So, I went to a new dentist yesterday. I booked in for a long over due check-up and cleaning. It had been awhile because I wasn’t happy with my last dentist for a few reasons. This new dentist came highly recommended by my friend Chris’s sparkling white teeth. Truly, they speak for themselves. It was an “I’ll have what she’s having” decision. Although I looked forward to meeting the dentist, the hygienist and the girls up front for the first time, I went in feeling a little unsure and a lot sneaky. You see, my last dentist, who is super nice but whose work I’d lost confidence in, has her office right-across-the-street. I felt like a traitor and worried about being seen as I was slinking into the new dentist’s office. I decided against wearing a wig and glasses only after considering how creepy I would have appeared to the new gang.
I filled out the typical “new patient” form but hesitated over the question that asked who my previous dentist was. I mean, how tight is the dentist brotherhood here in this small town I live in? Do they get together regularly for drinks and flossing and to swap worst-halitosis stories? I decided to leave the question blank. Bad idea, because then the question was asked of me orally and I had to say the name out loud for the whole office to hear. I swear I heard short intakes of breathe and saw slightly furrowed brows all around me. “Cheater! She’s cheating on a perfectly nice dentist we all know and love; one of our own. And you know what they say, once a cheater; always a cheater.” (I was pretty sure I heard them all think this.)
When I get nervous or feel stupid I go into blabber mode. This is where I try to say all the right things but instead of sounding sincere I end up stammering nonsense. Yep, irrelevant words start pouring out of my mouth. So, as people I’ve only just met stared with mouths gaping, I confessed out loud a new appreciation for red wine as opposed to white (nervous giggle) and that I refuse (said a little too loudly) to give it up… no matter how it might stain my chiclets! (more nervous giggling) Someone please stick some dental instruments in my mouth so I stop! No such luck. So I went into the long version of how I was actually born here but never actually lived here until now and how I’m mostly from North Vancouver although I’ve lived in many, many places and my husbands business is situated in another town so he commutes for part of the week and I wish it wasn’t so but you know you get used to it and hey did you know my newest grand daughter is one year old today. Thankfully, the suction wand and a bunch of fingers went into my mouth around then so I could quietly berate myself in my own head for awhile. The wig and glasses would have been just fine after all.
Turns out that my new dentist is very nice and I like his after-shave. Important in a dentist, no? Of course, I’d never recognize him on the street unless I stood upside down so I’m sure he is feeling good about that. My teeth and gums are healthy so I left with the equivalent of a gold star and a new toothbrush and floss. Score!