Waiting for Sebagh

For a while now, I’ve been curious about Silhouette Soft, a non-invasive face lift that redefines cheeks and smooths jowls, so I booked an appointment with Dr. Sebagh, an eminent and highly recommended cosmetic doctor, who is well-known for this 30 minute, in-office procedure.

A friend of mine has done Silhouette Soft a couple of times with Dr. Sebagh and while she was really happy with the results, did warn me that his appointments were never on time. ‘Never on time’ was a gentle way of putting it.

I had been looking forward to my consultation- I wanted to know if Silhouette Soft would reduce my turkey waddle (it’s what I see every time I look in the mirror!)- so off I went, having arrived five minutes early (idiot me!) and was told that he, of course, was running behind schedule. The receptionist asked, “Do you want ‘the truth’ about the waiting time?” Of course! She ran her finger down his appointments planner, and counted out five people ahead of me. Not that it matters, this wasn’t my first time at Dr. Sebagh’s clinic- I had been three times prior and had various treatments done by two of his colleagues, having paid a hefty sum for each appointment.

She then looked at me nonchalantly and said, “It should be about 1.5 hours, so feel free to grab a coffee or have a seat in the waiting room (along with all the other suckers, who will also end up waiting much longer than they anticipated!).” No problem, I had brought something to read so I made myself comfortable next to a woman who was napping and hunkered down with my phone and iPad, along with all the other women who were glued to their electronic devices!

At one point, one woman decided to break the silence to have a fairly loud conversation in Arabic. She kept repeating, “inshallah” (“God willing”) so I can only assume that whatever dialog she was engaged in was pretty serious, but was the kind of one-sided conversation that didn’t need to take place in the well-populated, claustrophobic waiting room.

Across from me sat a beautiful woman, in need of no cosmetic intervention by the way, who suddenly shifted on the leather sofa where she was seated, gave the loud woman the stink eye, and sighed audibly. I understood her body language completely and casually tried to catch her eye, as if to say, “I totally agree! That woman should take it outside!”

Having recognised quickly that we were both in the same boat, I mouthed, “What time is your appointment and who are you seeing?”

“3:30pm with Dr. Sebagh,” she mouthed back. It was 4:30pm at that point.

“Me too,” I answered, slightly perplexed. We had been double-booked so how was this going to play out?? Whose appointment would take precedence?!

I moved across the room to sit next to her and we got to chatting- quickly becoming the annoying, whispering voices in the room-and over the course of 1.5 hours, learned much about each other. I think a true friendship may have blossomed on that brown, leather sofa!

At 6:30pm- no joke- and after three hours of waiting helplessly, we decided we had had enough, that we actually felt like idiots waiting for this doctor (who was he, God??!), and that having a glass of wine was way more preferable than committing any more time to waiting for Sebagh. And by the way, it’s not as if our our appointments were free of charge!

Belongings in hand, we giddily entered the reception area, fuelled by the mutual agreement that we now had the upper hand and would most likely never return to Dr. Sebagh’s office again. Being told initially that the doctor was 1.5 hours behind schedule really didn’t phase me. Surpassing the two hour mark became a bit annoying since I really had no excuse for being out when my kids got home from school. If my new friend weren’t there, I probably would have left sooner, but after 3 hours, neither of us could take it anymore. I’ve seen doctors for serious medical issues and have never had to wait more than 45 minutes. This was outrageous, and all to discuss a non-invasive face lift (!), but I’m not suggesting that you walk out of your appointment like we did.

I told the receptionist that we were leaving, to which she responded, “But you’re next!” “We’ll reschedule,” I calmly, though unconvincingly replied. In the context of this conversation, “next” meant nothing. We could have waited another hour. A look of disbelief replaced her previous air of self-importance and as we turned to walk out, she once again said, “But you’re next!” We’ll never know to whom she was referring, will we?!