My husband and I adopted a little boy almost 9 years ago, 12 years after our daughter was born. I was 43, and I understand that’s a little old to have a baby in the house. I have resigned myself to the fact that some of his friends’ mothers will be young enough to be my child.

People, including my mother, told me that having a baby at that age would keep me young and that I will be more patient with him because I am older.

I don’t know about that part – he’s a very different kind of child than our daughter and that has brought it’s own challenges, but the implication seemed to be that as we get older, we learn patience.

Today I saw that that may not be true.

I had to see a new doctor today. My sciatica is beginning to make itself known in small twinges when I stand after sitting for awhile, and as a writer, sitting is one of the things I do best! My previous doctor left the area and his partner wasn’t accepting new patients. So, I found someone else and went to my first appointment this morning.

When I got to the office I was greeted by a roomful of people in a darkened waiting room and a persistent alarm beeping.

The electricity was out along a whole block.

The receptionist told me we were looking at a two hour wait and no computers. She asked if I wanted to reschedule and I said no, I didn’t really mind waiting. I had my computer with me and even with no Internet, I could keep myself busy.

I sat and filled out all the paperwork, but what was most interesting, for me, was to watch the people who came in to discover there was no power.

One man made a joke, asking if they forgot to pay the light bill. The poor receptionist, working in a room with no windows, were understandably frazzled and while some of us in the waiting room chuckled, I don’t believe they dis.

A young woman came in and said she’d have to reschedule as she had to get to work. They told her they’d call her because they couldn’t do any scheduling without the computers.

An older couple came in, the woman using a walker, and were very upset there was no power and there could be a two hour delay. They insisted they had a 10 am appointment with their doctor. The receptionist explained that they were seeing patients as fast as they could given they only had two exam rooms with lights, but the doctor these people wanted to see had to go into surgery at 11 and would be out all day after that. They might not get to see him.

The woman sat down and complained about how inconvenient this was. The man went back up to the window and said they should have been told about this. The receptionist told him the phones were down because the electricity was off and they didn’t know when it would be back. Finally, these people were told they could leave and the office would call them to reschedule. They left, still muttering about how badly they’d been treated.

This kind of scenario was repeated by another older couple who never even sat down. They heard there was a potential two-hour delay and they just left, acting as though this someone how was done to them on purpose.

In contrast, a woman sitting to my left had no book, no computer, nothing, but she sat without complaining, waiting.

Most of the people there were patient and either joking about the whole thing or just waiting.

In fact, I got in to see the doctor only about 30 minutes after my appointment time, and I got a lot of editing done before that.

I don’t think we get patient as we get older. I think those of us who don’t believe the world revolves around us understand that life might throw a few boulders in our path and the best way for us to deal with them is to laugh at them, if we can (or at them later when it’s over) and just relax. It’s only when we believe that we’re “The Chosen One” and the traffic should part to let us through, that we look at situations like that one and believe that it was somehow done just to annoy us.

I just pray that when I’m older and possibly using a walker, I won’t think it is appropriate to bite someone’s head off when an unexpected power outage changes my plans.