Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Going to the Dentist

I need to find a dentist. This is harder than you might think. I’ve gone to the same dentist almost 40 years. Well, the same dental practice. I outlasted one and when he retired he passed me off to his chosen replacement.

The dentist came with my husband. You might call it a package deal. One Saturday before we got married Beaven was showing me how he wanted his laundry done (this was the 60’s, remember) and I was looking for a dentist so he gave me his guy’s phone number.

When I told my mother-in-law I had an appointment with Dr Lowe, their family dentist, she told me I could expect a compliment the minute he walked in the door. She said he always complimented her on her complexion or her dress or her perfume or something like that. I couldn’t wait to go. The dentist walked in and introduced himself and I sat back and waited. I opened my mouth and he peered in. “Wow, you’re a really good brusher.” It was downhill from then on. I looked on the folder that held the entire family’s dental records. There were Beaven, Blanche, George all in the same folder. And on the tab, their names were all in ink. My name was in pencil.

However, I fooled them all. I outlasted Blanche and George both. I even outlasted the dentist.

Some of my favorite memories were in his office. It was the only place I found peace and quiet when my kids were little. I would sit in the dentist’s office twice a year like clockwork. He had an amazing array of magazines, even recent ones that covered news of presidents who were actually still in office. For those stolen moments of calm all I had to do was sit still. It was the only place in my life that nothing more than sitting still was asked of me. This, plus the time in the chair with the fluoride treatment were just about the only moments of my life that were quiet and serene. I loved to go to the dentist.

In spite of being “a really good brusher” I ended up with enough dental work to provide me with more than my share of serenity in that chair. I think I have more crowns than the Queen of England.

When we received a letter in the mail announcing his retirement, I swear to God, I teared up. But, the new dentist was even better. This guy wore enough surgical garb to make me think I was having a heart transplant. They took my blood pressure and asked about my medications. Our family MD wasn’t as interested in my vital signs as my new dentist. I liked this guy. Even better, the hygienist was a guy named Igor. Who can resist a dental hygienist with a name like that? I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

But, sadly, they started moving their offices westward about ten years ago. First to Preston Hollow, then Carrollton and finally Frisco. All the while I kept moving eastward. I finally had to tell them it just wouldn’t work.

So now I have to find a new dentist. Beaven already has one but I don’t like him because he doesn’t wear gloves. Now, I know that when I started out with Dr. Lowe he didn’t wear them, nobody did back then. And I never died from Dr Lowe not wearing gloves. I guess I’ve developed this tiny little hangup.

There’s not much else to report here. There’s no punch line to the dentist story. We’ve been rained in all day and we’ve been bored enough to have a whole serious conversation about something really mundane like napkins. I’m not sure it was even napkins. It was such a forgettable conversation that I’ve already forgotten it.

So I will keep this mercifully short. Tune in next week. Maybe I’ll have a more interesting life by then. Or check last week's post. I added another picture of the ladies at my party.

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