Two women took seats in front of me at the Mayo Clinic waiting room.
"Did you bring any candies like I said?" barked the younger one.
The older one shook her head.
The younger one huffed and twitched.
"You still don't get what being diabetic is?" she said, too loud. "Is that why you lied to that woman at the desk?"
She glared at the older woman.
Under her breath, the older woman said: "I didn't lie."
"But you didn't say anythin’ neither!" said the loud one. "Omission is a lie!"
The older one kept still.
The younger one continued: "Did you hear what she said? She said you’re lucky to have such a nice daughter taking care of you!"
She shouted "LUCKY," her mouth throwing a punch.
"I bet you hate it when they say that!" The younger paused, letting her venom sting the air.
"No," the old woman finally said.
"Ohhh yes you do!" the daughter continued. "You do because you're a bitch, and you don't listen, and when you die I won't come crying at your funeral."
The harangue was relentless for another 5 minutes or so.
I pretended to be reading my ipad, but kept an eye on the seething daughter.
Finally, I said: “Wow, maybe you can relax a bit.”
It was like waking the Minotaur.
“And maybe you can mind your own business,” she blurted at me, eyes flaming wide. “Go sit somewhere else and mind your own goddam business!”
I offered: “I’m not moving and you should not talk to your mother that way.”
Steam came out of her ears.
“Don’t you tell me what I can’t do! I’m going to report you to security for meddling in private affairs… Twelve years I’ve had to deal with this! Goddam! You must be a Scottsdalian or New Yorker or something… telling me what I can’t do…!”
Just then my name was called and as I got up, I brushed by the old woman and gently said in her ear, “Good luck, ma’m.”
The daughter continued to rant like a banshee as I headed for my blood draw, curdled by having witnessed such blatant abuse of the elderly.