Why You Should Be Nice To Your Dentist

See those cards up there?  I made them for my dentist. Yep. Dr. Peter Gabow is my dentist. He rocks!

My history with my dentist really goes back to my second dentist in my lifetime, Dr. Zatroch. Gosh, I loved that man!  He was so clean and tall and loved my teeth. He always complimented me on my smile. Most importantly he always made me feel safe, warm, and fuzzy about visiting the dentist. I know MANY people who hate going to the dentist. Not this gal!

Fast forward to now, many years since my last visit with Dr. Zatroch and Dr. Gabow is my fifth dentist. I had a brief fling with a dentist in Astoria when I first moved to NY and it was horrible. Horrible! I complained about the horribleness of this dentist and a friend suggested Dr. Gabow.

Dr. Gabow, much like Dr. Zatroch, is a warm, fuzzy dentist. He is a bit chatty which helps ease you into the chair feeling completely comfortable with the fact that he’s about to start scraping your teeth and gums.

Back in 2009, I saw him for a 6-month cleaning and I told him quite excitedly about starting this stationery company and how I really wanted to do this and he looked at me and said, “you know kid, you’re going to be great.”

Every appointment since has started with him asking me how my business is doing and me telling him about projects and plans.  I’ve opened up to him about my stationery dreams. About orders and projects. About my goals and hopes.  Most recently, about wanting to go to Japan and learn paper making.

Each time he has told me that he knows I’m going to be great. That I need to take this risk,  do this now, while I can.  My favorite was his comment about Jewish mothers, “If you can handle a Jewish mother, you’ll be a success!”.

Which is why several months ago, I made him a set of personalized cards (pictured above) complete with envelopes lined with Italian paper.  It was my way of saying thank you to a man who only knows me from 30 minute twice-a-year visits to his office.

I remember as I was going through my paper, finding the Italian paper that I used to line the envelopes, and immediately KNOWING that this paper was going to be used for cards for him.


I can not say.

What I do know is this-since the beginning, he has supported and encouraged my passion. He has fed my passion with his interest. That one question, “How is the card business?” is enough to feed a starving man. I’m hardly starving, but I hope you get the point. In a culture where technology is king and stationery is just an added extra fun thing, it’s nice to know that there are people who are supporting me and my passion.  That’s what this is about-my passion and surrounding myself with people who see the big picture and 100% support it (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t need some validation).

This afternoon, I had an appointment with Dr. Gabow and he opened the door and said, “Hey, Sara! That was really nice of you to send me those cards. Really nice.”  I told him that I am glad that he liked them and that I wanted to thank him for his support these past two years.  He asked me about my plans for Japan and business and then got into cleaning my teeth.

The highlight was when midway through the cleaning he stopped and said, “You’re really talented, you know.  Everyone who I’ve sent a card to has said great things about them. I keep your cards at my office in Rye. ”

I can’t properly express how awkward it is to not be able to respond because your teeth are being scraped and there’s a mirror in your mouth, but it is safe to say that I made eye contact with him with bright and beaming eyes and he understood.

While I need Dr. Gabow’s services to keep my teeth healthy and clean, I need his support, understanding, and appreciation as well.  After every visit, I leave his office feeling like I won a scratch off lottery ticket for $100. $100 isn’t much money, but it can still buy you a few things and there is always the feeling of knowing that you managed to get lucky enough to win something.  I’m lucky enough to know Dr. Gabow and my business grows thanks to his belief in me.  That’s worth another a lifetime set of stationery cards.

When I left his office this afternoon, not only did I feel lucky, but I felt the way the Grinch must have felt when his heart grew 10 times it’s small size. I’m not a heartless person at all, but knowing that my gift of stationery could make someone that happy, really made me feel special. I know this sounds like a lot of “Sara, Sara, Sara”, but I don’t mean it that way. I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable receiving praise and acknowledging the good and positive things. Today, I embraced the fact that I brightened someone’s day and that they in turn brightened mine.

I share this story about dentists, passion, and stationery to discuss something that is bigger than me, S2 Stationery and Design, and even you reader – the power of connection. We are all linked in some way whether we want to be or not and when you manage to meet those individuals who make you tick and understand you and really make you feel connected, the world is a better place. It is a bit brighter and better than it was before.

Deep down inside, I want to save the entire world. I know that I can’t. I know that by the time I die, I will not have eased the pain of the entire world, but it’s nice to know that for the many I have met (so many more in the future!), I have helped to create a brighter day/week/year/life.

Whether you are following your passion, or not, remember to seek out those that really inspire and support you. They could be sitting in your dentist’s office, or even bagging your groceries. They aren’t just the clients who purchase from you, but the people you meet randomly in the day-to-day. Be a bit open to them and who knows what will happen. After all, being connected does make the world go around.


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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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