1. The place where a dentist works. – Merriam-Webster1
2. An office where I pay for the privilege of being poked in the gums with sharp objects.
– The Nut
Once upon a time, in a fairy tale realm called Childhood, I had free dental care under my father’s company health plan, a set of baby teeth that were just going to fall out anyway, and a stay-at-home mom to schedule my appointments as well as chauffeur me to my semiannual tooth checkups.
In those hallowed days, visit to the dentist were pure and simple. I walked in, I spent a slightly uncomfortable half hour having my mouth manhandled, I got to pick a prize from the Drawer of Treasures, and I walked right back out.
Now, as a firmly established citizen of Adulthood, I’ve decided we have this prize thing all backwards. I mean, have another look at the paragraph above. All it really boils down to is that I got rewarded for sitting in a goddamn chair.
These days, I have to jump through ten times more hoops in order to sit in that chair, and I get nothing in return but good oral hygiene.
That’s kind of bullshit, isn’t it? I’m not wrong, am I?
In the land of Adulthood, there’s nobody to set up those dreaded dentist visits for you. Oh sure, the receptionist sends you a reminder postcard with a smiling tooth on it every now and then so you won’t forget. But you’re the one who has to psych yourself into actually picking up that phone and setting a date for your next rendezvous with the Lady of Pain (I’m kidding, Tara, you’re a very nice person…when you’re not stabbing me with pointy things)
And you’ll suck it up and do it, because all your convenient childhood practice teeth fell out years ago and unless you’re super into the idea of sporting dentures before you reach middle age, you’re fresh out of do-overs.
Then you have to keep the appointment.
But in Adulthood, there are no kindly mother figure chauffeurs. When D-Day arrives, it’s up to you to get yourself there. You’ve got a driver’s license and you’re old enough to use public transit without a chaperone. Unless they plan on knocking you out (and god help you if they do), you can damn well take yourself to that appointment.
Depending on what you’re having done that day, walking into the office can feel a bit like approaching Jigsaw and asking him if you can try out one of those kooky traps of his you keep hearing about.
But you go in regardless. You march in of your own volition and you sit in that chair knowing full well what’s coming – because you called and literally asked for it – and you fucking deal with it like the grown-ass man or woman you are.
And in Adulthood, once you’ve had the pleasure of spending the better part of an hour with the taste of sterile gloves and cold metal instruments omnipresent in your mouth, you get to pay for it.
Let’s recap, shall we?
Dentist visits as a child: Free ride, free oral care, free toothbrush, and a prize.
Dentist visits as an adult: Gas/transit fees, X-ray bill, dental cleaning/procedure bill, misc. extras bill, free toothbrush (okay, so some things don’t change), and…uh…the satisfying aftertaste of “Attempted Mint” flavor polishing paste?
So. Who deserves a prize more? Me, or some little shit whose mommy is going to take him out for ice cream after the appointment?
In Adulthood, you take yourself out for the ice cream, pay for it, and spend the rest of the day feeling guilty and fat over downing a 780 calorie Oreo Cheesecake Blizzard in one sitting.
Okay maybe that’s just me.
Now gimme my goddamn ring with the fake ruby in it.
Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter D, the number 32, and the WhyDoYouOnlyAskMeQuestionsWhenYourHandsAreInMyMouth Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.
1 “the dentist.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 4 April 2015.