Observations in a waiting room


Sitting waiting for a blood test one morning at my local NHS hospital, I amused myself by people-watching…….

It is a very busy hospital and the waiting room is also the main thoroughfare from outpatients to the wards and other departments, so there is a lot of human traffic….  Doctors, nurses, porters, patients…… – all sorts…………

People-watching has always been a hobby of mine.  To sit and watch, to observe and to take note of what is going on around me.  It’s fascinating……..

Today, we had the old lady in the hand-knitted cardigan, talking very loudly (shouting almost) to her companion.  Probably hard of hearing, bless her….  The man with a complexion so grey you wonder what is wrong with him and how long he has got to live, and the lady sitting opposite me with a face like thunder. Wonder what has pissed her off?  The long wait I expect….  I am pissed off too……

The number of couples sitting waiting….  That’s nice – accompanying your spouse or partner to their hospital appointment, although I have never felt the need for anyone to hold my hand.

Doctors, young and old, rushing past.  Trainees, consultants, all looking stressed or pre-occupied.  Nurses in pairs, on a break, chatting or laughing with each other……….porters trundling patients in wheelchairs…….

Then there are the inpatients who wander down from the wards to buy a magazine, or chocolate, from the shop.  A fascinating array of slippers, pyjamas and dressing gowns.  Do they feel self-conscious I wonder?  I think I would……. 

Ugly people.  I mean, REALLY ugly people…….odd shapes and sizes…..people from all walks of life.  A real cross-section.  After all, ill-health does not discriminate.…

… The thing that strikes me every time I people watch, is how few ‘perfect people’ I see. I mean perfect in the sense of looks – you know, the ‘beautiful people’.  The ones we see paraded on the front of magazines and on the TV and in films.  Those ‘beautiful people’ that so many aspire to look like………..perfect features, perfect bodies….  Why do we want to look like these perfect beings when clearly, they are in the minority?

Here, in the hospital, I see people who cannot be classified as beautiful, using my definition above.  Their beauty is in their difference.  The unique make up of their features and shape.  The way they are PUT TOGETHER.

This is beauty. 

Not the clones that parade around with their fake noses, their enhanced cheekbones and their botox-filled pouting lips…….  They are not real.  Even the people who at first glance are, well, ugly, are in fact beautiful by virtue of their uniqueness.  If you look at them, their beauty emerges…….  What appears initially to be a very plain face becomes a face with deep blue eyes with long lashes….  Those rolls of fat become sensuous curves that aren’t being nurtured…….  That person with the acned skin has beautiful hair…………..it’s all there.   You just have to look.

Yes. I am a people watcher…….

A beautiful-people watcher…….

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