Sometimes, in life, you get a broken front tooth. That’s not a metaphor. Last week, a beautiful, sweet dog was 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 quite unfortunate, but relatively pain free, until I went to the dentist. The procedure itself was ok, since I’d been shot quite full of Novocain, or whatever. In fact, I had a pleasantly rubbery face for quite a while after I left. Turns out, I should have seized that pain free hour, because by the time I stopped dallying around, so had the drugs.
Unfortunately, I still had a stop to make. And it took all of my limited strength of character not to dart in front of the old man who was creeping toward the door as I approached from the parking lot, because I really wanted to get in line before he did. I actually have that urge all the time; so far I’ve managed to suppress it. I could be an amazing douche if I let myself.
Anyway, the door in question was the AAA door, where you can go instead of going to the DMV, and in most ways it is infinitely preferable. However, what I can say for the DMV is this: people don’t go there for directions. Directions. Yeah. It’s called Google maps, old people. Or even regular maps. I know you know about those. Or you could try your luck with your GPS. I’m pretty sure Cadillac has those. Sorry old people, as I write this, I’m still in pain. And I’m not prejudiced. I’m practically one of you.
I’m waiting my turn, counting the number of inane questions per minute (it’s three), and the numbness is really wearing off and this is reflected in my mood. I have to remind myself that these other people are people too, that they matter as much as I do, even if they are ninety and have apparently pilgrimaged to AAA for the sole purpose of insisting that they are excellent drivers (which inherently means that they are not), they deserve their turn. Their long drawn out turn.
There’s a lady who has got to be eighty, who’s worried that her handicapped license plate is going to, “alert the cops.” She has already extolled her driving skills. I’m rolling my eyes politely to myself and trying not to let my jaw clench because I’m in more pain every minute and I’m not sure why they didn’t send me home with something for that because surely, this could have been predicted by the professionals, but it was not. Or else they wanted me to suffer.
And I’m cranky and feeling guilty for all the rude thoughts I’m having about everybody else in the waiting room and bad about the fact that I’m reminding myself that they’re people too, because who has to remind themselves that other people are people? In my defense, I don’t have to do this every day. But full disclosure, this wasn’t the first time either.
When it’s my turn I draw the shortest of sticks meaning a trainee who doesn’t know how to do what I need done. He assures me he knows how to do other things, and lists some of them. I heroically refrain from leaping over the counter. A brief wait later, I am rewarded for my patience with a full-fledged employee and we manage to wrap up my errand so I am free to rush home and self medicate with tequila.
Flash forward two weeks, when I go back to have a permanent veneer put on. The doctor tells me that they usually don’t need to use anesthesia for this part. I prove to him that I am a special case by whimpering the minute he touches me with an instrument.
Some tugging, and filing, and flinching, and gluing later I have a brand new pearly white. They have rebuilt me. They have made me better, stronger and chompier. Or at least restored me to a state of dental symmetry. Now everything is fine, except the pain is back. So for the rest of the afternoon, I will be on the couch watching GoT and wondering why no one will step up and (SPOILER ALERT!) murder Joffrey. Although I’m only on the second season, so perhaps by now someone has. Happy thoughts.