Saturday, November 17, 2012

Humiliation at the Dentist's Office


I had to be grown-up and actually go to my biannual dentist appointment.  My fear of the dentist ranks right after something awful happening to my children and global warming ending life as we know it.  I’ll get into my reasons for this but first I have to tell you this.

When I got there there was a man in the waiting room, feet kicked up on a coffee table not wearing shoes.  Socks but no shoes.  The receptionist told him that it was okay to go now and he left still not wearing shoes.  However, before he left he looked at us both as said, “I’m sorry but you don’t understand how hard it is to only sleep for one hour and then drive your daughter to school.”  Then the receptionist looked at me and said, “I’m sorry about that.”  This opened so many questions like: why is he not wearing shoes?  why did he only sleep one hour?  what happened to his shoes?  what kind of dental work did he have done that caused him not to be wearing shoes?  Seriously, what happened to his shoes?

Anyway, one of my reasons for having anxiety over the dentist is x-rays combined with a horrible gag reflex.  There are few things more humiliating that wearing BluBlocker-esque sunglasses and a napkin around you’re neck, gagging with a mouth full of dental equipment.  This inevitably leads to the reminder, “don’t forget to breathe.”

I finally have my trump card the next time someone tells me that they couldn’t find their car keys and it turns out they were in their hand the whole time our couldn’t find the sunglasses that had been perched on their head.  I can totally win the “Who’s Dumber?” game with “You think that’s bad?  I once forgot to breathe!”  Turns out forgetting about this physiological necessity was the problem the whole time.

The afore mentioned humiliation then leads to the scolding, reason #2 that I hate going to the dentist.  If my gums bleed while brushing my teeth my first thought is not “Oh no, I have periodontal disease.”  It’s that my dentist is going to think I never brush or floss and will think I’m a dirty, dirty person.  This fear led to a full confessional about how I’ve not been wearing my night guard.

“I admit that I’ve been slacking on the night guard.  It’s just that you have to run it under hot water first and I like to read in bed and I don’t like to wear the night guard while I read and then I get comfortable and don’t want to get out of bed again.”

She responded with “I do that too.  But then I get up.  Because I know it’s important. “

Oh yeah, Dr. Judgy McJudgesALot, I bet you also never drive your car one inch over 3000 miles between oil changes and you always change your Brita Filter right when that little light goes off.  You think that makes you better than me?

I could honestly say I have been flossing though.  Because I’m a good person.


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