Friday, May 22, 2009


I went to the dentist today. For a number of years I've been able to successfully avoid it. Having no dental insurance is always a good excuse. But then I noticed a tiny little spot on the top of my tooth at the gum line. Vigorously brushing did nothing to remove it, ditto with ignoring it. A few days ago, I started to feel tenderness when brushing my teeth. No other soreness, no sensitivity to cold or warm water, just an annoying little twinge. Luckily, my dental plan started in January after my "new" job so I made the dreaded appointment.

Seriously, I dread going to the dentist. I know everyone does, but I claim special despising status based on all the work I've had done to my mouth and some of the unexpected aftermath. When I was 9, I had to have a spacer installed. This was a very archaic device that was glued to probably four of my teeth and covered the roof of my mouth. It came with a little key that my mom had to insert into the piece on the roof of my mouth and she would turn it nightly for about six months. The purpose was to stretch my mouth because it wasn't big enough to accommodate all of my teeth. Contrary to what some people might think, my mouth still isn't that big. When it was removed, it pulled out two of my teeth. The two that weren't ready to come out yet. With no pain relief. "Ha ha, thought we were going to lose her there a few times" is what the asinine dentist said.

When I was 14, I had to have two teeth pulled, this time on purpose. It's scary and gross but not really that big of a deal. Not unless they drug you based on your age instead of your weight and you are probably in the 10th percentile of weight compared to everyone else your age. This results in a drug overdose. One in which you are not able to wake up on your own but require more drugs that have an opposite effect to wake you up. Then when you do wake up you don't know what you're saying, but everyone in the room who is supposed to be a professional dental person is laughing at you. Kind of like when college kids get a dog drunk at a party and laugh at it while it runs in circles until it falls down because the poor creature has no idea why it feels the way it does. Then you get in the car to go home and sob uncontrollably for no apparent reason while your five-year-old sister asks why you're acting crazy and when you will stop. The upside to this is that you will most likely never be tempted to try drugs. Just say no.

As an adult, after having worn braces for almost three years, including the headgear contraption that was worn at night (only at night, thank god) and the tiny little rubber bands that went on little hooks and kept me from opening my mouth much at all (and snapped back on me innumerable times), I decided I would have no more oral surgery ever. For a few years my dentist kept recommending that I have my wisdom teeth removed. Nope. No thank you. Can't make me. Nanny, nanny boo-boo.

Until one day I noticed my teeth shifting. My front teeth on top. I could bite my hand and examine the impression left behind. It was crooked. The reason? My wisdom teeth had no room and as they crowded in, they were moving all of my other teeth around. Damn them. I did not go through all that work to have crooked teeth. I agreed to have them removed. By my dentist. Because he said he could put me under and it would be easy. He lied.

First, he did not put me under. Being awake with laughing gas is not the same as being put under. I don't care if it smells like pina coladas, it doesn't feel the same. I can smell a pina colada-scented candle all day long and not get a buzz. Same difference as the gas. (And this was before I became the big drinker I am now.) Secondly, he was a moron and injected the side of my face instead of my gum. I knew something was wrong when he said "Hmmm. Huh. Any history of blood disease in your family? Yeah. Hmmm... that doesn't look good." These are not words one wants to hear from their dentist after they have had a giant needle inserted into their mouth. Had I been knocked out, I wouldn't have had to hear them. But I was only given the nitrous crap so whatever teeny, tiny small little buzz I might have had immediately disappeared. I was sent home, teeth intact, with a cold press.

I ended up with a huge bruise on my face. Huge. Bruise. On my face. My FACE for Christ's sake! It's not that I'm so incredibly vain. It's just that it was so completely unavoidable. I couldn't hide it and it was there for a week or more. I had to go places still. I had scheduled play dates for my one year old daughter. I got looks from people. No, these were Looks. As in "You poor woman, I hope the bastard that did that to you rots in jail." Or worse, "You stupid woman. Do you let him hit your baby too?" At a play date, I was actually asked if I was allowed to be out of my house. Saying "My dentist did it" is roughly the equivalent of "My dog ate my homework." Nobody believed me.

After that little fiasco, I decided an oral surgeon might be better qualified to extract teeth from my mouth. I made an appointment with Dr. Shock. That is his name, I am not kidding you. Don't judge him for it either. He's really not an evil, sadistic ogre working out of a laboratory in some creepy castle tower. In truth, he's quite lovely. When discussing how the procedure would go, he gave me options for pain relief. He said the first level was like drinking one martini. Level two was two martinis, level three was three martinis. I ordered three martinis. See? Lovely. He even spoke my language. I went home coherent, with some lovely pain pills and virtually no swelling. Zero bruises.

The last dental experience is really why I've stayed away so long. I didn't like my dentist. I no longer trusted him. However, as long as I had insurance and was only getting my teeth cleaned, I went. I liked my hygienist. It was just the other guy I wanted to break up with. Making the appointment this week, I had to choose another dentist who would be covered under my plan. As in, "It's not you, it's my insurance."

When I walked into the new place this morning, the smell reminded me of a winery. It was a little jarring, but also comforting. I thought at first that if it smelled that way because they were actually drinking, we might have a problem. Unless they shared with me. I figured that would be okay. It's not like getting three martinis, but a glass or two of wine is nothing to be laughed at.

I wasn't too impressed with the technician who did my x-rays. She's probably not someone who handles her alcohol well. She certainly didn't handle the x-ray card thingies well. My mouth is not that big and they were cutting into my gums every time she stuffed one in and I had to bite down on them. Not cool. One martini or one glass of wine would have helped the situation. You know, I really think I'm onto something here. Spas give you wine, why not your dentist?

Dr. Andy was more pleasant. He poked around a little bit, finally declaring there was "nothing much going on in there." Not what I'd want to hear if someone was referring to a party I was throwing, or maybe my lack of a social life or even my mental state. But with my mouth, I'm fine with it. Nothing much should be going on in there. As in no cavities. No cavities is a good thing. (Yes, I hear you snickering. Grow up.) So why the sore tooth? Here is the bad news. Apparently the gums can start to recede as one grows older and that is what is happening to me. My gum line has started to recede right above my tooth, exposing the root and that is what is causing the tenderness. My root is showing. (Hmmm.. doesn't sound quite as dirty as having a party in my mouth, does it?) I'm going back to have it filled in a few weeks and, until then, I have been given sensitive formula toothpaste.

All in all? Good news - no cavity. Bad news - I'm getting older. Good news - I didn't have to pay anything to be told I'm getting older.

In semi-related news, my therapist let me know that she has diagnosed me with a mild case of adjustment disorder, making it sound like it's nothing more serious than the common cold. Obviously I haven't yet vomited out my entire dental history to her or let her in on how alcohol could benefit my experience at the dentist. It would probably help in her practice too, come to think of it. I'd certainly tell her more things, maybe more than she wants to know. At this point she still thinks I'm normal and not neurotic. That's okay, my deductible is stupidly high and I can't really afford for her to know how crazy I actually am. I'd rather put my resources into vodka.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Also Known As.....

I must have the most neglected blog I've ever seen. Wiping off the layers of dust to write this, in fact. I have been quite busy, I do have some stories to tell. There is one in particular that I wasn't sure I wanted to share, but I feel it is my civic duty to womankind. Okay, maybe that's a little over the top. Here it is anyway.

I recently signed up on a dating site, the merits of which we can discuss at a later time. It's been mostly amusing if not always truly funny. Ladies, we all know there are Bad Men out there and I have run into my fair share lately. I'll give you the short list.

Chicken Man. Falls under the category of Crazy Obsessive Psychotic Asshole.

I get an email from this guy, profile isn't exactly what I'm looking for, but it's decent so I write him back. By the second email I figure out he's just a bit too weird for me. The biggest clue I got was when he told me how much he enjoyed riding his bike with the trailer on it to the grocery store. He made quite the deal out of it and what he's doing for the environment. I'm all for doing my part, but on this day it was pouring down rain. If you've ever seen my shoes, you'd know I'm not the kind of girl who wants to ride a bike in the rain to pick up groceries. I prefer the warm, dry convenience of a car. I don't think that's too much to ask for, really. I didn't write back.

After a couple of days I get an email from him telling me that I must not be "sincere after all" and wishing me luck. Okay. You too, buddy. Weeks later I wake up to an email from Chicken Man asking if my "boob shot" gets me real men. This is followed up with an apology because when I didn't answer his past email he felt "unrequited." Seriously? Let me tell you, this was the wrong morning to mess with me. I replied in a not-very-nice way, saying I owed him nothing and it's no mystery why he is single. Unfortunately, this only served to fuel his psychotic need to harass and insult me. Needless to say, he was blocked from contacting me again.

FBI Guy. Categorized under Extreme Control Freak.

FBI Guy emails me. An intelligent email, an interesting profile. He's in the FBI. (I know because I googled him. Google can be a very important tool in the dating world.) A few emails later, he gives me his phone number. We talk. He lives on the other side of the country and asks if this eliminates him. Nope. Not yet. I get a very sweet email the next morning. (Prince Charming after all?) Followed by a not-so-sweet email telling me I have too many "walls" and I'm not making it easy for him. Um. Yeah, I'm just not willing to move across the country in less than 24 hours. Sorry.

That evening, FBI Guy makes a point of letting me know that he saw me online without him. Excuse me? Did I exchange wedding vows at some point during the day that I'm not aware of? Was I supposed to remove my profile after one phone call? Yeah, now you're eliminated.

Airplane Guy.

Airplane Guy is actually not a Bad Guy. As far as I can tell he is a Good Guy. I would be more than happy to set anyone up with him, in fact. But for me, he is Boring Guy.

Airplane Guy never loosened up. He was polite and courteous, shy. Sincere, dependable and reliable, all good qualities. Probably good Husband Material even. But he bored me. No flirting. Didn't feel like I could talk about South Park or Family Guy. I found myself censoring my own potty mouth, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I was bored. And it's just not right when a girl can't be herself. Maybe I didn't really give him a chance, but I didn't think it was right to lead him on. He's out there, ladies. I can point you in his direction if you're interested.

Any guy who hunts, fishes and is over 50 is put into the category of I Either Don't Read or Don't Care What Your Profile Says.

Really, when I say that I like sushi and wine tasting, what makes you think I'm interested in redneck activities? Riding quads? Again, if you've seen my shoes, you know I'm not. Never have been, never will be. And it's bad enough that a large number of men my age look like they're 50. I don't actually want to date someone who is 50. Or 54. Please, don't waste our time.

It's enough to make me want to give up, really. This would satisfy D of course. According to her, I don't need to date or have sex ever again. She says it's just "not right." It would seem she is still as hung up on Mr. X and The Boy as I am.

I have a month left on my membership and, unless the situation improves, I won't be renewing it. It's hardly worth it at this point, even if it has provided some good laughs. I'm not really after laughs though. I can get that from my friends without the harassment and attempts at control. For free, too. Gotta love my girls!
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