Sound Bites from the Dentist’s Chair


I went to the dentist yesterday because I was long overdue for a visit. I thought pregnant women were supposed to avoid dental work, so it was as good an excuse as any to steer clear of the dreaded dentist’s chair. Since I no longer had that excuse, I decided it was time to put up with a little spitting and rinsing for the sake of my teeth. I went in for a cleaning and X-rays. I came out with sore gums and fodder for a blog post.

It started out innocently enough with the requisite small talk and questions common for a hygienist/patient exchange:

HER: So has anything changed since you were last here?
ME: Well, I had a baby
HER: Oh, that’s WONDERFUL! Isn’t it the best? It’s like life means nothing until you have a baby.

I smiled while in my head I thought, Well, I wouldn’t exactly say my life meant nothing before, but, yes, motherhood is pretty freakin’ great.

She proceeded to tell me that she was one of twelve children, and then things turned a very strange corner. Now I WISH I could simply recount the entire conversation, but she was one of those hygienists who feels the need to talk the ENTIRE time, so my memory just could not store it all. Plus, as the conversation progressed and I realized, Oh my Lord, I’ve GOT to write this stuff down, I became so focused on getting her precious one-liners right, that I don’t really remember what I said in response or the overall order of the conversation, which was mostly one-sided anyway, since my mouth was otherwise occupied with sharp metal instruments. So what I ended up with are some sound bites to share. But they are gems.

I should say that this petite 62-year-old with a champagne blonde ponytail was kind of sweet in her own way. It was all well-intentioned, but, well, you be the judge…

Upon learning I’ve been married for thirteen years:

“Thirteen years? Now that you have the baby, don’t you wish you had started sooner?”

“I wanted a family. We all do. It’s what we’re here for. ” And then she quoted scripture.

“I’m a dancer. I didn’t get married until I was thirty because I was worried about my figure. After you have a baby, it’s all over. My mom got so big. Every time we swore she was having twins.”

Upon learning my age:

“Wow. You don’t look anywhere near your 40’s. My mom was 82. She looked good too. She had no lip lines. I had dermabrasion to get rid of mine, but my mom had none.”

“Good thing you had your baby now. My mom had one in her 40’s that was retarded. Well, she made two more people after that, and they were fine, but you never know.”

“I’m a dancer.” (This line was repeated several times during the cleaning)

“I’m a Catholic, so I wasn’t about to kill anyone.” (I forget the exact context here and even how it fit into the conversation, but it was something about having kids at an older age, and yep, she’s talking about abortion.)

Upon learning that my child was in daycare and I was working part time:

“Gee, but when you add it all up and figure out how much you make, and the cost of daycare, and clothes, and gas, is it really worth it? You pray to God, ‘God, you gave me the baby, now let me be able to stay home and take care of her.'”

“What you need to do now is make her a brother or sister…otherwise you’re the only show.”

I swear I’m not making this up. I only wish I could remember more. Any misquotes here are only a result of what was lost by my memory in the time between sitting in the dentist’s chair and returning to my car where I promptly grabbed the notepad in my purse and furiously scribbled down all the lines I could remember!

Categories : journeys in life


  1. trogdor says:

    You need to ditch her and go to Dr. D in Chatsworth. He rocks, and while he’s Catholic, I’m pretty sure he’d never bust out the line about killing anyone.