I’d like to begin by stating that if you’re looking to have a pleasurable experience at the dentist, then I suggest you find yourself a dentist who, in addition to having a keen sense of empathy and a gentle touch with a tarter scraper, gives really great blowjobs.
Kidding! This isn’t that kind of blog post (and I’m not that kind of blogger; on Mondays, at least), and I apologize for being uncouth — dentists and blowjobs should never be mentioned in the same sentence, or within two sentences of each other, or even within the same paragraph for that matter, BECAUSE TEETH. Like, ow. Although I’ve heard some people are into that? I’m definitely not. Usually. Unless I’m in a mood and/or the dentist in question is actually Nick Jonas in pretend-dentist-scrubs, in which case he can do whatever he wants to me with his teeth, because he’s Nick Jonas in pretend-dentist-scrubs. You know what? This paragraph is getting weird and convoluted, not to mention fraught with too many commas. Let’s start over.
Last week I had an appointment for a routine teeth cleaning. I used to hate this type of thing, and I’ve only recently discovered that it’s because all my past dentists have been cold-hearted assholes who couldn’t even be bothered to lightly spray eucalyptus mist into the air or wrap my hands in a healing moisture treatment before sticking their tools in my mouth. (Dental tools, that is. I stand by the claim that my opening sentence was a joke!)
I can make all the diva-like demands I want to these days, though, because I now go to a dental spa. Mhm. A dental spa(hhh). This might make me a princess of sorts but I don’t give a shit because my dental spa is serene and majestic and yes, I’m using the Internet to write about a total first world problem right now that’s not actually a problem at all but is instead a first world solution (#blessed?), which probably makes it even more unhip to write about – but I don’t care because #YOLO (see image below) and I’m sensitive about my teeth.
So I was there, and everything was going great. Relaxing New Age music floated out of the speakers, my hands were luxuriously enveloped by the aforementioned moisture treatment (which, side note, feels a lot like having one’s hands licked by a fresh batch of angelic golden retriever puppies), and the massage chair pulsed in a soothing rhythm against my weary back as my dental hygienist poked and prodded her way around my gums without incident.
The massage chair went dead and I realized that its vibration was the main source of my Zen and so suddenly my Zen was gone and in an instant I became Brady Hobbes. That is to say, I became Miranda’s baby on Sex and the City when it was a total psycho (like all babies) and wouldn’t shut the fuck up until it was put into that weird vibrating baby-chair thing. (And then remember when Samantha babysat but the chair was broken or something and so she had to improvise with duct tape and a vibrator?) This was all a lot like that.
As I sat there painfully motionless, I asked myself, Who can live like this? Who can get their teeth cleaned without simultaneously being massaged by a chair? Might my dentist have a vibrator? WHY IS LIFE DOING THIS TO ME?
Within a few minutes, though, the dental hygienist stopped what she was doing and looked down at me.
“Oh!” she said. “Looks like your chair turned itself off. It does that every twenty minutes. Let me re-start it for you.”
I smiled and drooled onto my clip-on bib thing in response.
Once the chair was moving again and I had my essence back, I was able to return to my internal dialogue, which was mostly comprised of me writing this piece in my head and also mentally singing Lady GaGa’s “Do What U Want” while really meaning the lyrics – because as comfortable as I was, I still had to accept that there were sharp things in my mouth, and the line “you can’t have my heart, you won’t use my mind, but do what you want with my body” easily becomes a powerful affirmation in such a context.
The next song to get stuck in my head during this experience was City High’s 2001 anthem “What Would You Do?” in which a stripper has a defensive moment.
Why this throwback tune? Because at some point in the cleaning I decided to have the childlike epiphany that while I was only in the massage chair for an hour-long appointment, my dental hygienist was going to be in that office all day doing dental stuff, which of course made me imagine her taking me outside and sassily singing the lyric, “to you this is just a good time, but to me this is what I call LIFE, ooh-ooh,” at my face.
Next I asked myself, I wonder if I’d be a good dental hygienist? and proceeded to get carried away ruminating on how the answer was so obviously LOL no because [if this blog post has taught us anything, it is that] I’m too self-involved.
Plus it takes me five minutes just to Windex my bathroom mirror because I have to go over the same spots thirty times each on account of my crippling fear of imperfection. So can you imagine how long I’d take per tooth? My patients would probably be like, “Hurry it the fuck up, Nic, you’ve had to reset my massage chair five times already and I’m getting restless,” to which I’d respond, “TO YOU THIS IS JUST A GOOD TIME BUT TO ME THIS IS WHAT I CALL LIFE!” and then they’d be like, “GET OVER YOURSELF, ASSHOLE,” and then someone’s gums would be stabbed and we’d all go to prison.
Or: I’d breeze through cleanings quickly and lose the ability to give a shit about perfection anymore because, “Hey, they’re not my teeth,” which I’m pretty sure would make me an even shittier person than I was in the above gum-stabbing scenario.
“Okay, Nicolas, you’re all set!” my dentist said, abruptly jolting me out of my imagination by giving me a delightfully steaming hot washcloth on a plate and removing my hands from their moisture gloves. “How do they feel?”
“Like they’ve been licked by a fresh batch of angelic golden retriever puppies,” I wanted to say. But then I realized she was probably talking about my teeth.