Like Pulling Teeth

I went to the dentist yesterday, for an appointment that I had made six months earlier. Does your dentist do this? Make you schedule another appointment the second you walk out of the last one? Probably this is kind of common and everyone's dentist does it, but to me it is newly surprising every time because I cannot think of any other area in my life that is so organized and well-regimented. I know they always tell you to do it at the hairdresser's—to schedule your next cut as you're paying for the one you just got—but when this happens at the hairdresser's, I seem to always just wave a hand vaguely and say I'll call later and then don't do it until my hair is so ratty and nasty and shapeless that you could put a Dungeons and Dragons t-shirt on me and stick me in a darkened basement littered with Cheetos packets and I'd resemble a homely teenage boy growing it out for the first time. With the dentist, though, I am bafflingly more compliant, and I frequently find myself agreeing to be available at 10am on some random Tuesday in June, six months away, just because it seems easier than not agreeing. I may be a wimpy pushover, but my dental health has never been so good!

I have talked before about my dentist's crazy hi-tech office—I half expect to see George and Judy Jetson every time I'm there, signing their insurance co-pays on one of the reception iPads—and the part that gets me every time is how you can listen to music during your appointment. You have to understand that I grew up mostly with the NHS dental service, where you were lucky if they turned the radiators on when you came in, so being handed a pair of cushy, padded earphones and told to choose a Pandora station elevates every one of my dental appointments to the level of....well, not a luxury Hawaiian vacation, but a pretty nice one all the same.

I am beginning to think, however, that when the inevitable Evan Dando intervention is held sometime in my very near future, my dental hygienist is going to be there. "Could I please listen to the—" "Yes, I know, the Lemonheads Pandora station," she said yesterday, pushing a few buttons on the computer. "We've still got it saved from the last time you were here." 

Speaking of my dental hygienist, I am trying to figure out a way we could be BFFs, because she would really be such a great person to hang out with in a bar (as long as I didn't order something too sugary, I am assuming.) She's about my age, super witty and funny and cool, and this last time we had a particularly in-depth conversation about the cute coat selection at Old Navy—after the appointment, obviously, because my only contribution to any conversation during it is a strangled "ehhghhaghhh" and a nuanced eye blink. Sometimes I am sad that we only get to hang out every six months, but then again, would it be kind of awkward to sit in a bar and chat with someone who you both know has flossed your teeth? I feel like that could become the elephant in the room if you let it. 

On another note, I am feeling about as un-Christmassy as I have ever felt, partly because we've been away for a while and missed all the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday hoopla that demarcates the end of one holiday and the beginning of the next, and partly because I don't really feel like being hugely cheerful about anything at the moment, which means I am also in some rather blasé denial about a) present shopping ("ehhhhhh, it'll get done at some point") and b) how many doors of my chocolate advent calendar I have forgotten to open so far ("ehhhhh, it's probably only one or two, how late can it—DECEMBER 9TH, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?") and I should probably start trying to get my act together at some point. Buying a tree or something, maybe. Searching YouTube for a choir singing five different versions of Little Drummer Boy, perhaps. Watching the My So-Called Life Christmas special where Juliana Hatfield plays a shoeless ghost, because that always helps. Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? How are you doing it? 

Wait, you think about that and I'll be right back. It's just occurred to me that I have nine mini chocolates to eat. 

1
Tall Girl
Dec 09, 2011

I am also feeling very un-Christmassy... and I am ALWAYS Christmassy (sometimes even in non-Christmassy seasons. Like March). This year I´ve got Advent Tea, and at the rate I´m going, I´ll be drinking it well into January. I bought a snow globe the other day, and tickets to a carol sing. And I trapped myself in an airplane with nothing but cards in order to get them written.

So glad to have discovered your fun blog, and looking forward to testing out My So-Called Life Christmas special to see if it helps!

2
Jane
Dec 09, 2011

I'm not feeling Christmassy at all! I put it down to partly this year has flown by too fast and also alas I am in one of those occupations that has to work Christmas Day. Add to that my family live too far away for a pre or post christmas catch up and it'll be just my hubby and I. Don't even think I'll bother with decorations this year. Now doesn't that sound like the biggest "bah humbug" you've ever heard?!

3
Susie
Dec 09, 2011

The episode of My So Called Life always, and I mean ALWAYS makes me cry. That will definitely help put you in the holiday spirit!

4
Anna Louisa
Dec 09, 2011

The fact that you can still make others smile while you're going through such a hard time is a wonderful gift, adn one that all of us here appreciate. I was having trouble getting ready for Christmas until I started coating our whole apartment in Christmas lights...that always helps! :)

http://anna-gemutlichkeit.blogspot.com/

5
Nolita
Dec 09, 2011

Yesterday was hard. I also had my 6 mos cleaning and scheduled for way off into next year. I love it. I don't get my hair cut often and I like messy hair so I'm good with not scheduling hair appts in advance.

Back to yesterday. I was so trying to sustain my Christmas spirit but I feel I lost it (hopefully temporarily) yesterday when I tried too much. I wasted last night trying to make holiday goodies (not my forte) and I can't get that time back.

Maybe dress up warm, fill a thermos with hot cocoa and go look at Christmas Lights? Or maybe when you are working on something else (like Africa blog post, hint hint) the holiday spirit will sneak up on you? I hope ...

We are up for a family reunion weekend that requires road travel with 3 kids (the youngest threw up in her bed this morning) so I'm not sure I will get my spirit back this weekend. I'm taking some wine so maybe, just maybe...

Sending positive, happy, warm thoughts to you!

6
Nolita
Dec 09, 2011

Oh, also, if you haven't already watched it, Modern Family's Christmas Express episode is hilarious! That might help...

7
Katie Hammel
Dec 09, 2011

I'm not feeling particularly Christmasy right now either. We're moving to San Francisco on January 2nd (for my husband's new job) but before that, he will there for ten days while I'm home alone....which means - because I am terrible at being alone and apparently read one too many R.L Stine books in grade school - that I will spend each night listening for every tiny noise that clearly means someone is trying to break in and kill me. With him gone, and the post-holiday move, our house is currently a maze of boxes and bubble wrap, and just doesn't feel festive at all.

I'm hoping a few cups of Gluwhein and a viewing of "Love Actually" will help get me in the holiday spirit (or in the Gluwhein's case, knock me out so I can sleep in the house alone). That and going to see the Nutcracker on Horseback, which I am dying to see because, well, it's the Nutcracker...on horseback, and how could it not be awesome.

8
Maggie
Dec 09, 2011

I also LOVE my dental hygienist and want to be her friend in "real life".

9
Heather
Dec 09, 2011

My dentist operates in the exactly opposite manner: they hand me a card as I'm leaving with a date on it. On or after that date, I'm supposed to call and make my next appointment. It's weird. What's so hard about having a calendar that goes out far enough so I don't have to remember ONE MORE THING? Every other dentist I've ever had works like yours does, though!

10
Kate
Dec 09, 2011

If you'd like something a bit more upbeat than "My So Called Life's" incredibly sad Christmas special, there is an episode of "Cheers" in the holiday section of Netflix that is quite charming, as is the episode of "Frasier" as well.
Maybe I should say, they are hilarious if you're into Kelsey Grammar and his semi-dry humor.

Cheers!

11
alison
Dec 09, 2011

I'm not so much in the holiday spirit (my husband has been listening to Christmas music since the week before Thanksgiving, which pretty much killed any potential spirit possibility), but I AM totally on top of the present situation.

12
Michelle
Dec 09, 2011

My dentist has Netflix so you can watch a movie or tv show while they are cleaning your teeth or drilling away at something in your mouth. I love it! I mean, I still hate the dentist, but I love having something to occupy my time while I'm there.

I'm trying to be in the holiday spirit. It helps that I have a two and a half year old that seems to be enthralled by the lights and trees and madness that surrounds the holiday season. Plus, since I'm pregnant, I can also gorge myself with tasty food and no one can say anything to me!!

13
jen
Dec 09, 2011

I'm sort of feeling the holiday spirit. It's the first time in years that we didn't do a tree. We're in the middle of a whole house renovation and it just seemed like one more thing to try and squeeze into our space among the buckets of paint and pieces of trim. I did hang up lights on our front porch and around one of the trimmed out openings in the house. That's basically the extent of my decorating this year.
Funny about the dentist - so true. And my dental hygienist is like 100 years old, so probably not one I'd party with. Although, those old people can surprise you sometimes.
Happy Friday Holly!

14
June
Dec 09, 2011

Re: Wanting to be friends with a health provider - I love my OB/GYN so much and she would be a blast to hang out with. And considering how much she's seen my lady business, she probably owes me at least dinner by now!

15
Marcheline
Dec 09, 2011

Nope, not Christmassy at all this Yuletide. Not yet. I think that I've decided, somewhere in the back of my brain, to opt for "Christmas as a spectator sport" this year. I think I've done this before, only to dash madly out and buy a tree at the last second. That was the year we took the tree down on Valentine's Day. 8-)

16
EH
Dec 09, 2011

Wow, how many people had their teeth cleaned this week?! Count me in. My hygienist usually talks to me, and I nod and gurgle and think out exactly what to say next time I get to rinse... Or I lie there with my eyes closed, nearly asleep. Music would be nice...
Not in the Christmas spirit at all here. Tried to talk the extended family into making Christmas smaller, branded myself the official Grinch, caused panic among the females who finished.. "all the shopping in August, and I can't return any of it, and I guess we can call off Christmas... Grandma's going to be upset though!"... then I backed down, had my husband do damage control, then booked a vacation on an island - just the two of us - for the second half of December. Not kidding.
I am sending cards... I should really order those now, huh?
-The Grinchette.

17
Eliza
Dec 09, 2011

Oh god, and by "some random Tuesday in June," I am 98% certain you mean June 12. I also went to the dentist yesterday. My 6-month appointment is June 12. Our teeth are synched.

18
sarah
Dec 09, 2011

My best friend became friends with her dental hygenist. They're pretty close now actually, since they both had babies about the same time. It can be done! And she doesn't lecture anyone on sugary choices. :)

19
thepoelog
Dec 09, 2011

They don't call it holiday "spirits" for nothing. Break out the peppermint schnapps, add generously to hot chocolate, dollop with as much whipped cream as you're stomach can tolerate (I've seen you wax poetic about cheese. I know you're not lactose intolerant) and drink up, buttercup.

20
ScottsdaleGirl
Dec 09, 2011

It's Christmas Time?

21
Jen
Dec 09, 2011

That is my least favorite episode of My So-Called Life. I always skip past it when I'm watching my DVD box set. My favorite episode -- not that you asked, but because I love any opportunity to talk about MSCL -- is the World Happiness Dance one, where Ricky dances just like that guy on the AT&T flash mob commercial (only more awesome, of course) and Jordan asks Angela, "Why are you like this?" And then he presses up against her and the chain link fence. LOVE.

22
Ryan
Dec 09, 2011

I know I shouldn't watch it, but sometimes I just want junk tv and I pull up Private Practice on Hulu - did you know that Rayanne Graff is is a mom now? she plays the mom of the "surpise, you have a 9 year old kid!" of one of the doctors.

The fancy x-rays at the dentist that send digital images directly to the screen still weird me out. Digital x-rays? how does that work?

23
Thespian Libby
Dec 09, 2011

Had the teeth cleaned last week; it's apparently a holiday thing. Despite having really clean & shiny teeth, I'm not so much in the Christmas spirit. I put up a tree for the first time in eleventy-billion years, which the cat (you'll remember Mr. Utley!) promptly killed. He walked up to the tree, head-butted one of the ornaments, and the entire tree went out. He managed somehow to blow a fuse. I think intentionally. Leaving for NYC bright and early tomorrow morning, so hopefully being in THE CITY will kick my spirits into gear!

24
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 09, 2011

JEN, THAT IS MY FAVORITE EPISODE TOO!!!

25
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 09, 2011

No, wait, it's tied between that one and the Boiler Room one. Solely for the part at the end where Jordan grabs Angela's hand at the end while they're walking through the school hallway and Buffalo Tom plays in the background.

26
heidikins
Dec 09, 2011

My dentist is actually my x-boyfriend. A really great x-boyfriend, of course, but yes, we dated while he finished dental school, we broke up, he got married, he opened his own dental practice, he became my dentist because, well, I happen to know how spectacular his grades and practicals were in dental school, now I'm engaged and he is still my dentist. And his very lovely wife reads my blog. Weird? Perhaps. Well, it only gets weird when his hygenist asks how I know Dr. Mac... "Um, well, we used to make-out, a lot..." Yep, my dentist used to KISS the mouth you are flossing.

Nope, not awkward at all. Ever.
#sarcasm

xox

27
Jessica
Dec 09, 2011

I really enjoyed Heidikins ex-boyfriend dentist story above. :) All my dentists have been much older than me, I've never met a young male dentist! Although my last exam was done by a young woman who sang along with the radio the whole time.

28
agirlandaboy
Dec 09, 2011

Come borrow my kid for a day. We're all about CHRISTMAAAAAAS right now. He'll make room on Santa's lap for you and everything.

29
Jen
Dec 10, 2011

Mulled wine and "It's a Wonderful Life" - worked for me!
*hic*
*sob*

30
Starla
Dec 10, 2011

It's hard to feel very Christmassy, as for once, London isn't freezing cold. Nor has everything come to a halt, due to snow. It's very mild here, which isn't helping me get in the mood.

Thanks to the NHS dental service, I have two rather ugly mercury fillings!

31
jasmine
Dec 10, 2011

erm, i wish i live in SF. And if I ever have the opportunity to live in SF, can i please please sign up for your dental office? that sounds amazing.

32
findingmagnolia
Dec 11, 2011

I go to the dentist every three months, which, I know, is a LOT. The dentist encourages it because I have a "crowding issue" (which he points out every single time, as a way of explaining why he's putting an invisalign brochure in with my free toothbrush) and my insurance will pay for it 100%. From my end it has to do with the paraffin hand dip. Yes, I did just say paraffin hand dip. I get to watch movies when I go, too. I call it "the spa dentist." Sadly, I won't be going there again, as I"m moving at the end of this month, and it won't have been three months since my last visit yet.

33
CrystalthePistol
Dec 15, 2011

My co-worker just asked what I was doing, to which I responded "reading my friend, Holly's blog". He then started asking questions about you, and although I was able to actually answer all the questions accurately,I felt too embarrased to admit that I didn't really know you and that I just read about your life every 5th day or so. I made some stranger (although, I really don't feel like you are) on the internet my BFF; you can make Dental Hygenist your pretend BFF and you'll never have to worry about getting that "How come you never call me? How come we never hang out anymore? So and So says you're mad at me" phone call, and she won't have to sit across from you at dinner thinking about your lower bicuspid that she really didn't clean all that well at your last appointment. win.win.

34
Evan Dando
Jan 09, 2012

Boy oh boy . I had to change dentists recently . The dude was just too ready and willing to do my bidding and 'Crank
the nitrous up to 11"In the middle of a root canal I was feeling way too high just when "Crosseyed Mary " ( Jethro Tull ) came on the stereo . It got to be a bit much . And dude is just too into talking at me about music when I have no way of answering him .'Don't you think Coldplay are the natural heirs to U2 ? " Dave Mathews sure puts on one heck of a live show " Jeff Buckley is so fully realized , it's hard to believe he's 1st generation show biz " , "I always thought the velvet underground were vastly over rated " "Pat Benetar was the Queen of punk " things like that . See I had to sit thru one whole song of Dave Mathews once ( I was ther for the opener - Willie Nelson ... I think The Dave Mathews Band are a farce . Cheers EGD

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