Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Here's another Gwynn's Island sunset to kick off a discussion of one of my most dreaded fears: the dentist.
I live in absolute, mortal fear of the dentist. In fact, I am so afraid of a dentist I haven't been to one in over seven years, and that was only to have him tell me that I needed to see an oral surgeon ASAP because if I didn't I could look forward to a long life of creamed spinach and PoliGrip. Seven years later, I'm in big trouble because I did not heed his advice. But actually this is not a story about my fear of the dentist, it's about my mother's.
The following is something she wrote many moons ago. It stunned me because although she is well acquainted with my mental dental issues, I was completely unaware of hers. Here's what she wrote:
"On visiting the dentist, I find I have somewhat the same reaction as my dog when visiting the vet, although I try to focus on not falling to my knees and p**ing the floor in abject paralytic fear. Still, hiding your feelings is a peculiarly human trait and Rover has no evolutionary predisposition to grin and say, "I'm here for my root canal/neutering," with a cheery if somewhat high-pitched voice.
One dental experience of mine stands out in memory for its surrealistic example of why people should just stop and listen to the clues of the cosmos, which come in the forms of prophetic words, images and combinations of those to which you can refer after the ordeal of agony and say, "I just should have listened to the warnings."
Warning #1: The dental surgeon you are seeing is named Dr. Paine, Dr. Savage or Dr. Sharp (I did select one of those).
Warning #2: No one else is in the waiting room and you overhear the nurse telling someone to apply ice and a crucifix. No one else is there. No one.
Warning #3: Once in the chair, you are told to turn your head 360 degrees, open your mouth to receive a collapsible device which, once inside, expands to life raft proportions. You notice he has the personality of a gallows noose. At that point he asks many questions designed to relax you, such as, "How are your children?" Your back is arched like a cat's and your nails are dug into the fine leather of his very expensive operating chair. The last thing you want to go into are explanations of your children, as much as you love them. Now, clearly, it is too late to do anything but sit there and take it. Woe is you.
No, that's not going to happen to me again, no sir. I'm taking a page out of the Book of Rover when I smell the first molecule of doubt.
Unless someone drags me by a leash."
-Chesapeake Bay Woman's Mother
In other unrelated news, last night, just after I said to someone that I never EVER fall going up steps, I fell going up some steps outside. I came down hard on some very large rocks. I'm missing a large chunk of a finger, and my chin feels like there's something missing, such as a chin.
All this plus my teeth are falling out. I guess I'd better see a dentist.
Somebody get a leash.