February 12, 2011

Pajama Musings - The waiting room

Lately it seems everyone's got some kind of, uhm, unpleasant experience with dentists. While one friend of mine just recently blogged about Toothache Day on February 9th – I'm not kidding about that one, there's obviously a day for everything – another urged me “Don't have your wisdom teeth pulled! Whatever you do, just don't!!” after having gone through some agonizing months where her hubby suffered from the aftermath of the operation and the incompetence of certain doctors. And last thing I heard is that her last remaining wisdom tooth started acting up now too. Anyway.
This post isn't about going to the dentist, yet it reminds me of one peculiar detail that can be found in seemingly every doctor's waiting room.

Old magazines.

Granted, it's been a while since I volunteered for a check-up at, say, my dentist. And apart from remembering the distinct smell that welcomes you when entering a dentists office, another thing pops to mind when I dare to think about this not really alluring premise.
Chairs around a table filled with old magazines.
And I mean real old ones.
I think there's a medical waiting room magazine supply house that sells these old, and occasionally ancient, magazines. To be fair though, it probably doesn't make sense to invest in any new ones, because people are usually too nervous to realize that what they're reading happened months, if not years ago. Could have been yesterday just the same. No one really notices anyway.
I never once saw anyone actually reading in these magazines. Just browsing through, throwing it then on one of many piles, grabbing another one, and continuing this browsing-throwing-grabbing until their name's been called. These magazines are a distraction, I realize that, and surly better than being left alone with your own torturous thoughts on what the doctor may find (especially when we're talking about a dentist).
Lately though a lot of doctor's offices provide you with a flatscreen that features … no, not the latest news, or maybe a football game, or a cartoon, but infomercials on anything health related. This certainly reduces the continuous rustling noise of turning pages, multiplied by the number of people in the waiting room, and translates into several unfocused pairs of eyes staring at the screen. If you ask me, they could show 20 year old stuff on these screens and no one would notice either.
I guess once one of those peacefully sleeping wisdom teeth start acting up I will find out whether the waiting room ambient has changed. Maybe there will be all new magazines provided for the waiting lot. Though I wouldn't notice it. Not with an imminent dentist appointment.


  1. not so fond of the magazines (think of the germs!) but really don't like the flat screen tvs either. Of course, I've always got either my own reading material or knitting.

  2. I don't like dentists at all! one chipped my tooth one yelled at me because HE didn't give me enough pain meds and thought I was being a "baby".... and one would have kept me in my braces until the day I died for all the appt's he cancelled!!! so I don't like their magazines or tv's either...LOL!!!

  3. Germs on magazines are the least of my worries when waiting at the dentist, hahahaaa! But knitting? I don't knit, but come to think of it, those needles could be of help defending myself in case the dentists fires up the dental burr ...