Sometimes, in life, you get abroken front tooth. That’s not a metaphor. Last week, a beautiful, sweet dogwas overcome with excitement to greet me and rammed my face with his face,resulting in a large chunk of my front tooth going missing.
The result was visually quiteunfortunate, but relatively pain free, until I went to the dentist. Theprocedure itself was ok, since I’d been shot quite full of Novocain, orwhatever. In fact, I had a pleasantly rubbery face for quite a while after Ileft. Turns out, I should have seized that pain free hour, because by the timeI stopped dallying around, so had the drugs.
Unfortunately, I still had a stopto make. And since I was tired and a little achy around the mouth it took allof my limited strength of character not to dart in front of the old man who wascreeping toward the door as I approached from the parking lot, because I reallywanted to get in line before he did. I actually have that urge all the time; sofar I’ve managed to suppress it. I could be an amazing douche if I let myself.
Anyway, the door in question wasthe AAA door, where you can go instead of going to the DMV, and in most ways itis infinitely preferable. However, what I can say for the DMV is this: peopledon’t go there for directions. Directions. Yeah. It’s called Google maps, oldpeople. Or even regular maps. I know you know about those. Or you could tryyour luck with your GPS. I’m pretty sure Cadillac has those. Sorry old people, asI write this, I’m still in pain. And I’m not prejudiced. I’m practically one ofyou.
I’m waiting my turn, counting thenumber of inane questions per minute (it’s three), and the numbness is reallywearing off and this is reflected in my mood. I have to remind myself thatthese other people are people too, that they matter as much as I do, even ifthey are ninety and have apparently pilgrimaged to AAA for the sole purpose ofinsisting that they are excellent drivers (which inherently means that they arenot), they deserve their turn. Their long drawn out turn.
There’s a lady who has got to beeighty, who’s worried that herhandicapped license plate is going to, “alert the cops.” She has alreadyextolled her driving skills. I’m rolling my eyes politely to myself and tryingnot to let my jaw clench because I’m in more pain every minute and I’m not surewhy they didn’t send me home with something for that because surely, this couldhave been predicted by the professionals, but it was not. Or else they wantedme to suffer.
And I’m cranky and feeling guilty for all therude thoughts I’m having about everybody else in the waiting room and bad aboutthe fact that I’m reminding myself that they’re people too, because who has toremind themselves that other people are people? In my defense, I don’t have todo this every day. But full disclosure, this wasn’t the first time either.
When it’s my turn, I draw theshortest of sticks, meaning a trainee who doesn’t know how to do what I needdone. He assures me he knows how to do other things, and lists some of them. Iheroically refrain from leaping over the counter. A brief wait later, I amrewarded for my patience with a full-fledged employee and we manage to wrap upmy errand so I am free to rush home and self medicate with tequila.
Flash forward two weeks, when I goback to have a permanent veneer put on. The doctor tells me that they usuallydon’t need to use anesthesia for this part. I prove to him that I am a specialcase by whimpering the minute he touches me with an instrument.
Some tugging, and filing, andflinching, and gluing later, I have a brand new pearly white. They have rebuiltme. They have made me better, stronger and chompier. Or at least restored me toa state of dental symmetry. Now everything is fine, except the pain is back. Sofor the rest of the afternoon, I will be on the couch watching GoT andwondering why no one will step up and (SPOILER ALERT!) murder Joffrey. AlthoughI’m only on the second season, so perhaps by now someone has. Happy thoughts.