Yesterday I went to the dentist. I like going to the dentist because they get my teeth all nice and clean and white again. And now that I have insurance through my work, I get to have my teeth cleaned every 6 months! But I also loath going to the dentist too because I always get lectured by the dental assistant. However…Yesterday I had an especially lecturesome dental assistant. And I was really bothered by the time I left. It seems I can never brush my teeth right. One visit it’s, “You’re brushing too hard or too much on the upper left side and it’s making your gumline recede too much—you should get an electric toothbrush.” The next time it’s, “You aren’t brushing enough, that’s why your teeth are stained—you should get an electric toothbrush.” Every time no matter what I do to improve, it’s always, you ain’t doin it right and “you should buy an electric toothbrush.” It’s like an incessant drip—“you should buy an electric toothbrush.” “You should buy and electric toothbrush.” How is it that these dental assistants all just stepped off a billboard to “improve” the lives of their only captive audience—the sucker in the chair who can’t escape. Regardless, early on, I decided not to buy a $200 toothbrush because even as I was getting lectured, I couldn’t rid myself of images of numerous toothless people in the world who could easily use $200 on mere sustenance for a year or more. Having shiny pearly whites, after all, is not the most important thing in the world. There was once a hygienist who likely had a similar perspective. She had an accent which sounded eastern European. But they probably fired her, because she’s not there anymore and because she appreciated my teeth—likely she had seen the same toothless peasant I had seen. And sometimes she fell behind in her careful work.
But yesterday, the hygienist handed me a $10 coupon, told me about the massaging, vibrating, pulsing electric toothbrush I should get was only $70. It had so many features I was surprised it didn’t bring me my slippers as well. AND she was very lecturesome. I still had the images of toothless peasants from other countries running through my brain but I was especially bothered because despite my earlier resolve, I was almost convinced to buy another piece of expensive technology for MY house and MY hygiene. Step aside toothless peasant! I even went to the drugstore to look at the electric toothbrush and, yes, it was $70. I did not buy it but I was angry at the hygienist all evening. Then I went to help sort clothing for the neighborhood garage sale. And somehow a church had donated a whole bunch of free stuff to distribute. Amongst the products for distribution were 100s of SpongeBob and SquarePants electric toothbrushes. My anger at the hygienist was immediately alleviated.