Fun at the Dentist

One of my greatest pleasures in life is going to the dentist. Rather, the dental hygienist.

There in the waiting room I used to toy with my favorite Barbie doll…Barbie Goes to the Dentist! There I would extract her teeth and perform rudimentary dental procedures, because everyone knows Barbie has tons of cavities! I loved all the accessories, namely, the miniature office chair and the sink where she spits out her smorgasbord of liquids. And then there was the literature! Tons of books. Highlights children’s magazine! Each time I would flip through the pictures that read, in adult terms, “What the fuck is wrong with this scenario?” In kid terms, “Spot what you think is creepy or wrong or backwards or creative.” I was a connoisseur of scavenging.

But then there was the book. Many books, but this one was special. So special that I don’t remember anything about it, except for that it was somehow tooth-related. I would scan through Highlights each visit, and then I would immerse myself in the profundities of this little picture book that I’ve completely forgotten. The only detail I can clearly remember is that the pictures were extremely archaic, almost in the style of that old ’90s show about the two beavers living in a two-story complex next to a river and a dam. I guess logically my book was less archaic than the beaver show.

The best part of each visit was actually being at the dental hygienist’s. You have to remember, or you should remember or at least jot this down as important information somewhere in your files, that sunglasses used to be my thing. On the playground in fifth grade, even if it was hailing, you could always find me in a different pair. Some people have shoes. Some people have Angelina Jolie lips. And others have sunglasses.

I always had the privilege of wearing a brand new pair, or at least new to me, since I had never encountered the last kid. Under the rays of the magic light, I would open my mouth–“Ahh” as the so-called cliche goes. But my mouth would never be open wide enough. The problem was, she made me laugh so much. And they never put me on laughing gas. I would interrupt her or she would interrupt me or someone would interrupt someone else while drills were being placed inside my mouth, and we would just laugh it out. But I guess you need the context. I’m not a wind up toy that laughs on command and neither is she. You see, this hygienist knows my entire family, cleans the teeth of my entire family, and has cleaned my teeth since the first day I grew ’em. We go back a long ways.

So if you hate going to the dentist, tough shit. They take care of your teeth. If you’re Raechel and you know you’re due for the once-in-a-lifetime wisdom teeth extraction this summer, all I can say is…chipmunk face?

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