11 In Thoughts & Observations

You Just Can’t Sugarcoat Awkward

I started today off with my mid-year trip to the dentist.

I can see you squirming.  Heck, the five people closest to you just heard you moan.  Dont’ worry, I expected you to react that way.  I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say, “Oh, you’re going to the dentist this morning?  Damn, I’m freakin’ JEALOUS!”

Yeah, that shit never happens.

My dentist is pretty laid back.  He’s a throw-back to the kind of dentist you’d find about thirty years ago, though up to date on the latest techniques.  The waiting area gives a nod to the 80s with maroon carpet and hunter green walls, and I’m pretty sure his practice has always been in the same building.  Despite his antiquated ways, I like the guy.  He actually cleans my teeth.  I know, right?  What dentist does that anymore?

Anyway, I was laying there, my gut clenched and my feet flexed so my toes pointed at the sky, thinking, “This sucks.”  It’s just damned awkward opening your mouth and letting someone scrape away a bunch of crap while they ramble on about where they’re thinking of going for vacation.  Not that I minded his conversation.  It made for nice white noise while I tried not to think about what might happened if he missed with the miniature-sized backhoe he raked across my teeth and nabbed my gums instead.

Still, my mind drifted…

Out of nowhere, I remembered someone telling me about a dentist where people gave a mani/pedi while your teeth got the once-over.  I still haven’t remembered who told me.  I gotta figure it out though, ‘cause—nice guy or not—my dentist doesn’t offer that perk and I’m all about the multi-tasking.

But I wonder…would it really work?  On the distraction, I mean.  Will someone massaging and painting my toes help me relax?  Will it make it any less uncomfortable to lay there with my mouth wide open, wondering if the breath mint covered the cup of coffee I drank on the way over?  (Hey, a girl’s gotta actually be awake to drive.)

The next thing you know, my brain leapfrogged around to all the other uncomfortable appointments we get to whistle through as adults.  Guys get the good-old, turn-your-head-to-the-left-and-cough routine—not sure how a doc could add a comfortable perk to that one.  We gals get our yearly visit to the Gyno. The nurses try to help us out by putting cutsy pictures on the ceiling, but a picture can only go so far.

Which brings me to my point—You just can’t sugarcoat awkward.

Have you ever found the perfect diversion for a necessary evil?  Care to share what your most dreaded appointment is?  Or how you manage to cope?  You know I love to hear from you guys…if nothing more than to remind me I’m not a raving loon with a mind that’s been left unsupervised.  🙂

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  • Reply
    T.D. Hart
    August 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Hey Rhenna,

    One look at my glittery purple toenails tells the story. Since my shit-I-lost-my-tooth-surfing episode, I’ve spent forty hours–the equivalent of a work week–gripping the arms of chairs in various emergency rooms, endodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, and finally, my fantastic restorative dentist.

    My dentist wins, hands down.

    First, there’s the massage chair in her waiting room.

    Then there’s the competent staff, the immaculate office, and the dentist herself–a talented, meticulous practitioner who won’t quit until it’s right.

    But the kicker–and the detail that allowed me to loosen my death grip: In the midst of a procedure to stabilize the fractured tooth, she ordered a foot massage and pedicure for her patient. Moments later my feet were being bathed in warm water and tended to by a technician with velvet hands.

    I’m pretty sure something happened in my mouth that day, too. But ask me what I remember about that visit, and you’ll see the genius in my dentist’s plan.

    Cheers…and Happy Writing!


    • Reply
      Jackie King
      August 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Then again, maybe I might be persuaded.

      • Reply
        August 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

        I’m getting the name of TD’s dentist. We can make it a girls day out thing. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Oh. My.God. IT WAS YOU that told me! I must have forgotten it between all the frivolity of our last GNO. I need her number. Stat.

    • Reply
      August 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      I need your dentist’s name, TD. That’s just too cool to be true.

  • Reply
    Jackie King
    August 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I smiled all the way through this post. Yes, yes, and yes. This is all so true, and personally I’m not sure a mani/pedi would distract me enough. In fact, it would probably just be something extra to worry about: keeping my mouth open and my feet/hands still at the same time. And this kind of service at the dentist? The cost would no doubt be outrageous. (Both the dental work and the beauty treatment.) Think I’ll just stay with the same old, same old.

    Also, I’m in love with my dentist!


  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    August 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Oh yeah…there’s nothing better than having your boobs squished between plates. Nonstop party time.

    • Reply
      August 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Forgot about that little tidbit of joy-joy-joy. You’re right. It ranks high on the suckville list.

  • Reply
    Marianna Heusler
    August 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’m giving you credit for showing up. You reminded me that I need to make a dentist appointment. Ugh! And who knows what they might find!

  • Reply
    kim cleary
    August 17, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I dislike most medical procedures – I can’t think of anything other than sedatives that might make them more palatable 😛

    On second thoughts I do respond quite well to reward systems – perhaps a points system…with worse procedures getting a higher number of points. All of which accrue and can be swapped for something lovely like a sexy pair of red heels 🙂

  • Reply
    Gretchen Wing
    August 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I agree with Jackie–having a crush on your dentist helps. Mine’s from Iran, and he has the sexiest accent. But he does have that annoying dentist habit of asking you questions while your mouth is too ahh-ed open to answer. Not sure even a mani-pedi can cure that.

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