I got my teeth cleaned today, which I realized I hadn’t done in over a year. Since starting with SOCIALSTUDIO, INC. (purveyors of JumpCam and FADE), I’ve been saving my dentist visits for eastbound trips to Bill’s hometown. (where the dentist is “Dad”) Reclining in the dentist’s chair this morning, it occurred to me that I straight-up never made it ’round those parts for all of 2014 because #startuplife. Live to work – that’s been the unfortunate subtext of my life for the last few years.
So there I was, squeezing in an appointment with whoever was available at my hometown dentist’s office, in hopes to maybe be less disgusting for upcoming closeups on wedding day. When the realization dawned upon me, I felt dirty, gross, and ashamed – so, basically, the same as if I had gone to the dentist every six months instead of every…year and a half.
I settle in. The new dentist comes out in his mask, pinching the nose to his nose and fixing goggle-glasses over his eyes. “I don’t think we’ve met before,” he says. “But I remember your brother. Your mom was really nice and let us visit the house one time. I think he had a tail?” (He mimes the late “rat tail” that my brother sported from grade school into college.)
“Oh, yeah, he finally got rid of that,” I said, verbalizing what so many of Bridge’s social circle felt for years.
“I used to think he was so cool,” the dentist said, and I just laughed. (Really, you just need to see Bridge’s old tail and marvel at how long it served as his permanent fashion statement. For the record: I think it rocked.)
The dentist starts doin’ work on my teeth, kicking off chit-chat with the hygienist because he realized that I can’t talk when they are putting things into my mouth, and they start discussing how the hygienist used to have a raccoon, and I start thinking about weird animals that inhabit the area around my mom’s house (I used to help her rehabilitate hummingbirds, true story.), and how my original dentist still lives in my mom’s neighborhood – and wait, isn’t it weird that this dentist knows about Bridge’s high school hair? and has referenced visiting the house I grew up in?
So my thoughts back up. This new dentist is tall. Okay, that tells me nothing. This new dentist could be my age (#thirtyfun, if you’re counting), but his eyes look Asian or Hapa, so who the fuck knows? I’m not well-versed in how much Asian anti-aging genes factor into the True Age of Hapa kids. (Where is that Punnett square?) He remembers my brother’s signature young man hair. Apparently he’s been to my mom’s house. HOLY SHIT THIS NEW DENTIST IS MY OLD DENTIST’S SON. I have met him before, and once gave him a tour of Santa Clara University when he was a high school upperclassman researching which schools he wanted to apply to for undergrad. His mother got me a Starbucks gift card for basically telling him about SCU’s (then forthcoming) robotic crane library. I MET THIS KID WHEN I WAS 22 AND NOW HE IS WORKING ON MY TEETH.
OH SHIT I’M OLD.
Is this real life?
Is this what happens when you go “home?”
Is running into the progeny taking over the local family business the new quintessential hometown experience? Does this replace visiting the townie bar over winter break? Should I mention how I asked This New Dentist if he remembered me telling him to figure out his alcohol tolerance before he entered college?
I was so wise back then.
Wise like an old, old woman.
Life is weird.
Anyway, in the spirit of surprise and delight, here is my favorite raccoon video: