When I was 22, I went to my family dentist with a chipped tooth. My mom started explaining and making excuses for me.
“I was drunk.”, I summarized. Dr. Traffley was amused and I couldn’t understand why my mom was embarrassed.
A year or two after that, I went in for a regular cleaning.
Dr. Traffley: How are your teeth?
Me: Well, I started drinking red wine, so I think they’re getting stained.
Dr. Traffley: It’s wonderful, isn’t it?
Kathleen (assistant): Good girl.
She then told me to just get some Crest Whitestrips and not worry about it.
That pretty much sums up my relationship with my dentist. She’s treated my whole family for years and knows everything, and is just cool.
However, a couple years later, my life is still a mess, and I think it comes across less cute than when I was fresh out of college, so I’m less upfront than I used to be.
Here’s how Saturday’s visit went: What I said. (What I didn’t say.)
Dr. Traffley: How’s living with your dad going?
Me: Um, pretty good. (I’m blogging about it.) I’m trying to get the house cleaned up but I don’t have a lot of time. (So it’s a disaster and my dust allergies are going to kill me.)
Dr. Traffley: I think he told me he has like 20 guitars?
Me: More than that probably… He’s, like, an extreme collector. (He’s a hoarder.)
Dr. Traffley: Does he ever sell the guitars he collects?
Me: No. (He’s a hoarder.)
Dr. Traffley: So what else is going on?
Me: Um, I’m taking this improv class on Friday nights.
…long improv discussion…Dr. Traffley tells me to watch Robin Williams…
Me: Yeah, a bunch of us went out last night and I missed the last train so I didn’t get home till almost 5:30 AM. (And I lost my phone.)
Dr. Traffley: You’re kidding! You were just waiting at Penn Station for two hours?
Me: Well, for the last hour, sort of… (No. I decided it would be better to stay at the karaoke bar and drink until 4 AM, then realize I’m about to miss my train again, then sprint for a cab.)
Dr. Traffley: Here’s your appointment card.
Me: Thanks. (I would put it in my calendar but I lost my phone.)
My disappointment in myself can only be summed up through this old saying I just invented:
Of course, if this saying catches on, it might disproportionately hurt the soft drink and meth industries.