I visited the dentist earlier this week. I hadn't been to a dentist in close to three decades. When our children were younger and our finances more adventurous (I'll use that word), dental insurance was a burden gladly borne for their teeth and gums but quite frankly, that's about all of it we could afford unless two of us developed an appetite for stone soup.
At nearly sixty-two, I don't smile often. Flashing pearly whites aren't a motivator. Breaking a tooth, as I did around Thanksgiving, is. The wait for the new calendar year to begin when the insurance would become effective (more than can ever be said for me) was interminable and then we had to research and identify a dentist who took "our" flavor of coverage.
We found one literally a three minute walk from the house-a young man (at my age everyone else is young, or dead) who looked like he wanted to shout out loud in exasperation when I told him it had been a little longer than six months since my last visit but he kept his cool and was very nice.
I'm thinking that's because he knew Keri would be the hygienist who would clean my teeth and brother did she ever. I feared for a moment she was going to locate the Lindbergh baby in my mouth so frantically was she digging and scraping. She went at with such fervor and unbridled enthusiasm I sort of lifted myself more than half way out of the chair repeatedly, though to no avail in an attempt to, if not escape the room, find refuge from hook.
The ride, such as it was was over when she said she it was and concluded with the traditional rinse and spit, and a brand new toothbrush. I felt like I was seven again but was happy I had decided to wear my big boy long pants even though the weather was mild. Those chairs get mighty cold the longer you sit in them and I was there for most of the Coolidge Administration I believe. Jack Frost nips at more than just your nose when you tilt your head back and someone is excavating with a backhoe.