I went to the dentist.
Next time I’ll ask for anesthesia. Don’t get me wrong. Dentists are wonderful people who make sure our pearly whites are as they should be. However, I think some of them could be gentler. Every time I come home with my gums swollen with deep thoughts of suing the office. It seems like the hygienist takes all the sharp pointy things and jabs them into my gums. Jab jab jab. And then I spit out blood into their brand new sink (yes, they got new equipment before I came) and get grossed out by my blood flowing down the drain. And then freak myself out a second time because the equipment is all new and I don’t know how to turn off the automatic faucet that fills the plastic cup with water for your gargles. I will be gazing in horror at the poor little pink cup sitting innocently under the spout while the hygienist says soothingly, “Don’t worry, it’ll turn off sometime.”
I am afraid of things that have the potential of overflowing with water. When I was little, I accidentally made the toilet overflow. And then we got long brown spots spanning the ceiling because the bathroom was on the second floor. (It looked like pee. The brown stains, I mean.) And then it was there for years until we got the house repainted. Or the time I broke the dishwasher and it overflowed the kitchen…And then the sink that overflowed…
We can’t get anesthesia for life’s problems. “Wake me when September ends.” Because this is life, and life is to be lived, for better or for worse. It would be nice to hide from leaky toilets, overflowing sinks, broken dishwashers, and the brown pee-look-alike stains that ensue. It would be nice to eat snacks and huddle in front of the television while listening to our dishwasher empty itself on the floor, but that’s not going to solve anything. It’s only going to bust out our eyes and make us fat. Not to mention ruin the nice floorboards.
Instead of getting ourselves an anesthesia fix, we should fix the toilet, fix the sink pipes, and paint over the brown spots. And put up with dentist appointments until we die. No one knows when they’re going to get a cavity in spite of brushing three times a day and flossing once a day and chewing gum to reduce plaque. Dentists help take care of our teeth by making sure that everything is going well. They thus ensure that we can eat chocolate till the end of our days, at least until our chocolate-digesting glands give out.
Ignoring life’s problems won’t get anything fixed. Leaky toilets, broken dishwashers, and unsightly brown stains are a part of life. It’s easy to hide with a box of chocolates — at least for the moment. Take a deep breath, do what needs to be done, and keep on going.
(I still wouldn’t suggest getting new equipment unless you can be sure that the automatic cup-filler will turn the water off at definite intervals instead of at “sometime.” When is “sometime”?)