The Money Mentor: Where the Pain Started

This is Part 4 of the series to serialize my book The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom. Click here to start reading from Part 1. Every other week will have another segment of the story of how a 23-year-old dancer struggles with and ultimately overcomes the burdens of her crushing financial debt. Look for posts on a variety of topics in the intervening weeks.

Off I went to the dentist’s office in a pricey part of town. I have to say he looked stern when he first came into the waiting room and introduced himself.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Peter Testa.”

“Iris Cassidy,” I answered, rising and taking in this tall, skinny man with his bald dome of a head and round, gold-rimmed eyeglasses.

“So you’re Tina’s roommate?”

“That’s me.”

“And did you give my receptionist four credit cards that were maxed out?”

“But the fifth wasn’t,” I tried to keep a cheerful front. If I hadn’t had to pay in advance, the embarrassment of having lost track of my drawing on the credit lines of the cards could have been put off until after the treatment at least.

“You’ve set a record for this office,” he said, shaking his head. “Well, come on in.”

I followed him into the small room with all the dental equipment and settled myself in the chair, my head on the headrest and the light in my eyes.

“We’ll start by taking some X rays. That way I should be able to do something today to relieve your pain.”

At this point I was also feeling some additional pain because I felt devalued in his eyes. I took his remark about setting a record as a criticism. I wanted to explain about the cost of the broken arm, but I had also spent money on clothes, albums, dance outfits, and even some meals. I didn’t understand how the credit lines had been used up so quickly, but I suddenly felt very bad about it. Once Dr. Testa started working, he managed to make me feel worse and worse. It’s awful to endure the pain of dental work, but when a dentist delivers a monologue—and it’s about you, and you don’t agree but you can’t say anything because your mouth is stuffed with cotton, clamps, and tubes—well, I can think of a lot of places I’d rather be.

The Money Mentor: A Tale of Finding Financial Freedom

If you don’t want to wait two weeks for the next post in this series, you can purchase The Money Mentor on Amazon.

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