(For those who don’t get the reference: run, don’t walk, to this post, and discover the sheer, unadulterated hilarity that is Hyperbole and a Half)
When I was a kid, I used to love going to the dentist. They had a fish tank with tons of awesome, exotic fish that I got to stare at while we waited, Dr. Lamb was awesome and funny, and at the end of every visit, we got to pick a toy out of this treasure chest to take home with us. I knew that there was this prevalent trope about people being afraid of the dentist, but I really didn’t understand why.
Sometime between then and now, I contracted the disease, and now I understand it all too well. I had an appointment with the dentist this morning, and I spent much of the past 24 hours trying to think up plausible excuses to miss it. The thing is, for me, the reluctance doesn’t actually have anything to do with the dental work. My dread is focused on the actual dentist, and how at my last appointment, I was made to feel like a horrible excuse for a human being because I had the temerity to need a root canal. Needles and drills I can handle, but shaming? Oh hell no. That’s the quickest way to get me to avoid coming in for a cleaning. Which then leads to needing root canals. You see the problem…
In any case, I may have been praying for a Hail Mary save or a spontaneously dead car battery up until the very last minute, but in the end, I put on my big girl panties and went to the dentist. Turns out, they were much more respectful this time. The worst (and longest) part were the x-rays. My geeky heart thinks that the fact that they can do digital x-rays now is completely kick-ass, but my gag reflex begs to differ.