Monday, December 20, 2010


My husband had an appointment for his six-month physical last week. Getting to the doctor’s office, however, wasn’t an easy task.

For one thing, my husband is punctual and I’m not. I have a bad habit of always waiting until the very last minute to get ready, and then I have to rush. And rushing when I’m putting on makeup is never a good idea. I have stabbed my eyeballs with my mascara brush so many times, I’m surprised I haven’t permanently blinded myself.

But on this particular day, my husband was the one who was dragging. He woke up with a backache and barely could straighten up to walk. He struggled to get dressed, then sat on the edge of the bed and asked me if I could check his feet.

“What exactly would you like me to check for?” I hesitated to ask. Everything from blisters and bunions to some horrible fungus crossed my mind.

“Well, I showered before I went to bed,” he said, “but I want to make sure there’s no bed lint between my toes or anything. You know how the doctor loves to examine my feet!”

Maybe the doctor loved to examine them, but I sure didn’t.

“They look just fine to me,” I said, standing about five feet away. “Hurry up and put your socks on and let’s get out of here.”

“I can’t bend over,” he said. “Can you put them on for me?”

I shoved his socks onto his feet so quickly, the heels ended up on the tops of his feet. I didn’t care. “Come on now, let’s get going!”

We got halfway to the door when he suddenly stopped dead and said, “I have to go to the bathroom.” Before I could protest, he added, “When I was a kid, my mother always insisted we go to the bathroom before we went anywhere. It’s a habit I can’t break.”

I rolled my eyes. “We have only 15 minutes to get to the doctor’s.”

He disappeared into the bathroom.

We finally arrived at the doctor’s office at 2:19. My husband’s appointment was at 2:10.

“Well,” the receptionist said, frowning, when we checked in,“we already have you down as a no-show and the doctor is with his next patient, doing a procedure. But I’ll check to see if he can fit you in.”

There was no one else in the waiting room. We sat down and waited…and waited. I read a children’s book about a woman who adopted a bunch of animals but didn’t want to adopt an elephant because she was afraid it would eat all of her canned goods. I read another book by Dr. Seuss about some guy named Sam who had a bunch of green eggs.

Finally, 20 minutes later, the receptionist told us she would have to reschedule the appointment because the doctor was going to be tied up with the “procedure.” I began to wonder exactly what this “procedure” was. Delivering quintuplets?

She rescheduled the appointment for the first week of January.

Upset that we’d wasted a perfectly good afternoon, my husband and I muttered under our breaths as we headed back to the elevator. We stepped inside and watched the doors close.

After standing there for about 45 seconds, I said to my husband, “We’re not moving! Don’t tell me the dumb elevator is stuck!”

He glanced at the panel of buttons, shook his head and said, “Apparently we’re not moving because when we got on, we forgot to push the button.”

I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing. And when I did, my husband started laughing, too. By the time we finally emerged into the lobby, we both were holding our stomachs, we were laughing so hard. People stared at us as if they thought we’d been popping some kind of happy pills on the elevator.

My husband figures we forgot to push the button because we’re getting old and forgetful. I think we forgot to push it because we were so upset about missing his appointment.

Either way, when we go back in January, maybe we should take the stairs.