I have a love-hate relationship with the dentist. I love the fact that every time I leave, my teeth do that “sparkle” thing like robber Harry in Home Alone (does anyone know what I mean? ). That’s because I’m a teeth person. I voluntarily got braces TWICE in high school because Dr. Erin diagnosed them as “not straight enough” (as if you needed another reason to think I’m coo-coo). Plus, even if you do have to get actual work done on your teeth, you’re guaranteed the laughing gas. I imagine that the way my body feels under the effects of laughing gas must be what a unicorn feels on a daily basis. Magical.
But there’s a downside to the dentist. There are few worse feelings than the guilt and shame that follows the dreaded question: “how often are you flossing?”. It’s not like you can lie and say twice a week. The best you can do is try to stretch it and say once or twice a month, but all the while knowing deep down that they can see right through you. It’s that same feeling when your parents tell you they aren’t “mad”, just “disappointed”. Knife to your heart.
But there’s actually something far WORSE than the floss-shaming (which is hard to believe, I know). Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by the overly-ougoing dental hygenist who insists on carrying on a conversation with you the ENTIRE time she’s working on the inside of your mouth? I pray that many of you have never had to experience this pain and agony. But knowing the world we live in today, there’s a good chance that you know this torture all to well.
I’m all like hello… between all the metal objects and dental personnel’s hands in my mouth, the fact that my gums are profusely bleeding (because you know, I don’t regularly floss) and I’m about to swallow my tongue , it’s kind of hard to give you the play by play on why I quit my teaching job and started a blog.
But at the same time I feel like a total bitch. She’s so sweet, charming, and genuinely interested in hearing about the ups and downs of life since my last cleaning 6 months ago. It’s hard to make Mother freakin’ Theresa out to be the enemy. But it’s as if in that moment, she has forgotten that I’m horizontal in the dentist chair and instead, taking back Mambo Taxis on a Thursday after work with a side of queso and girltalk. Damn her and her good intentions.
But guys, I’ve found a cure for the overly-enthusiastic-hygenist terminal illness. All you need is Tina Fey and a pair of earbuds. Here me out.
The door to the waiting room flies open and I hear the words “Erin McCormack”. I know the time has come. It’s only a matter of time before my life will turn into one big game of Operation + 20 Questions. It’s time to pull out the big guns.
So as I’m being led back to the exam room, I pull out my phone and place both earbuds into position. I’m ready. And when the hygienist beep-bops in prepared to bombard me with the who/what/when/where/how, I casually pull out just one earbud to answer her preliminary questions about whether or not I could be pregnant, if I’m on any new medications, etc.
Once there is a natural pause in the conversation, I put my loose earbud back in as to nonchalantly signify that I have zero interest in any further conversation because I’m so overly wrapped up in my current audiobook that I have no time for human interaction. I mean, she can’t blame me for falling victim to the superpowers of the written word. I’m an intellectual, what can I say?
Now I have secured myself at least an hour of uninterrupted “me and Tina” time (I’m currently listening to Bossypants, which I totally recommend!) And the best part? I’m able to do so without looking like a total bitch, just an avid reader. And once again, Tina Fey saves the day.
In closing, I acknowledge that this is the definition of a first world problem and may be a little dramatized, as are 99.9% of my blog rants. But luckily we live in a society where all kids are winners and deserve a trophy. So you have to show me empathy and compassion. Sorry ’bout it.
I hope this blog post has either drastically changed your life for the better. Or at least, it made you chuckle just a little on this Thursday morning 😉
Photography by Mary Summers Photography