The ominous sight of the familiar postcard, that seemed to mock me as I plucked it from my mailbox, caused my stomach to start churning immediately. How could it possibly be that time again? I suppose it is inevitable that the routine experiences in life that we fear, in my case a visit to the dentist, seem to approach us with greater rapidity than we might prefer. This was one occasion when I wished that the postman had put my mail into a neighbor's box! I sat in the kitchen repeatedly reading the "Please call our office at the above number to schedule your appointment"- segment of the postcard. The impending feeling of doom consumed me. "Well, enough of this" I told myself sharply, as I wiped my now clammy hands on my sweater. I picked up the telephone that was lying next to me, ignored the return of the butterflies in my stomach, and dialed the number.
"Good morning, Dr. Schneider's office. Tania speaking, how may I help you?" were the words delivered in a peppy, up-beat manner that contrasted my mood dramatically. I informed the perky "Tania" that I needed to make an appointment for a check-up. Keeping my fingers crossed that no immediate cancellation slots would be available, I was relieved to be given a date for the following week. I had six days to prepare myself.
Before I knew it, the dreaded day was upon me and I found myself being driven to the dental clinic. I hoped, wistfully, that I might arrive to find the office closed with a sign on the door saying, "Out to lunch. Back in six months!" Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed when I turned the corner and saw the lights on in the building. The familiar aroma...