You know that nightmare we’ve all had where our teeth inexplicably fall out, turn to dust and vanish? This was interpreted to me as a typical anxiety dream. How unusual for me to manifest anything having to do with anxiety during sleep or even waking hours.
This week, that nightmare became a legitimately horrendous reality.
I was innocently nibbling on a (largish) cookie, which is most definitely not on my current Mother of the Bride Meal Plan. That cookie was so good, until it wasn’t. I was enjoying it so thoroughly, that the sound of a whispering fissure barely registered within my sugar-hazed bubble of happiness. Then I felt something slip from my gum.
I ran to the bathroom, lowered my hand and let out a blood curdling scream, the likes of which I have only displayed during childbirth, and when McDonald’s discontinued offering its McRib full time. My front tooth had vanished. What the hell? This only happens during my REM sleep cycle! Hello, Ellie Mae Clampett.
I screamed again.
My husband came running and I opened my mouth. He laughed uproariously and informed me that Ellie Mae actually had perfect teeth and I was stereotyping.
Lucky for him, without this tooth, I couldn’t pronounce my “f’s” or “th’s.” I tried to wish him a %$# you but all he heard was the wind whistling through the vacant space where my lateral incisor had just evacuated.
He insinuated maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the cookie.
He insinuated this was a very bad mess without dental insurance and I would be forced to gum my food for the rest of the week.
He insinuated I would have to go without my Snyder’s of Hanover hard pretzels before bedtime.
Guess what I insinuated what he was going to go without before bedtime?
I called my dentist.
He was packed solid.
I wept. I begged. I promised I wouldn’t use his name in this column.
He brought me in under duress. He probably wanted me to cease and desist the repeated phone calls rife with melodramatic wailing, heaving hyperventilation peppered with screams of: “My toof! My toof! I lost my toof!”
That’s not even an exaggeration.
Dr. A. suggested that maybe this missing tooth would make me talk less! I know he literally had my dental work in his hand but I tried to wish him a “%^&* you,” as well.
Missing teeth make me cranky.
Anyway, he thought I said “hug you,” so we’re fine.
Bless his heart, he did me a solid, squeezed me in and fixed me right up – temporarily. I have a faux tooth until my real faux tooth arrives, I hope via FedEx.
I have a placeholder which doesn’t look like a lemon Tic Tac, so I’m thankful. I no longer am a freakish Maria-o’-lantern or Stu from “The Hangover,” and I’ve stopped crying. Until some other minor tragedy befalls me and I blow it entirely out of proportion.
I never said I wasn’t dramatic, but I’m telling you, when a toof mysteriously disengages from your mouth, you become a different person.
Me? I became Gomer Pyle and I never even finished that cookie.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at [email protected]