I went to the dentist this morning for my twice-yearly checkup and cleaning. I hate going to the dentist, I really hate it. I hate it so much that I usually reschedule my appointment numerous times before I suck it up and actually go in. It’s not that I have a lot of dental issues – I actually have a pretty clean, healthy mouth and a good set of chompers. I’ve had my share of cavities in my day, but nothing too traumatic like a root canal or anything. But still, I hate going to the dentist. Possibly more than I hate going to the . . . lady doctor. I don’t enjoy the poking and scraping (um, of my teeth, not my . . . oh, forget it, you know what I mean), but I guess that goes without saying. Who does enjoy that? Mainly I hate it because of the hygienist they always seem to stick me with. I’ve written about her before and refer to her as The Floss Nazi. On the surface, she’s nice enough, but she is one gabby lady. She talks the entire time she’s in there poking and scraping, she never fails to lecture me about flossing and how oral health affects overall health (this, despite the fact that she is seriously overweight – does she not know how that affects overall health?), and she never fails to segue into childrearing advice, despite the fact that she has no children of her own. I’m just going to say it: she annoys the hell out of me.
When I arrive for my appointment and park myself in the waiting room, it always feels like a lottery: which hygienist will I get this time? Ohhhhh, I hope it’s not her! Please don’t let it be her! Then she opens the door and calls me back. Fuck, I lost again.
I’m pretty sure I exuded at least a vague hostility as I sat in the exam chair while she put the bib on me, making me feel like a big, overgrown baby, giving her curt, one-word responses in order to discourage conversation. Just clean my teeth and be quiet, okay? Spare me the lectures, I’ve heard it all a hundred times before. I thought to myself, hoping that maybe my thoughts would transfer to her through the air.
To amuse myself while she cleaned my teeth and blabbered on, I played out an imaginary scene in my head wherein my gynecologist employed her as a gynecological hygienist. It went something like this:
Floss Nazi – er, I mean, Vag Nazi: “So, have you been cleaning regularly?”
Me: “Um, yes, of course.”
VN: “Every day, right? How many times a day?”
Me: “Um, well . . . gosh, that’s kind of personal . . . I shower every day, and you know, the vag is a self-cleaning organ . . .”
VN: “You can never be too careful about these things. I always tell people, vaginal cleanliness goes to overall health. What are you using to clean?”
Me: “Seriously? Uh, I really don’t want to have this conversation.”
VN: “I’m going to give you these products to take home. I want you to use them regularly. Now, I’ll know next time you come in if you’ve been using them. It’s very important.”
Me: “Look, I’ve had this vag for 45 years, I think I know how to take care of it.”
VN: “I went to school for this. I know what I’m talking about. I was just telling my neighbor the other day – she has a vag, too – I was just telling her, ‘You know, once you’ve had a few kids, your vag just isn’t going to be the same as it used to be.’ She really appreciated the advice.”
Me: “You know what? Can we just get this over with?”
VN: “I think we should schedule you for a deep cleaning while we’re at it. If you like, we can give you nitrous oxide for that procedure. But I can promise you this: you’ll feel like a new woman afterwards.”
Me: “Can we be done now? Where are my pants?”
Anyway, no cavities!