This past autumn, I had the pleasure of having a tooth pulled. When I was first informed in the August before, the first thing that ran through my mind was, “Oh no! What if I have to miss a day of running?!”. Yes, obsessive me was worried about missing one day of running. Not the pain or what the cost would be. With cross country season coming up, I was anxious not to get behind. The second thing I thought was, “Thanks, Dad,”. I’ve inherited my fair share of things from my father, from writing skills and a love of reading, to pudgy fingers, square-shaped feet, and bad teeth.
I managed to put off getting the thing pulled until November, after cross country season, therefore assuaging my raging fears of missing running. I still was not happy. Does anyone look forward to getting a part of their mouth ripped out by a man in a white coat wielding metal pliers? Besides, due to a childhood filled with cavities and fillings, I had and still do have an ingrained hatred of all things dentistry.
I sat down in the chair with the air of a very frightened martyr-not the good ones like St. Joan of Arc, the ones who I’m sure I haven’t read about in the book of fifty great saints that I’ve read into broken submission at home. The humiliatingly necessary bib was put on me, and off we went. The dentist, a youngish man in his early 30s, was a talker. Typically, this bugs me; trying to respond with hands in my mouth is not my definition of a good conversation, but this was different.
He asked where I was from, and was a little surprised when I replied that I was from Middle Ridge, but go to school in Cashton. He explained to me that I didn’t look like I was from Cashton, which I took as a supreme compliment. The dentist went on to say, “I mean that….well, you have a style. Not many people around here do….” Over the course of his digging in my mouth a little more, he proceeded to ask me where I had gotten style from, coming from the bustling metropolis of Middle Ridge, WI. I wasn’t going to lie, and told him quite frankly that, “Well, I have older sisters.” (Thank you Mary and Kate!)
The dentist still wasn’t done asking me questions, and now wanted to know where I shopped. “I bet you go to Madison a lot to shop, right?” I almost snorted out loud. “Ummmmm, well, not really. Sometimes.” Okay, so I didn’t really want to tell him that I only go to Madison once a year with school and that all the clothes that I was wearing that day were either from an older sister or a rummage sale. But I did feel a bit smug. I suppose I received my reward for refusing to be sucked into the exclusively Aeropostale-American Eagle-Abercrombie fashion zombies at my high school. It’s either that or Farmall and John Deere t-shirts with work boots as the main fashion line at Cashton High School.
I went home that day with one less tooth, but with a lot more appreciation for the influence of older sisters and the awesomeness of rummage sale finds. And, okay, I had to give some props to myself- I’m far away from the homeschooling days of long denim skirts, tennis shoes, and fuzzy striped sweaters, hair in two long pigtails.