment. Except that didn’t work. Our hospital’s website doesn’t let you do that. So after a few frantic minutes of staring blankly into space, my wife remembered that her phone lets her call people. (Seriously, considering the amount of time people actually spend using their phones as phones, they shouldn’t call it a smartphone anymore. They should call it a ‘video-playing emoji textulator,’ which I’ll admit is harder to say.) The phone put her on hold, then played some delightfully boring hold music for about ten minutes, and then hung up on her. She called back, and it did the same thing.

My wife did not know what to do.

Fortunately, though, I did. You see, I’m older than she is, which means I still remember when people talked to each other in person for reasons other than to exchange insurance information after a car accident. And our hospital is about eight minutes from our house. So the next day, I wandered over there. In person. To talk to another person.

Now here’s where it gets weird.

I wandered into the OB (that’s doctor shorthand for ‘office building’) and waited in line, quite obviously the only man there unaccompanied by a woman. Did that bother me? Not a bit, because I had a mission. When it was my turn, I told the receptionist that I needed to schedule a blood test on my wife’s behalf. Unbeknownst to me, however, this blood test needed her doctor’s approval in order to be scheduled, which blew my mind since it was the doctor who ordered it, so of course she approves of it! I paused for a moment, reminding myself that strangling people is a crime and that there were a lot of witnesses around, then said something I’m pretty sure they hadn’t heard in that office since back when you were still allowed to smoke in doctors’ offices.

“No problem. I’ll just wait here until I can talk to her.”

And that’s what I did. I sat down – very close to the receptionist so that she could always see me not going anywhere – and waited. I know that doctors are busy, that they’re saving lives and all that. And this is a baby doctor. Maybe right then she was delivering a baby, maybe triplets. It could take years for her to find the time to –

Nope. Five minutes later she came up the front desk, glanced at the schedule, and penciled us in for a blood test. (She didn’t really ‘pencil’ it in, she added it to her computer, but that’s how I say it because I can still remember when Washington defeated the British.) The point is, I was in and out of there in about twelve minutes – which, when you add my sixteen minutes of drive time to and from the office, is still less time than my wife spent failing to make this appointment on her phone.

So keep your flashy techno thingies, kids. If I need to get something done, I will come to where you are. Because it’s impossible to ignore me when I’m staring at your face.

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