I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday afternoon. This appointment is the inevitable consequence of two previous appointments I cancelled at the last minute (the last one while trying to act all nonchalant while really I was choking back tears and wishing I had gotten the nice receptionist, the one with the soothing voice who never acts inconvenienced and never makes me feel bad about rescheduling) and I’m really going to go this time, I swear, because I have a chipped molar that could probably use some attention before it needs some sort of treatment I can’t even consider, and I want to make sure I get my teeth cleaned once more before the baby comes and I can figure out a way to use her as an excuse to keep me from their office for the rest of my life.
Anyway, they always call a few days before my appointment, and I never answer it (it’s really better for everyone if I keep my interaction with their staff to a minimum because my ability to make polite chit-chat, which is usually second-to-none, disappears in the face of dental care, or the looming threat thereof) and the voicemail they leave is always some variation of the following: “Hi Lauren, I’m calling from Dr. Dentist’s office, and we’re really looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday at 2 p.m.” And every time, my reaction is exactly the same: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Looking forward to seeing me? There’s … just no way that’s true.
I kind of think maybe we could all feel a little bit better about the situation if we were a little more honest. “Hi Lauren, I’m calling from Dr. Dentist’s office. Listen, we don’t like you and you don’t like us, but if you come to the office on Wednesday, it will reset the longest-time-till-next-appointment clock, and although you will leave here slightly nauseous and with your clothes and hair filled with that weird dentist-y smell, you can stop on your way home and buy a giant chocolate chip cookie as a reward. If you’re going to reschedule (and we all know it’s probably going to happen) please call our office as soon as possible to save us all the hassle and embarrassment of having to pretend you’re sick so we don’t charge you for the appointment.”