Have you ever looked for an item that you know exists, but you can’t find? I wanted a bulletin board, an old-fashioned cork board, for my den. Wal-Mart didn’t have them, CVS didn’t have them, Target didn’t have them. I found cork squares at Target, so I settled for them. I know I could have found one on line, but my mind goes blank every time I sit down at the computer. What was it I was going to look for, I ask myself. Myself has nothing to offer.
But it was girlie week, and I was with my daughter Alice, which was a good thing. So I just bought the squares and threw them into the back of my car. I knew I’d eventually discover them under all that stuff back there (including an open 40-pound bag of sunflower seeds for the birds) and tack them to the walls of my den.
Alice was sick during most of our girlie week. It started out as a cough and feeling run down and just multiplied each day until she felt really bad.
So I, being the mother and all, decided that I would take her to a doc in the box. There’s a new one in town that advertises little to no waiting. Just what we needed.
We got there 30 minutes before they closed. There was one guy ahead of us in line at the counter, filling out forms.
After a few minutes, Alice had her turn at the counter and then sat down to fill out all that paperwork where they ask you really nosy questions. Before she got through, though, the nurse came to get her. She invited me to go with her. I’m glad she did.
The nurse was very pleasant as she took Alice’s vital signs and wrote down her symptoms. She left, saying the doctor would be in shortly.
Well, he wasn’t. We waited and waited and waited. And the longer we waited, the madder we got. We said mean things about the doc and the box and the staff and the medical world in general. I held forth on how an office should be run.
Alice has always been able to cough deep enough and loud enough to sound like a seal at Sea World in Orlando. In fact, they can probably hear her in Orlando. Seeing as how one of her symptoms was coughing, I asked her if she could cough that dreadful-sounding cough of hers so maybe the doctor would come rushing in to help her. So she did. Over and over and over.
Nothing. Not even a sound outside the door. Alice was sure we had been forgotten. I had just started a lecture on the unfairness of life when I saw it – the most perfect looking bulletin board I have ever seen. The right size, the right frame, the right color. I was stunned into silence. To add insult to injury, they had my bulletin board!
If I had been wearing a coat, I would have smuggled it out.
So now we’re really aggravated. I couldn’t help grieving over that bulletin board, that wonderful one-piece bulletin board. And what did I have? A bulletin board that had been torn into 4 pathetic cork pieces.
The nurse finally came in and apologized for the wait. She said the doctor had been with another patient, but he appeared to be finishing up and would be coming in shortly.
About 10 minutes later (10 more minutes to think up all kinds of snide, sarcastic remarks to lay on him), the doctor walked in the room.
Alice and I both froze, our mouths open.
It was Santa Clause! The doctor looked exactly like Santa Clause! He had beautiful white, curly hair, and a beautiful white beard. He wasn’t as rotund as Santa, but he had very kind eyes.
Alice and I looked at each other, knowing what we had to do.
Which was nothing, because how can you be mad at Santa Clause?
The implications of this situation were not lost on us. If we complained, would we land on his naughty list and get coal in our stockings come next Christmas? Would he frown at us? I don’t think I could take Santa scowling at me.
As the doctor examined Alice, asking questions, probing here and there, we were in awe. This was the closest we’d been to Santa since Alice sat on his knee nearly 30 years ago.
He concluded his exam and told Alice what he thought the treatment should be. She agreed, of course, because, as the whole world knows, Santa can’t hurt you!
Unless he puts you on his naughty list concerning a certain bulletin board that came up missing…