Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Was A Toothy Kid
And so I wore a plastic retainer, top and bottom, for four or five years. At lunch, I would pop the metal-plastic devices out and wrap them in napkins to avoid showing (and thereby stimulating the raucous fun-making, teasing, ridicule, shame, etc.) them to onlookers while we ate. Throughout first grade we public schoolers ate lunch in the basement of the Catholic church next door to the little yellow school house. For first and second-graders only, the yellow school was a two-roomer, later demolished because of an infestation of bees. (Yellow building...swarm of bees, I'm serious) But back in the basement of the Catholic church (the same cafeteria used to feed the kids who attended the Catholic school), a half hour with all the ordinary aliments and routines--something with mashed potatoes. Until I absentmindedly tossed the napkin-wrapped retainers into the trash with the rest of my unconsumed foodstuff. Unnoticed. About an hour later, coming off the high of recess, it occurred to me that I'd misplaced the expensive straighteners. And so I quit my crying, and Mrs. W talked my two good friends (P. and S.) into walking back over to the basement of the Catholic church where everyone including the priest, no doubt, had finished their mid-day victuals and had left us more than eight gigantic bags of garbage. The three of us picked through it, bit by bit by bit in search of the coveted set of plastic retainers. S. finally found them (said he thought it was a bundle of potatoes; why do kids wrap up food they intend to throw out?), saved the day. Quite a friend, S.
Of course the dental drama carried forward. There were lots of dentist appointments, too many after-schools spent in the dentist's waiting room. It was high-priced torture, really. In fact, eventually, I was awarded a wire key, which I used to crank a single arrow-notch each week, thereby turning the screw that widened the apparatus that stretched my aching jaw over a period of several years. Dental behaviorism: "When it stops hurting, turn the key again."
No stranger all the agony that follows from accepting an invitation to sit in the chair, I returned to the dentist this morning for a regular cleaning (a new dentist for me since we're less than a year in NY). Have a brief pictographic recapitulation of the one hour appointment:
Clown posters, a record-setting repeat loop of Uptown Girl, and bleeding gums.Posted by Derek Mueller at March 30, 2005 10:47 PM to Unspecified