Recently, I made an appointment see a new dentist. Since it was my first visit to their office, they requested that I show up ten minutes early to fill out some paperwork before my exam. Which was fine with me because it’s not like I was planning on sticking around very long after my exam, when I’d be numb on one side of my face and drooling like a 12 year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. No, I like to TC of my B before they fire up the drills.
The day of my appointment, I showed up to the office and a really nice receptionist with glow-in-the-dark teeth handed me a clipboard full of forms and instructed me to, “Fill this one out, not this one, sign here, initial there, read this, complete this and don’t even bother with the blue piece of paper because it’s just something the state makes us show you or we’ll get in trouble.”
The first form started out fairly easily–first name: Wendi. Last name: Aarons. Middle Name: Lea. Yep, we were on a roll, my cheap, plastic pen and I. Then came the next question on the page: Name You’d Like Us To Call You. Oh, baby. Lifting my pen, I sat there a few minutes staring at the page, both completely stunned and somewhat thrilled by the door that had suddenly opened up for me. “Name You’d Like Us To Call You.” Hmmm. While I knew this was meant for people who had nicknames like “Butch” or “Junior”, my mind still started racing. I mean, nobody knew me at this dental office, so that meant I could put down nearly any name I’d like to be called, right? The dental hygienists didn’t have to know that I was just a boring, suburban mother who lied about flossing. As far as they knew, I was an exciting, international playgirl spy who lied about flossing.
I looked at the blank line again and wondered if I should take the easy route and write down, “I don’t care WHAT you call me, just as long as you call me, Mr. Dentist.” Or should I instead just throw balls to the wall and go exotic by putting down something like “Peaches?” Or “Herb?” Or “DJ Honky Ass White Girl?” Then again, I could even bestow upon myself a regal title, like “Princess Lulu of Abilene.” “Countess Boobala.” “Lola Falana.” My hands shook in excitement as I imagined myself at the next PTA meeting, walking up to someone and saying, “Hi, my name’s Wendi. But everyone at my dentist’s office calls me The Queen Of Reggae Mayhem.” Oh, man, was this awesome.
Then just when I was considering whether or not I should put down that I’d like to be called “Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty”, the receptionist opened up her frosted glass window and jarred me out of my reverie by asking, “Are you done with your forms yet, Mrs. Aarons?” I shook my head, then quickly filled out the rest of the pages and handed them in to her. A few minutes later, the door to the back room opened and a pleasant dental assistant called for me.
“Hi, I’m Phyllis,” she said. “How are you today?”
“Good,” I replied.
“That’s great,” she answered, leading me into an exam room and sitting me in the dentist’s chair. “Just wait here for a few minutes and the doctor will be right in. And be sure to let me know if you need anything else, OK, Wendi?”
“Sure,” I said. “And by the way–feel free to call me Mrs. Clooney.”