He is small in terms of stature –
significantly smaller than me.
And yet both times I’ve met him
he has towered over me.
And for one of the first times in my life
I feel like it’s because I’m a woman.
Specialists, I find, are inclined to self importance
and mostly I excuse them with words like
busy, academic, preoccupied, etc.
But I still resent it. You pay them, say,
$360 for 20 minutes and come out
feeling sauted and a reduction of yourself.
This man, the first time, grilled me
(never looking at my husband)
over diet and sugar and tooth cleaning
before looking at the other child
and saying “Oh! These teeth are quite different.”
I have stewed in that bitter brine
many times since. The assumption of guilt
and the eye-finger pointed so
squarely, so unequivocally at me.
Today we waited a good 40 minutes
to get in. He talked over me three times,
never let me finish a sentence.
Had us out of there in 3 minutes, flat.
And then, as we walked out the door,
apologized earnestly (mostly to his keyboard)
for the long wait. Quite sincere.
His keyboard tapped forgivingly.
I went and paid.
I was glad it didn’t take an hour.