Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dental Shaming, Overly-Specific Greeting Cards, Cat Lady Hero

Well, it’s finally time. Time that I suck it up and go to the dentist, that is. Before you judge me for avoiding the dentist, just Google “redheads and dental pain” for about two seconds and you shall be enlightened as to how my freakish genetics cause a routine trip the dentist to be a dread-and-pain-filled experience for both me and the poor staff, who have to deal with my nuttiness and my need for massive doses of numbing agents. I was hoping to put my impending visit off just a little bit longer, but my dentist office sent me a shockingly dental-shaming email this week akin to a “Dear John” letter, basically telling me they aren’t having any more of my bs and that they “hope” that if I don’t want to see them anymore that I am getting dental care somewhere else and not “neglecting my oral hygiene.” First of all, I take umbrage to that phrasing. I am not neglecting my oral hygiene! I brush and floss and rinse with mouthwash twice or more a day. It’s not like my teeth are rotting out of my head and my breath smells like a garbage barge. My teeth are fully intact and my breath smells as sweet as spearmint thanks to all of the sugarless gum I chew. Then, they went on to flat-out threaten to abandon me if I didn’t make an appointment soon, telling me that they would inactivate my chart if they didn’t hear from me within 30 days. Look, I don’t want to go to the dentist but they can’t just give up on me like that. I have abandonment issues. I can’t believe they threatened to break up with me. So I made the darned appointment already. Sheesh. I hope they’re happy now.

Although in theory I love cards and stationary and all things beautiful paper and Papyrus-y, I don’t actually send out cards or letters very often. I had to buy a card for a momentous occasion recently, and I was completely addled by how oddly specific greeting cards have gotten. They had greeting cards for every type of couple, every obscure occasion, every combination of life events, and every age, country of origin, and creed. I had to wade through a ton of cards to find just a general one that didn’t list an exhaustive bio and specify the date of the event in question. There used to just be birthday cards, anniversary cards, and sympathy cards, with the occasional, coveted blank card. I don’t know why there now needs to be card for every type of vacation, vocation, and possible life incident. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I don’t feel like this speaks well of us as a society. I feel that it indicates a certain lack of faith in our imaginations and our ability to express ourselves. I think it should be a routine practice to buy a blank card, write your own message on it, and send it to a friend or relative at least once a quarter to keep those expressive juices flowing, and to remind people that email and text is not the only mode of communication available to humans.

My beloved House Flipper game recently released new content, in which you can have pets! I downloaded it right away, and was completely delighted during the tutorial when you open a random box and are greeted with an adorable, writhing golden retriever puppy. I was captivated, but even more excited when I discovered I could adopt a Husky. I have always wanted a Husky and I have been living out my Husky-owning desires with my adoptee Junebug, who I take with me on all of my flipping jobs. It’s me and Junebug against the house-flipping world. She’s fun and very low-maintaince.

With the new content came some new jobs, one of which is for the world’s most controlling cat lady. I was in awe of her. She said that she didn’t trust me and that she was very risk-averse, so she laid out every single piece of furniture, tile and paint that she wanted on big palettes on her lawn so as to idiot-proof the job. She even went so far as to build a special ladder so I could get to the higher ceilings. I appreciate the way she thinks. She was very organized and really thought ahead. The event planner in me applauds Controlling Cat Lady.

Eventually, I’m going to build myself a giant House Flipper pet empire, full of turtles and iguanas and bunnies and tropical fish, but for now I am content with Junebug.

 --Kristen McHenry

1 comment: said...

Just a fabulous, witty and informative post! :--)