Well, I’m back after a very long hiatus. If I’d been blessed with a good imagination, I would spin some great tale about my wild adventures to explain the absence. But, truth be told…I have just been experiencing a bit of a dry spell. Uninspired days, which have folded into weeks, most likely brought on by the arctic winter we’ve been experiencing this year. We, here in Chicago, or Chiberia as it’s since been re-named, have been buried under the evil white stuff for months. As soon as a path is shoveled down the driveway, the local news tells us of yet ANOTHER snowstorm headed our way. Add to that, the sub-zero temperatures and it’s no wonder I’ve been in a funk lately. I know the rest of the country has also been hit by this malevolent polar vortex. This is truly a moment when we as a nation can come together and moan, grumble, gripe, lament and, yes, grouse. (A thesaurus is truly a writer’s best friend)
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Well, I can’t put it off any longer. You know the feeling when there’s something you have to do and you REEEAAALLLYYYY don’t want to do it? Yeah…that’s me…right now. It’s been looming for several days now. And, the clock is running down. In about twenty-five minutes, I have to meet my friend at the gym and…work out. Yes, that’s right. Work out. Ugh… Why do I hate working out so much? Why can’t something that’s SUPPOSEDLY SOOOOO good for you be easier to do? Those italicized, capital letters were meant to convey sarcasm. So, if you didn’t get that, I would ask you to please return and reread that sentence, placing the appropriate amount of whiny derision on those particular words. It’s okay…I’ll wait for you……………………. Okay, I can tell by all those periods that you carried out that assignment swimmingly. So, let’s see…where was…oh right…I hate exercise. I HATE it. I hate every part of it. I hate the beginning part, where you think, “Oh God, I’m just starting and I feel like I’m gonna die.” I also hate the middle part, which involves an enormous amount of sweating (well, if I put any effort into it, that is, which is what exercise enthusiasts say you’re supposed to do and something they seem to LOVE). I super-hate that part. Actually, I DO like the end part, though, where I exit the gym with that superior, “Oh yeah, I’m totally into fitness” look. Side note: I don’t exhibit that look at any time while I’m actually IN the gym, of course. Because those people really ARE totally into fitness. Then, of course, upon returning home, a shower is in order and that’s a rather pleasant because it feels good to wash off all that disgusting sweat and come out smelling all soapy. So, I guess it’s mainly the beginning and the middle part – the actual exercise – that I detest. I can hear you judging me, by the way.
Have you ever received one of those emails from the son of a Prince or King of some far away province? Usually these poor guys are in some sort of trouble requiring them to flee their homeland at the risk of losing their fortune, which, naturally, leads them to seek assistance in salvaging their wealth. This most often involves requesting permission to transfer gobs of money into a (your) personal bank account, with the promise of a handsome payout for the abettor (that is, the email recipient…you). I think we’re probably all familiar with these life-changing offers. And, hopefully, we all recognize them for the scams they are.
But, I have some exciting news that makes me think my ship has finally come in. And, no, I didn’t just fall off the…umm…the…I’m thinking it’s some sort of farm vehicle that I just did not fall from. A hay truck? Is that a thing? Anyway, I did not just fall off that thing. No, I know this is for real because my email did not originate from some off-shore royalty, but a real-live government agent. Yes, a United States government agent. I know this, because in the “Sent” column of my email, it clearly states AGENT JOHN EDWARD with the “Subject Line” stating GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY. Yes, in caps. This guy means business and it appears rather urgent that I get back to him. Immediately. So, naturally, I do NOT want to keep him waiting. And, since the message is simply oozing authenticity and is, quite obviously, pressing, I’ve forgiven the frequent typos. I mean the WHITE HOUSE (yes, more caps), Homeland Security, and the IRS are all involved in this covert operation. This is clearly important stuff. I’ve included the email for your perusal. This just shows to go ya: sometimes good things DO happen to good people.
So, my dear BWB friends, this may be my swan song to blogging. Oh, I may, for frolic, pull out my laptop for a post now and then. Maybe just to let you know in what tropical paradise I’m currently sunbathing. And please, don’t hate me for my good fortune. Just keep your eyes open in your Inbox. Your day will come… For now, I must to be on my way. Got a pretty important email to respond to. Note to self: do NOT forget the G11 code. It’s for my own good.
I am a dental hygienist by trade. I received my Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Loyola University of Chicago. Oh, and a Minor in Psychology, too, so…yeah. I’ll allow a few seconds for the inevitable “oooohhhs” from my impressed readers. Continuing….often, people will ask, with a look of distaste, how I can put my hands in people’s mouths for a living. Truth is, usually, it ain’t that bad. Usually. I’m pretty tough. It takes a lot to gross me out. Saliva? Child’s play. Blood? Please. Wanna’ get a little peek into the brain of your hygienist? Here goes: she probably won’t lose sleep over your not flossing every day. She really won’t. Periodontal disease is not what she lives for. Not if she’s normal, that is. What, then, you may ask, keeps her returning day after day? Her patients. I suppose, at this point, I can really only speak for myself. I work in a great office. The staff work well together and I have never seen a doctor who loves her patients (and is so loved in return) as much as she does. And, to be fair, there are a few patients I wouldn’t be heartbroken to learn that they moved far, far away. But, overall, our patient base is great. Every day I look at my next schedule and think, “Yes! Mary is coming in. Or Mark. Or Karen (you know who you are!).
My husband marvels over how emotionally invested I am in my patients. We talk. We confide. And, well, we just become friends. We laugh like crazy. I’ve cried with them, too. We hug. And somewhere in between, I take care of all that nagging scraping and x-raying that is required for me to collect a paycheck. So, today, I had one of those great moments. I saw a man almost ninety years of age. He was frail and in a wheelchair. I love this man. He is so gentle and sweet, you just can’t help but love him. He was a soldier in the Army and served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was shot in the leg. Twice. He still owns and wears his original pair of aviator sunglasses. And he is just one of the coolest guys I know. Because of a recent fall, he is confined to a wheelchair. He told me he hopes it’s only for a while, but I think it will most likely be for good. And that made me sad. He was accompanied by his son-in-law, whose compassionate tending to the father of his wife was nothing short of amazing and, quite honestly, very touching. He carried this elderly man out of his chair, transferring him into my chair and back again, all the while encouraging him with, “Come on Bud, we got this.” Old Jake cannot communicate very well anymore. But his eyes speak volumes. They sparkle when he smiles. And he smiles often. As they were leaving the office, his son-in-law told us that they were now going to enjoy beer and hotdogs for lunch together! Seeing these two men really made my day and I just wanted to share that.
So, when people make faces and ask how I can do the same thing day in and day out, I counter that it’s not the same thing. Every day is different. Every day I look forward to catching up with my patients. I can’t wait to hear what their kids are up to. I love talking to my teenage patients about how their school’s football team went to state or what part they won in the school play or what college they’re thinking about attending, or what they want to major in. That’s the best part of my job. Quite honestly, the part I could do without is the scraping and x-raying. I know I’m not alone in that. But, hey, I gotta make a living. That Minor in Psych probably won’t lead to anything.
A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste, which is why I am taking this opportunity to publicly announce my new New Years Resolution (stop judging) to surround myself with people who can appreciate a good joke. I’m not talking about practical jokes. I’ve never been a fan of those. No, I’m talking about dry humor. We, here at BWB, believe there is direct correlation between a person’s ability to understand dry wit and their intelligence level. Nothing screams I HATE YOU more than deftly dropping a remark so dry it threatens evaporation only to be completely missed by the intended recipient (thus evaporating) or worse, is met with a serious look of concern. What the world hears me saying, at this point is, “I was kidding…It was a joke…” What I’m thinking is “OMG I hate you. Remind me to NEVER talk to you again.” What a waste of a perfectly dead-panned moment. Continue reading