Just because a person looks and plays the part doesn’t always make him an authority. I know that.


After leafing through every magazine in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, I glance at the clock one more time and ponder.


I watch the nurse as she enters and calls out the next appointment, and in my mind’s eye I try to see my childhood image of her…a nurse.


My perception? First of all, I hear the crackling sound of her snow white, heavily starched uniform as she swishes near the waiting room door. I see her white, Shinola polished shoes with neatly tied strings. Her nurse’s cap cap perched upon her head, and there’s not a hair out of place. Her pretty face is flawless. Her voice is soft as she continues to smile in a business-like manner.


“Mrs. Gamble,” I hear, and I look up and see her standing in the doorway, chewing gum and twirling her pencil between her fingers. She looks right out of high school, but I know better. The creases are gone from her polyester pants suit, and her hair is in a pony tail.


I noticed her fingernails bitten to the quick, but there’s something special about her smile. I liked her sense of humor as she escorted me to the small, stuffy room with no windows to wait my turn to see the doctor, and I got a whiff of Tabu, and I couldn’t help but see the little blue tag on the back of her worn down Keds as she sashayed out the door saying “The doctor will be right with you.”


I didn’t believe her. I made myself as comfortable as possible, and again I had time to ponder…and my childhood image of the doctor? A kindly looking, middle-aged man in a white smock with one of those headbands with a shiny disc attached. There’s a plastic liner in his smock pocket advertising some kind of vitamins, with approximately five or six pens and pencils showing. There’s compassion in every word he speaks, and he’s not rushed,


I’m startled as he enters, bumping the round soft stool I’m sitting on with the edge of the door.


I’m hoping he starts the conversation with…


“Hello, and what seems to be your problem?”


I have my reply rehearsed.


He doesn’t.


“Hi” he says, and I say “Hi” back to him.


I couldn’t help but think how professional he would look in a starched stiff and slickly ironed white jacket, but it didn’t matter all that much. Besides the Levi sports shirt looked okay, except the colors didn’t go too well with the olive green Docker pants. It would have helped had his wife at least taken his shirt out of the dryer sooner. The gaps on the sides of his Nikes told me they gave him a feeling of relief. I didn’t let him see me stare.


Although I expected him to give me a deadening shot to remove the wart from my index finger, he convinced me the shot would be more painful than the “simple procedure.” I was brave and didn’t shed a tear.


His nurse patted me gently on the shoulder.


The surgery didn’t take long.


Dabbing the iodine-like medicine on my finger, the doctor said, “That should do it.”


Not seeing one drop of blood I was impressed.


The cute little nurse with the sense of humor excorted me back to the waiting room and said…”Now you stay away from those toad frogs, you hear?” We both laughed.


Maybe neither looked nor dressed the part, but I decided right then and there… they both knew what they were doing.