I went to the dentist last week. I’d been putting it off for about six months by then, because I’m not really sure that I absolutely need to have my teeth cleaned twice a year. Once seems fine to me. Yes, I have dental insurance, so it’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing. I don’t quite understand when it became “normal” to get your teeth cleaned every six months rather than every twelve months.
So I showed up, on time and everything. The hygienist, whom I have known for years, checked my chart and immediately noticed that I hadn’t been in for a year.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like us any more?” she teased me.
“I like you just fine. What I don’t like is getting my teeth cleaned,” I replied. “But just so you know, I do floss regularly.”
As the cleaning continued, the hygienist did concede that yes, my flossing had become masterful. My gums were apparently loving it, and were nice and pink and healthy-looking, she announced.
Still the cleaning continued.
Eventually, when she got her hands and instruments out of my mouth briefly, I said, “You seem to be doing a lot of scraping – more than usual.”
She raised her eyebrows at me. (That was actually all I could see, since she was wearing a mask.) “Well, you haven’t been in for a year, so there’s a bit more of a buildup of plaque …”
I finally got out of the chair an hour and twenty minutes after I’d first sat in it. I was the last appointment of the day, and lots of the other workers at the dental clinic left before I did.
As I was standing at the counter, paying my share of the bill, the hygienist suddenly remembered that she hadn’t given me a new toothbrush. She quickly got me one. It’s – uh – orange.
Let’s think about this for one second. Would someone nicknamed “Pinklea” want an orange toothbrush? Right. Thought not.
But the clinic was closing and I wasn’t about to quibble (much) over a free toothbrush. Instead, I whined to PG later on the phone.
How well that man knows me! Saturday, when I arrived at his place, there in his bathroom was this:
“I’ll trade you,” he said. “Will you shut up about the damn orange toothbrush now?”