I was sitting in the dentist’s office, patiently waiting to be called back for a filling when my cell phone rang. It was my chiropractor’s office.
“Good morning, Ms. Pittman.”
“Good morning?” This was said with a lift at the end, as I wasn’t used to being called by my chiropractor just for a chat. I was confused.
“How are you?” she continued.
More confusion. “I am fine. How are you?”
“Fine, thank you.”
A bit of a pause here, then, “We were expecting you in the office. Is everything alright?”
Now, I was really perplexed. “I have an appointment for this afternoon,” I replied. “Right now I am at the dentist’s office for a 10 o’clock appointment.”
“Well, we have you down for 10 here.”
“I am not sure . . .,” I began, then light started to dawn. “Hold on a minute.”
I got up and went to the front window. “Is my appointment for 10?” I asked. “No,” the receptionist replied calmly, barely looking up from her desk. “It is for 2, but we had a cancellation for 10:30 and since you were here, I just slid you right into that slot.”
I returned to the phone. “I am so sorry. I had you written down for 2 and the dentist for 10, and the dentist didn’t mention that I was four hours early,“ I explained.
“Well, we have an opening for 1:30 if you can come then,” she graciously offered. I accepted and apologized again. How had this happened? Was this the first leg of a long trip to not even knowing where I live?”
I went back to the front window. “I don’t know how that happened,” I said.
“Don’t worry,” she interrupted. “It happens all the time. People flip their appointments.”
Reassured, I returned to my seat. The reassurance didn’t last long. The chiropractor didn’t say it happened all the time there. The chiropractor’s office tended to be full of vibrant young people maintaining their bodies and their Zen. Even infants whose parents wanted to be sure they stayed aligned and healthy showed up at the chiropractor’s. Probably on time, too. My dentist just happened to also specialize in dentures. Now, I know people of all ages can need dentures, but let’s face it, the usual denture demographic is far more likely to be starting on that unfortunate memory journey than the Zen seekers.
After worrying a bit, I decided not to place too much importance on the incident. I got the filling, ran some errands, tried to chew some lunch with a numb lower jaw and lip, then headed for the chiropractor’s office a little early. I wanted to get there before I forgot where it was.