The Obvious

650 words about teeth

Posted in braces, rant, travel by theobvious on March 17, 2009

This post is supposed to be a reflection of my current condition, which is: overtired, under-healed from a cold, very cranky. Unfortunately, there are no adequate literary means for that in my possession, so if you usually need to read words to yourself quietly (no need to be embarrassed here), use a croaky voice and interject every second sentence with a mighty sniff. Otherwise, feel free to imagine me doing it for you. Now, on to the point.

Some relationships have what we may call a differentiation point. For example, that point in a conversation between two people who have so far been nothing but charmed by each other, when there comes the question of age and the reply is (a couple decades) short of the expected. Or when two people are conversing and one mentions casually that English is not his or her first language. From that point on, nothing is ever the same. The one is plagued by questions (God, did I just compliment her choice of entree? Does that make me a pedophile?? or, Was this a good joke or a bad mistake? How do I correct it and remain PC?) while the other is usually just thinking WHY DID I BLAB THAT! The past relationship is no more.

For me, this point is probably the braces and the reasons behind them. Despite my fairly evident tendency to overshare online, when it comes to real people I would rather their knowledge of the issue were directly proportionate to our closeness. That is, the vast majority of the people I encounter should remain completely ignorant. It is just that when you tell people that you are going through more or less what their grandparents went through just recently, it tends to cast a certain tinge on their further way of relating to you.

With that in mind, imagine my elation at the news that the route of our upcoming teaching trip to Ukraine will include every Jewish guesthouse from the capital onwards. A little insight into our millenia-old culture: a Jewish guesthouse means gender-based rooms of six or more, with shared bathrooms. What you are thinking if you are a healthy, octogenarian-health-issue-less person, is – how the Gehenna will this couple survive a week of separation without that taking a toll on their marriage and eventually leading to painful divorce?? Commendable care for our union which we appreciate, and why did I not think of that? Because all I heard was, shared bathrooms, ringing in my ears like ‘Next!’ at the executioner’s office.

In my view, there are two ways this could go. One, being forced to brush in public, letting people observe my hour-long mutant procedure with the teeth. Okay, who am I kidding, this stage is long past. Still, the sight of braces being brushed, however briefly, is blood-chilling and will certainly reveal more than desirable about me. The other way is to em-brace (oh, hilarious) the situation and avoid brushing my teeth altogether, which would result by the end of the trip in me smelling like the indigenous people of Ukraine – that meant in the best possible way, but having in mind that there are very few possible good ways of meaning that. A bonus option has been generously offered by A.; that is to use him as a bouncer to drive everyone out of the public bathroom and then guard me through my dental hygiene. If ever you wondered what true chivalry was, this is it.

All that said, one might suggest this is blown wildly out of proportion. One might insinuate even that this post is about nothing at all. One might be right, but then one is cordially invited to a) find other things for me to blog about; b) find another way for me to express my worries about everything and nothing, currently aggravated beyond crayzeee with threee eee’s; or c) kindly bugger off.

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One Response

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  1. anniewhere said, on March 22, 2009 at 12:39 am

    It has just occurred to me that you can play a game similar to Humiliation (and the title will be so much more proper in this case) about things that make one self-conscious (sorry for using this word second time in a row).


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