Posts from February, 2009
When I was little, going to the dentist was scary until I realized it was another place where I could win. Win!
It was a pretty straightforward assignment: you go in and tell the receptionist you’re there (like a big girl), you chat with the hygienist about school, and then, the only difficult part, you gag and gag and gag through the x-rays and the fluoride treatment. “Would you like double mint or bubble gum, sweetheart?” “Um… could we just skip this part?” Fluoride DOES NOT taste like gum.
Still, “She’s doing just perfect, brushing great, and no surprise, still no cavities.”
Easy-peasy until I was fourteen, when all of a sudden I was the dentist’s black sheep: The Vigorous Brusher. Instead of accolades, I got accusations. “Why don’t you show me exactly how you brush, dear?” became “It looks like you’re brushing a little hard, sweetie” became “You really need to lighten up on the brushing”.
And I couldn’t reconcile those comments with what I’d been taught to do. How am the fuck am I supposed to clean these suckers if you won’t let me brush the hell out of them?
Then after the braces came off: “Are you flossing?”
Flossing? What?! Of course not; flossing is something Dad does for the first few weeks after he’s had a round of really bad tooth stuff. Flossing’s not for me, but thanks.
You can see where this is going.
One day Dr. Sorrentino showed me some gruesome photos of gum disease and its long-term affects, which is why he was able to scare me into the chair for surgery to repair a spot where you could basically see my skeleton where gums should be.
So about a month later, I rode the ferry to Staten Island, feeling pretty good knowing that I wouldn’t be going under like I did for the Quadruple Wisdomectomy of 2000.
But on the other hand, I knew, in graphic detail, what was about to happen — the doctor was going to transplant SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN onto my gum.
Then I was there, getting high on laughing gas (higher than I really liked at the time) and subsequently shot with novocaine. Five minutes of fiddling around with my gums felt like five hours. I was convinced that all the digging and poking and prodding and scraping and cutting I felt was all there was to it. It was over. I was sure that, Man, that had sucked, but at least we’re about to clean up shop here. Time to wipe up my drooly mouth and help a lady stand up.
And I must have said as much to the doctor, because I remember the non-response of “need more novocaine” from the eyebrows peering out at me between the face mask and fancy doctor hairnet, and then I really started to panic, and the nerves bubbled up in my stomach worse than ever before.
Because all that torture I’d just been through was the fucking novocaine injections. Multiple shots, to be fair, but JUST THE NOVOCAINE. The stuff that’s supposed to help.
We all resumed our duties: I tried not to scream through the pain; they tried to graft some new gum onto an area that desperately needed it.
But since doctors on Staten Island can’t perform their jobs without botching something, I’m still sporting some tooth skeleton, and I have an inordinate amount of gumminess on the two teeth to the left.
And why am I telling you this? Well, because I have a dentist appointment in T-17 days. And also so that every time you consider that maybe you’re too tired to floss before bed, you’ll think of my hideous mouth. Boo-hoo-hoo-wah!
My favorite kind of air is fresh. What, yours too? Shocking.
So you can see how I was really loving last week’s 50 degree days. A little reprieve from playing bear these past four months.
Yes, we always get a little spring tease in the middle of the chill, but there were nearly FOUR consecutive days of heavenly weather that had me half-convinced it would play nice until August.
It was especially heavenly because my windows were open, which makes breathing more about pleasure than subsistence. And breathing, in addition to being essential, typically increases my productivity here at the office, so, you know, Good All Around.
But now, apparently, we’re back in purgatory, where the air smells like a hundred year old heating system.
And the only comfort I can find is that this year Eric is on board with the whole time for summer campaign I always start in February.
Where usually he would be staunchly in favor of six more weeks of winter, the absence of good winter weather (by which I mean snowball-grade snow) has him pining for shorts and sandals just as much as I am.
(Okay, probably not sandals.)
Hey Weather, I have a ten spot in my pocket that’s yours for another round of spring.
This year, Superbowl Sunday finally made my Shitty Days List. No, not because Kurt Warner bit it (though he did). And no, not because companies keep running ads we’ve already seen (though they absolutely did). I now hate the Superbowl because it was 3:30 on Sunday afternoon that I received the phone call from my mother.
She’d been burgled.
The unfortunate side effect (not that the main effect is fortunate) is that the Superbowl is forever besmirched. Because, I don’t know about yours, but my brain has a way of never letting go of these things. EVER.
So the Superbowl will henceforth be the day that all my fears about my childhood house were vindicated; it will be the day to remember and relive all those tiptoe down the stairs and make sure no one’s hiding in the kitchen before I can get my glass of water fears.
(My husband is reading this and cringing and/or rolling his eyes and huffing because all his considerate, logical, calm words about being safe and ignoring irrational fears appear to have been lost in the ether.)
Anyway, now we’re dealing with the fallout: fun stuff like itemizing the missing, going through receipts, finding photos, talking to detectives, and finding out that the insurance isn’t going to cover 99.99% of the loss. Woo! It’s been an awesome week.
(BTW, I’ve also learned that the stuff they use to dust for fingerprints is Super Dust; you can’t wipe this stuff off – you merely wait till it has decided it’s time to go. And then you help it pack its bags, give it some money for the Greyhound, and drive it to the station.)
Yesterday I went over there to procure us one of those new-fangled alarm systems, and what an innocent pre-burgle household we were. Merely locking our doors and windows, not tethering them to a call center poised to reach the 5-0 within seconds in case of emergency. What fools!
Well, those were the days of old. In short time, this creaky Colonial will be one badass, keypad-monitoring, window-securing, door-boarding, motion-detecting motherfucker of a house.
Anyway, when I was done with that, Mom and I went out intending to grab some pizza.
But we walked outside and a bitter wind shot the cold all the way into my spleen, so I needed some baked ziti, which is why we ended up at Joe and Pat’s, where we found the super-futuristic typeface sitting there in the midst of a menu trying to evoke the Tuscan hills right there on Victory Boulevard. Star Trek meets Under the Tuscan Sun.
And before we ordered, my Mom decided to ask some questions about the evening’s offerings.
(If anything can be said about my Mom, it’s that she likes to fuck with people. Sorry, she likes to engage them in what I guess you could call banter, and if you’re lucky you could add a witty to that. But she lives in the wrong place for it – Staten Islanders aren’t usually built for something that takes a quick system and the files to back it up.)
But there we were anyway, she, asking our attitudy waitress how to pronounce the last item on the menu (Stuffed Paccheri Pasta) and me, watching a show I hadn’t seen in a long time.
The girl wasn’t overly responsive at first. “I dunno, is that what you wanna eat?”
But later on (while my mother was eating the aforementioned that) she came back to say, “So I found out how you pronounce your meal there.” (For effect, this is someone for whom the th in there calls for a d, making it dere.)
And then in the time it took for her to say those words, she’d forgotten. “Uh…”
“You wouldn’t believe, I forgot. I’ll be back in a minute.”
And eventually she returned to tell us that Paccheri should be pronounced PO-CHEE-CARE-EE. Which, to those of you paying attention, sounds a lot more Native American than Italian, no? Not to mention that PA somehow became a PO.
I don’t really care that Lady Waitress couldn’t say the damn word. I just think it’s funny that my mother (who knows that I can SPEAK AND READ ITALIAN) decided to ask her.
Mom didn’t want the information; she just wanted to play with someone. Wait, that sounds wrong. She wanted to instigate someone. Nope, still bad. She just wanted to make us laugh.
And despite the shitty days behind us and the not so great ones ahead, that she did.
And now I’m exhausted; can I have a cheeseburger?