1. The Fifteen Year Old: No, really, he’s fifteen. Has cap on backward. Laughs uproariously at everything that is said, whether it is funny or not. It usually isn’t. Has his mom with him, because neither “parent” is old enough to drive yet.
2. The Redneck: Has on fishing hat with giant fishhook clipped onto it. John Deere t-shirt. Camo pants. Dip can outline in his back pocket. Talks much more than he should. Asks really stupid questions. Calls his girlfriend/wife “darlin'”. Calls the doctor “darlin'”.
3. The Metalhead: Long unruly hair. Black everything. Is usually standing just outside the exam room door on his cell phone setting up drug deals. Reeks of pot. And what is that chain that hangs out of his pocket and hooks on to his beltloop? Has not realized that Hair Bands were out after the eighties.
4. The Tattoo Man: Seriously. Has full sleeves tatted on both sides. Has tattoos on every visible part. Has teardrop tattooed on his cheek. Isn’t that supposed to mean he’s killed someone? Or is that just urban myth? Girlfriend covered in tats too. Usually a pretty quiet, decent fellow. Unless he’s actually killed somebody.
5. The Head Shop Manager: Marked similarities to #3 and #4. But everything is also pierced. Makes jokes about Prince Alberts. Nods head and taps feet to imaginary music. Reeks of patchouli. Wears extremely hip and ironic t-shirt from the shop.
6. The Dirty Ignoramous: Wears the same thing everytime he comes in. Fat, unshaven and slovenly Everything is gray with dirt. Stinks of body odor. Tries to look wise by asking questions that actually make no sense. Asks A LOT of questions, all of which make no sense. Like, is it better to keep the cat box in the kitchen, or the bedroom?
7. The Troubled Youth: Slouches in chair with hoodie over face. Refuses to look anyone in the face. Refuses to answer questions, or speak when addressed. Pants are falling off.
8. The Uniformed Butthole: Upright self-important martinet who wears whatever uniform he has to every appointment. Police uniform (has to speak into walkie talkie at some point), military uniform, mall cop uniform, firefighter, whatever. Distinguished from the general working population in that he wears a uniform every single time they come in, not just when he happens to be working. He wears the uniform in the delivery room too. Obviously has something to prove. Very authoritative. Wants to make sure everyone knows he’s boss. Asks lots of dominant questions. Demands certainties in circumstances where nothing is certain. Wife not allowed to speak.
9. The Concerned Yuppie: Dressed in button-downs and khakis all the time. Occasional blue blazer. Very serious expression at all times, very earnest. Lots and lots of questions. Seems to feel deep down that if he doesn’t ask all these questions, that nothing will be done right. That he alone must save his wife from our obvious incompetence. Has done just enough reading to be dangerous. Control freak.
10. The Asshole CEO: Very similar to #9, but is extremely aggressive and accusatory in his communications. May possibly be beating his wife.
11. The Tofu Crunchy Granola Dude: Also very earnest. Has also read enough to be dangerous. Wants to know about tub births, birthing balls, candles and ambient music during labor, and doulas. Feels that modern medicine is the enemy of natural childbirth. Feels we will foist our uptight medical beliefs on his wife, and ruin her organic birth experience. Rants about C-Sections. Wants to refuse IV access and has to be talked down.
12. The Jokester: Alway wisecracking, everything is funny, nothing is serious. Passes out when his wife’s epidural gets put in. Wife is exasperated with him.
13. The Leech: Clings to his wife at all times. Gives her deep soulful kisses while we are trying to find the baby’s heartbeat. Holds her hand and strokes her hair while the big mean Ob/Gyn does her 15 second cervical exam. Urges her to breathe deeply so she can survive it.
14. The Frequent Flyer: Has actually impregnated two or more of our patients during the same time period. Looks nervously over his shoulder a lot. Yes, we know who you are.
15. The Gross And Annoying Kid: Pops his pimples in the exam room mirror, without shame. Rifles through our drawers and pulls out q-tips to clean his ears. Holds up various medical equipment and says, “Whuts thi-yus?” Breaks stuff. Steals other stuff.
16. The Military: Poor guy barely makes it to one appointment before he is redeployed to Afghanistan. Is grateful just to be there and hear the baby’s heartbeat. Sometimes is not allowed to come home for the delivery. We literally Skype these births sometimes.
17. The Jailbird: Usually only present on the other end of the mom’s cell phone. She is screaming obscenities about child support.
18. The Jerry Springer: Gets into arguments and fistfights in the waiting room, sometimes with his “fiancee” and sometimes with some stalker guy who thinks he may be the dad.
19. The Restraining Order: This one is very serious, and dangerous. He has actively harmed his girlfriend/wife in the past. He is not allowed any information about the woman or her pregnancy. Sometimes appears menacingly in the waiting room demanding to know where his “woman” is. Scares the office girls to death that he will whip out an assault rifle and waste everyone. Usually means a call to Security. OK. ALWAYS means a call to security.
20. The Addict: Comes to appointments so wasted that he slumps out of his chair onto the floor. The girlfriend explains: “The demerol he got in the ER ain’t mixin’ good with his methadone.” Babbles incoherently. Slurs. Stumbles around. Too f’d up to be dangerous.
21. The Creepy Older Guy: 17 year old girl is accompanied by her 30-something husband. Sometimes parental consent is the only thing between him and statutory. Looks ridiculously pleased with himself all the time.
22. The Homewrecker: The patient is married. Just not to him. Sometimes the husband shows up for the delivery. AWK-ward.
23. The Great Guy: Comes only to the appointments that his wife asks him to attend. Obviously thrilled to be a daddy. Pleasant and generally likeable. Appropriately concerned. Very rare.
24. The Extended Family: One concerned citizen just isn’t enough. The daddy brings his mom and sundry other family members. They make sure to ask questions too in case he forgot any. They sit on every available surface in the exam room, and carry on loud conversations while the doctor is trying to talk to the patient.
25. The Absentee: Never comes to a single visit. Doesn’t come to the delivery. Sometimes doesn’t even know he is a dad. The girl is attended at the delivery by her mom and her two sisters.
26. The Mail-Order Husband: Chubby, short, bearded dork accompanied by astonishingly beautiful Asian, Filippina or Eastern Bloc hottie. The patient doesn’t speak a word of English. The mail-order dad doesn’t speak a word of her language either, which he tries to overcome by shouting at her really loud because then she will surely understand him. She just smiles inscrutably.
27. The Medical Dad: Doctor, nurse, or EMT. Either way, he knows WAY too much and yet not nearly enough. Convinced of his absolute knowledge and our absolute incompetence. Asks lot of technical questions meant to prove his medical prowess, which actually reveal exactly how little he actually knows. Mentally exhausting. Tries to control medical treatment at all times. Makes helpful suggestions during times of crisis.
28. The Shrinking Violet: The subject of anything medical or anything related to bodily functions makes him nauseous. He blanches at discussions of labor, babies, vaccines, needles, IVs, blood or C-Sections. Wife threatens him with bodily harm if he balks at attending the delivery.
29. The Family Guy: They’re on their fifth baby, and he believes the first four should attend every visit with them. Is frequently found crawling across the floor towards a toddler while another kid dangles from the exam room curtains.
30. The Documentation Guy: Wants to get a recording of the heartbeat, stills and videos of every visit, plus video and stills of the gory details of the delivery. Wants to photograph the afterbirth. We never know if he is just overenthusiastic, or trying to sue us.