Thursday, May 24, 2012

Odontophobia

I like to think of myself as a tough chick. I mean, I was in the Army for crying out loud. When some dude tried to assault me on the street, I chased his ass down and caught him. I have tattoos (well, one tattoo) and have had multiple parts of my body pierced that are not my ears. But there is one thing that can reduce me to a whimpering ball of jelly in 5 seconds flat, and that thing is the dentist.

Maybe it's because I had janky teeth as a kid and there was lots of drilling and pulling. Maybe I was murdered by a dentist in a previous life. Maybe I just don't like people digging around in my mouth with sharp, medieval-looking instruments. Whatever the reason, I try to minimize my time in the ole dentist's chair. I brush twice a day and floss EVERY DAY (except Sunday, which is my Dirty Day- another post for another day, friends). The net result of all this dental hygiene is relatively quick, painless cleanings twice a year.

After a few experiences with sketchy dental "professionals" I finally found Karen. She's the hygienist who has been cleaning and polishing my pearly whites for the past six+ years. Karen is thorough but gentle, doesn't talk my ear off, and gets in and out without messing around. I don't love the dentist yet, but every six months like clockwork I plop myself in her chair for a half an hour like a grown up, and all is well.

Except when I went in on Monday morning. Due to the dumbass NATO summit a bunch of dumbasses couldn't get to work in the city, so the dentist's office had to "consolidate the schedule." Dumbasses! Suddenly I'm sitting in the chair while some chatty Cathy yammers on about her husband and her cat, and Karen is off with some other chick who came in 5 minutes after me! wtf! I tried to smile and said, "Um, sorry, excuse me, great story - but I'm supposed to have Karen." And Chatty McChatterson was all "Don't worry, I have 15 years of experience!" And I was like, "But I don't think you understand, I made my appointment for Karen. I really need Karen." And she was like "Bummer. Let's get started!" And I was like "Okay, no prob!" No, not really. Instead I started crying and tried to leave.

I know. I know. I didn't expect that to happen either, but the thought of some STRANGER digging around in my gums with sharp scrapers for 30 minutes while she yakked on and on about her dumbass CAT just sent me right over the edge. I couldn't stop shaking and the tears just kept sliding down my cheeks. What a wimp! But I was only like 3% embarrassed. The other 97% was NOT HAVING IT.

Chatty Cathy was pretty offended that I would rather peace out than open my mouth for her, but after a brief pow-wow with the dentist they agreed to move some things around and I finally got my Karen. She looked a little confused but was really nice about the whole thing. She even tried to act like it happens all the time. Sure! Lots of people show up at the dentist and cry if they can't get their regular hygienist! But she cleaned my teeth without a peep, gave me a free toothbrush, and promised to see me again in 6 months.


Let's hope she never decides to move to Zimbabwe, because it would be awkward to live in a country where I don't speak the language. But I would. Oh, I would.

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