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Dressing for the Dentist. . .

This morning's shoe and sock combination.  Loafers are Allen Edmonds, and the socks are cotton trefoil numbers from the wonderful Dapper Classics, which recently celebrated its second year in business.

I returned home an hour or so ago from a 90-minute session with the dentist, which resulted only in his telling me that the crown ordered a month ago and scheduled for installation today did not quite fit properly.   The new crown will not be back from the lab that manufactures these for another four weeks.  

Sigh.  It's times like these when dressing nicely for oneself, even for something as mundane as an early morning dental appointment, helps one come to terms with wasting time and waking up far too early.  So, what did ol' Heinz-Ulrich have on this morning?  

Things were pretty casual really.  Besides the shoes and socks pictured above, I wore a pair of very light Dove Gray dress chinos from Land's End that I've had for a long time, a summer weight navy wool blazer, and a pink and white striped OCBD shirt in a fairly light weight by Ralph Lauren, which joined the wardrobe last fall.  No pocket square though, something that was purely an oversight, but maybe it's better not to get too dandy for a visit to the dentist or doctor.  Right?

One thing about looking pulled together for these kinds of appointments.  And I've mentioned it before here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style.  Looking nice (re: NOT sweatpants and an untucked golf shirt with baseball cap and over-sized white "dad sneakers") seems to cure receptionists, hygienists, dentists, nurses, and doctors of that patronizing -- and intensely annoying -- tone that seems to be rampant in the healthcare industry here in the United States at least.  

You know what I mean.  When healthcare professionals automatically call you by your first name and speak to you with an overly loud voice as though you are an idiot five-year old who does not understand the most basic English.  GOOD MORNING BOBBY!  HOW ARE YOU TODAY?  NOW, THIS BIG POPSICLE STICK IS REALLY CALLED A TONGUE DEPRESSOR, AND I NEED YOU TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH REALLY WIDE.  OK?  THAT'S A GOOD BOY.  It's almost enough to provoke physical violence when someone in pajamas -- oh, excuse me -- surgical scrubs with cute little bunnies and shooting stars all over them speaks to you like that.  Know what I mean? 

Anyway, it's far better to show up the to the office or clinic looking like you deserve a little respect and consideration, which means that you ought to go looking pulled together. . .  instead of like you are taking a sweaty beer break from mowing and raking grass clippings in the backyard on a hot day.  Besides, you deserve to be spoken to as Mr./Ms./Mrs. by people who do not know you.  At least until you until you invite them to call you by your first name.  Over-familiarity and false bonhomie are two of the many things wrong with public life in 2014.  But I digress.  

So, soften those godawful early morning appointments, and give yourself a small reward for rising before the sun, by dressing a bit better than might be required.  You'll feel a tiny better about yourself and the world as you start your day.  And isn't that worth the extra few minutes it might take to match your shoes and belt and tuck in your shirt properly?

--Heinz-Ulrich


Comments

Anonymous said…
Heinz,

You are absolutely right (again). We should never prejudge anyone, but it is hard to have the utmost respect for someone when it appears they don't respect themselves.

It is very refreshing to see a well dressed and groomed patient. I can tell you my treatment of patients is the same ("do no harm") but a well dressed person is usually a more interesting person and usually a joy to see.

Just a thought,
DrCSP
guy said…
A client has just been to see me wearing a sleeveless t-shirt exposing his arm pits and hairy back, saggy shorts and flip flops. Quality. I realise its Friday but there is a limit to dress down.

Back to dentists. My Dentist is from South Africa. A no nonsense, plain speaking, ex-military character. No patronising rubbish. Both he and his wife (the receptionist) calls me Mr... or sir. He's more than happy to talk geopolitics, economics and military stuff such as the Zulu wars. In fact we are being over run with SA expats at the moment. My chiropractor is a young SA girl but I have to be nice to her or she has the potential to seriously hurt me.

I have no problem with all these SA who are law abiding and work hard. I draw the line though at one man who I met recently. He still called himself a Rhodesian from which you can deduce his attitude on many issues. For the first time ever I started to feel some sympathy for President Mugabe.

regards,
Guy
Bloggerator said…
I myself had always thought a raincoat appropriate for a visit to the dentist.

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