Somehow this weekend while attempting to close my briefcase which was stuffed with all the crap I needed to transfer from home to the office so I could ignore it in an entirely different location, I managed to change the combination of the lock. It wasn’t all junk in there, so I needed to get inside. After all, Aunt B.’s birthday card was in there!
Not wanting to spring the lock on the nice leather briefcase RUABelle had bought for my birthday last year, I proceeded to start at 0-0-0 and try every combination until I found the new one. After wearing out the thumbnail on my right hand, I finally found it.
It was 9-9-7.
I got to my desk and was immediately confronted by a voice mail reminding me that I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning that I had apparently forgotten to write down. Any chance I can make up six months of flossing between now and tomorrow A.M.?
RUABelle loves to tell me about her new-age dentist who gives her nitrous for teeth cleaning appointments. She listens to Stephen Halpern music and receives hot paraffin nail treatments and neck massages during her appointments.
My dentist is the son of the dentist I went to when I was four years old. He is still in the same office I went to when his father pulled nine of my teeth in one scream-filled sitting prior to my braces installation. He still uses the same tools in the same chair. The big innovation of the past three decades was when he got the suck straw instead of the spit sink. I swear he uses barbed wire to floss my teeth, so I usually wear a dark shirt to my cleanings because the carnage is usually bloody.
So why do I keep going back? Well first of all, I haven’t had a cavity in almost thirty years (knock wood) so it’s obviously working. Secondly, when my dad was at his crankiest and sickest in the final stages of Parkinson’s, my dentist was patient and comforting to him and gave him the respect that he had lost through the dehumanizing process of dealing with multiple physicians and research protocols with people who only knew him as a name on a chart.
Dr. Don knew him as a person and treated him as an old family friend. Trips to the dentist were the only doctors’ appointments that we didn’t have to fight Dad to go to, and I’ll always remember that.
But if that sumbitch comes at me with a needle tomorrow, we’re goin’ round and round.