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10 Hours

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10 Hours

10 Hours – The total length of time I spent in the Emergency Room at Newton Memorial Hospital.

Four of those hours I sat in the outer waiting room where my complaint of being unable to breath was accepted as trivial compared to that of the man who walked in carrying his finger in a jar.

Three of those hours were spent on my back, on what the staff called a bed, but I’m certain was a slab of hard cold granite.

One hour was wasted waiting for the ER staff to acknowledge my presence, and two additional hours got me the help I needed for a bronchial infection that made breathing all but impossible.

As I exited the hospital I expressed my annoyance at being overlooked for such a lengthy period of time and was reminded that it was Sunday, when most doctors trade in their surgical instruments for golf clubs. I was advised to plan future emergencies for days other than Sundays.

When I got home I thought about the senseless hours that had been squandered, and let my skewed mind consider other time-consuming scenarios; real, imagined and, just a wee bit exaggerated:

–  10 Hours – How long the cat, in heat, moaned under my bedroom window last Tuesday.

–  10 Hours – How long it took my first husband to notice I’d chopped a foot and a half off of my hair.

–  10 Hours – The duration of time my evil 6th grade math teacher, Miss Kathryn Murphy, punished and humiliated me in front of the class, because I’d worn an orange neckerchief on St. Patrick’s Day, but never explained why that was wrong.

–  10 Hours – The sum total of an hour drive to the airport, 45 minutes to get through security check points, another hour to read email, while lingering over an airport breakfast, and a 7 hour 15 minute non-stop flight to Paris.

–  10 Hours – How long it took me to swallow each of Jenny Craig’s pre-packaged diet meals.

–  10 Hours – How long it takes for my arthritic fingers to hook my bra.

–  10 Hours – The time it takes to stand in line for the Ladies Room during intermission at any Broadway show.

–  10 Hours – The longest I’ve ever been able to stick with a diet.

–  10 Hours – The average wait in most DMV lines.

–  10 Hours – The time it took me to watch two weeks of the soap opera, The Young and the Restless, that I had recorded while on vacation.

–  10 Hours – How long it takes my husband to unhook my bra with his arthritic fingers.

–  10 Hours – The time it takes to drive one half hour each way, to and from work, plus eight hours of work and one hour for lunch.

–  10 Hours – The time it takes to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, only to have it devoured in five minutes flat.

–  10 Hours – The length of every Sunday football game.

–  10 Hours – The time it takes to clean up after Thanksgiving, but would normally take 4 hours, if guests didn’t insist on helping.

–  10 Hours – The daily, minimum amount of TV coverage that was dedicated to the death of Michael Jackson.

–  10 Hours – The length of time I held my breath when the hospital admitting nurse asked, in front of my husband, how much I weigh.

Ohhhhhh my!

Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at, as well as and

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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