TV blasts and waiting room clash

Today I sat in a waiting room while my husband was having out-patient surgery.  We had never been in this facility before because fortunately we haven’t had to make surgery a habit.  The room was about the size of a large family room in a very big house.  Chairs surrounded the outside parameters. A large flat screen TV was on one wall.  In the middle of the room four rows of chairs were lined up facing the TV.   It was almost like a theater…or a secularized church sanctuary.  The TV was turned onto a morning talk show and the sound was loud enough so that people in the back rows had no trouble hearing.  People like me who didn’t really want to listen were also having no trouble hearing the rather superficial and insipid (in my opinion) conversations.  No TV interview, as far as I could tell, went deeper than a few jokes and an advertisement for the next movie or book.

There was no place to get away from the noise.  I couldn’t wait in the cold car with the temperatures at a frigid 18 degrees F.  My hopes for thoughtful journaling and concentrated prayer for my husband quickly evaporated.  (Apparently  ridiculously, unreasonable hopes.)  I couldn’t leave the room.  I was required to remain in the waiting area to be called when my husband came out of surgery and moved into recovery.  So sitting there in disappointment, I watched a dozen seemingly contented people glue their eyes to the screen.  They seemed quiet and content.  Was this supposed to relax me?  What was the matter with me?  There was one young man in the back corner who seemed to absorbed in a book he was reading.  I envied him his concentration. 

Somehow there was simply not space for what I needed.

I am not sure yet what my point is in writing this.  Perhaps it is simply to say that I am more cognizant after today that somehow part of me did not share the same priorities as the prevailing waiting room culture.  That there was no space for what I needed.  That while I am at times as susceptible as anyone else to entertainment and addicting games (that is, I would have been this morning if my cell phone signal had not have been blocked), yet this morning I was simply out of place.  That the TV swamped me with a flood of irrelevant (to me) words while I was instead longing for some quiet for thoughts…even prayer.  Am I simply old and out of date?  Or is this simply a difference of personal interests and tastes?  Or do priorities influenced by faith have anything to do with my waiting room discontent?

I don’t know.  Tonight I don’t have the answer, but I am relieved to be home—my husband with ice packs and pain meds, and myself with some quiet.  :-).