Halloween has become somewhat of a mystic phenomenon in our office over the past 20 years or so. Every year, my staff and I dress in costume and create an atmosphere of fun – and a little bit of craziness.
Even though we don’t treat children, the October 31st observance has become a ritual. It has morphed from what would an otherwise typical day in the office into one of the most unusual (and busiest) of the year.
Many of our patients schedule their appointments to coincide with Halloween. And, many more visit throughout the day just to see us in our Halloween regalia, which results in many smiles, many laughs, and many pictures!
Last year I had the grand idea of dressing as The Green Giant, and I assigned each member of my wonderfully playful staff to be my vegetables – peas, tomatoes, kale, etc. They were great, and so was I (if I do say so myself)!
This year, my team called, “Dibbs!” and claimed ownership of the theme. I think they sought retribution for my making them garden variety plants.
So they decided to dress as the Seven Dwarfs. And I was trepidatiously transformed – thanks to my make-up artist and wardrobe consultant, Sandra – into (yes, you got it)…
Here I am in my flowy size 3X dress topped off with a black wig, foundation, lip liner, lipstick, mascara, and false eyelashes:
As you may be able to detect, I also displayed a classic Disney hourglass figure thanks to the addition of silicone falsies to fill out the top of the dress. Frankly, my shape was more of a tree trunk or a 55-gallon drum.
The first appointment of the day was Roger, a relatively new patient who was not prepared for the mayhem he walked into. He took one look at me and said, “You’re going to treat me like that?”
“Well I’m certainly not changing,” said I. At which point Roger countered, “I’m not getting into the chair, but let me take a picture and send it to my wife. She’s not going to believe that you’re the one doing dentistry for me.”
He then walked into the treatment room, sat in the chair and discovered that Snow White, like her dwarfs, whistles while she works.
All day long our patients smiled, laughed, and took lots of pictures.
Victor was one of the last patients of the day, and it wasn’t his first rodeo in my office on Halloween. He’s been a part of the family for nearly two decades.
Victor walked in, shook his head, smiled and said, “You’re crazy!” as I waltzed him into the operatory. He needed a simple filling. As I administered the injection of anesthetic, he closed his eyes and reached up to hold my assistant’s hand.
But, unbeknownst to him, the assistant wasn’t there! (She had slipped out of the room and had been discreetly sent out to get a birthday cake for me – it was my birthday, too).
When an assistant’s hand isn’t available, we usually have squishy balls for patients to squeeze – it’s far better than digging one’s nails into their own palms. So, as Victor’s hand was outstretched, I reached into my dress, pulled out my silicone falsie and placed it right onto his palm. He squeezed gently, and I watched his tension dissipate.
When I finished the injection and sat him up to rinse, he looked into his hand, saw what he’d been squeezing, and we both burst out in laughter.
Halloween 2018 was absolutely awesome. I got to dress in drag and we all had a hoot.
I love the playfulness of Halloween. For one day, it allows us to feel like children and share our glee with those who come to the office.
One of my philosophies is:
Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t appreciate the humor that life can provide.
(Notice the patient waiting to be treated in the photo above.)
Want to see photos of Halloweens past? Click here