Today I turned 59 years old – well, boo hoo to that.
I celebrated by having my semi-annual visit to the hygienist and dentist – how’s that for fun stuff to do on your birthday?
When I scheduled the appointment last year, the hygienist said “will April 14th at 9:00 a.m. work for you?” I said “sure enough”, so after a few mouse clicks I was scheduled and she went to write out an appointment card. I waved her off saying “nope, I can remember – it’s my birthday” to which she replied “and you want to spend it at the dentist?”
So, this morning I recalled our conversation as I moseyed along on the mile and half trip to the dentist’s office.
And, then I must admit I got a little sentimental when I remembered a similar conversation I had with my mom on the occasion of my 7th birthday.
I was bemoaning the fact that I got eyeglasses that very morning – the first pair of many and they were downright ugly. They were that ghastly cat-eye style in a putrid shell pink that was so popular back in the day. I remember peering at my “new look” in the mirror with tears streaming down my face and dripping onto the lenses.
I hated those glasses! I’d push them this way and that, wanting for all the world to push them right off my face so they’d break and I’d be free of them. I was a tad vain, I must admit. Those new glasses surely did not help the sorry status of my bangs that were always cut too short or too crooked thanks to the joint effort by my parents when trimming them between regular hair appointments. I’ve had Facebook dialogue with others whose parents cut their bangs and we all came away with the same question … how could you let us go into the world looking like that? But I digress.
In retrospect, I don’t know which was worse – those ugly glasses which covered most of my small face, or the fact that I got them on such a hallowed event as my 7th birthday. My mom, always a fountain of wisdom, told her whining daughter that “over the years, your birthday will become just another day – oh sure, it is fun and games now because you’re seven years old, but you’ll find out what I’m talking about one day” – clearly she didn’t sympathize with me one iota.
Well, her statement made me miffed for sure, and, since I was never permitted to “mouth back” to my parents, I am sure that I just silently stalked off to my room, with a thought bubble over my head like “no way Mommy … that will never be me” … so, fast forward over a half-century later (and cringing while I write the words “a half-century later”), and I was going to the dentist on my birthday, then back home to work. Yup, a humdrum day at best..
So, again Mom was right.
Now, I like my dentist and his staff. They are a congenial bunch who always welcome you just as soon as you walk through the door. I always arrive early to visit and catch up with that crowd and chat about the photos of the staff outings that Dr. Kelly has posted on their office’ Facebook page. Besides it is alot easier to chitchat before everyone starts hovering over your mouth with their instruments.
Before Dr. Kelly and his crew can even say “open wide”, you must go through a mini physical which takes about 15 minutes. The final question that is always asked is if anything is wrong with any of your teeth? This morning they forgot to ask.
For the past four or five weeks I have had a tooth that was bothering me. Cold milk or clementines straight from the fridge caused me to nearly hit the ceiling. Grrrrrr! I’ve been hoping it was not another crumbling cavity which needed a crown as the fix-it to relieve the pain. I wanted to beat myself up for all those extra-crispy Stouffers pizza breads I ate regularly years ago, that is until Little Caesars “Hot and Ready” $5.00 pizza was introduced. Woo hoo – you drove up to the window, put down a five-spot, and it was ready for you. Hot and instant gratification just about five minutes after you decided pizza might be a nice dinner treat. Good thing because there might have been more cavities crumbling which necessitated new crowns from crunching down on all that French bread pizza.
I really don’t know how I ever got cavities anyway – I rarely, if ever, got to eat candy and I had that nasty fluoride varnish applied every year. I hated that procedure … the horrible smell and the cotton that propped your mouth open so they could paint your teeth – Ugh!
Well, I passed their mini physical with flying colors and after the teeth cleaning, Dr. Kelly’s quick inspection of my teeth indicated I was A-OK.
So I thought to myself “well should I mention the tooth if they didn’t notice it?” Hmmmmm. Finally I just blurted out “the tooth hurts” and gestured which one with my index finger.
Then I held my breath.
They both honed in for a closer look.
“So” said Dr. Kelly, “there’s nothing there – nothing is amiss. The enamel is eroding a little and that comes with age. You’re good to go; just use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. I’ll give you some samples, okay?”
I wanted to give him a kiss but figured I still had that bubblegum-flavored tooth polish smeared around my lips and he wouldn’t appreciate my gesture.
I fairly flew out of the seat with exuberance. I didn’t care if he said my teeth were old – I personally didn’t feel any older. What’s a calendar date anyway?
So, with that dreaded dental visit over, my brain could now focus on the present as I made the return trip home, this time with a spring in my step I might add.
As to thoughts on growing older … well, now there’s only one more year to go ‘til the big 6-0.
Actually, I had been feeling rather smug since my former high school classmates, who convened for our 40-year reunion in 2013, have kept in touch via a Facebook group since that gathering. They are in the planning stages for a mass birthday party on Thanksgiving weekend since everyone will turn 60 this calendar year. I responded to the invitation by saying that I would not be turning 60 for many more months and I am still the youngest one in our class of 613 students. So, let them eat cake (and ice cream too) and I’ll pass on that gathering.
Now, I’ve always been up front about my age, and my mom would chide me and say “a lady never tells her age” or “why do you want to divulge your age to everyone?” I concede now that perhaps she had a point and maybe I’ll not be as forthcoming going forward now that this Baby Boomer found out just how many minutes old she really is. It sure burst my bubble when I hopped onto this site: http://playback.fm/birthday-song
Okay, Mom … you win this round too.
Above is a picture of yours truly gummin’ it before that very first tooth. Back then, there were no worries about cavities, crowns, bite splints or braces. Braces and their trappings, like headgear, rubber bands and a monthly trip to the orthodontist to have your braces pulled tighter … just another indignity to suffer for the sake of having pretty and perfectly aligned teeth. I could write volumes about braces, but I’ll save it for another time. It looks like my hair didn’t require much maintenance , just a curly-Q on top, fashioned perfectly with a little spit, then a twist and a whole lot of love courtesy of Mom.