This morning (bright and way too early) saw me at the dentist's office. This is never on my list of fun things to do, and I try to stay in complete denial until the very last minute before they say "Open wide". This only marginally works, as I find myself in the waiting room tapping my foot, clenching my fists, and unable to read the glossies on Paris Hilton's latest shocker or Jessica Simpson's new line of designer bikinis. Yeah, no great loss there.
Today I had a new hygenist. (My regular gal, Nicole, had a whole maternity leave thing going on there.) The hygenist took one look in my gaping maw and gasped. "What are those?"
I wanted to gargle out "EEEEFFFF" (What did she think they were?) She pulled the mirror and her digits out of my mouth and said, "Are those stainless steel crowns?" Her face registered shock and horror. I think she might have cast a furtive glance over her shoulder too.
I nodded, suddenly afraid there was a government ban on stainless steel crowns. Were G-men going to storm the cubicle and slap on the cuffs?
She got a rather pinched look on her face. ( I could see this because she wore a Lexan visor instead of the regular paper mask.) "And when did we get those?" (Have you noticed that when a medical professional of any kind wants to act disapproving or wants to cajole you into something, they always speak in terms of 'we'?)
"I got them in 1977."
More shock. Pinchier look. "Those are temporary crowns. They must be replaced and soon."
Now, I've been seeing this dentist for almost 10 years now, and we have this conversation from time to time. Along with the one about flossing more and having my fully impacted wisdom teeth removed even though they aren't bothering me or him. I nodded.
"Why haven't we gotten these replaced?"
Why haven't WE chipped in half of the 1800 bucks? Then WE might think about it. I thought it, but I didn't say it. Proud of me?
Then the most helpful advice yet. "You (she went to the singular here) should've gotten them replaced about ten years ago when crowns were only about a hundred dollars apiece." (In a tone that said if WE had been collaborating ten years ago, WE wouldn't have been so stupid as to have missed such a golden opportunity.)
Still, I got out with shiny, smooth teeth, two stainless steel crowns I've had for thirty years, and new x-rays of my wisdom teeth. (Still not bothering me, but setting the hygenist to twitching.)
How does this relate to writing? My friend and crit partner, Kaye Dacus, blogged about writing a synopsis today. My take? I'd rather go see the dentist.