Quote of the Day:
“Some tortures are physical, and some are mental, But the one that is both, is dental.” –Ogden Nash
I hate those kitten posters tacked by the window or even worse on the ceiling that say things like “Smile”.
I hate the big window. I hate the birds outside it who can fly anywhere they like and will never have to sit in the chair.
I hate the magazines, even the ones I normally like, and especially “Highlights” Magazine, which I never even liked as a kid.
I hate being asked the same inane questions twice a year and being reminded “we haven’t done x-rays in a year” as if I didn’t already know and in a tone that falsely suggests I have some choice in the matter of whether “we” do them today.
I hate the sharp hook and the sound it makes on my teeth and the agony it inflicts on my gums.
I hate the sound of the water swirling around in the miniature sink to my left, the one they quit letting me spit in back in about ’89. I hate the banal, one-sided conversation coming from the cleaning chair next door. I hate the smells, the certificates, the gritty paste.
I love the miniature cold water hose that washes away the gritty paste and that took the place of Dixie Cups and spitting back in about ’89. But I hate the miniature vacuüm they use to suck all that refreshing cool water out before I can get a drink.
I hate being judged on the quality of my gums and the efficiency of my flossing. I am not a monster. You can’t pigeonhole me.
What I hate most of all is that I can never win. Every six months, there I am, sitting in that chair waiting on the verdict. Do I get another six-month reprieve or will I be sent to the drillin’ room? I really hate that if I get the drill I have to fret about it two weeks before getting it over with. I hate that drill. I really, really hate that “it looks like part of a filling has broken off.” I’m glad he “doesn’t see any decay.” I’m glad he thinks we can “push back replacing it for awhile.” I hate the inevitability and the uncertainty that diagnosis conveys. I hate that in 6 months I have to endure all this mental and physical torture again and its as if today’s success was but a mirage.
And the hell of it is I like every dentist I’ve ever known, even Waldo who once laughingly boasted that “pulling a tooth is the most barbaric act in all of medicine.” And one day I guess they’ll want to try that on me. But for the next six months I’m clear. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
I guess I have to admit one thing. I like that my Mother insisted I live this way. I like that I still have good teeth, for the most part. Because I’m pretty certain I would hate a root canal.