Tough Enough

I have never been much of a risk taker. I assume it is somehow related to having an impulsive mother. Growing up, when other kids hopped stones to cross a creek, I built a bridge for a safer crossing. If the water was too deep or fast for an impromptu bridge, I traveled along the muddy bank in search of a less potentially harmful way. I found that there is almost always a better way if you take the time to look for it.

However, avoiding risks is very time consuming. It’s a constant task to assess the amount of risk in day to day decisions and pick what is least likely to cause harm, injury, or death. For example, I rarely take left turns on two way streets, speed, or forget to wear sunscreen on cloudy days.

Yesterday, I decided that I have lived in fear of the unknown long enough and threw caution to the wind.

I went where no woman should willingly go. If you don’t already know to where I’m referring – it’s to the same dentist who just cracked my husband’s tooth the previous day when filling a small cavity. To the same person who caused the love of my life incredible pain and suffering? Yes, I guiltily admit, that is just where I went less than 24 hours after the incident.

It was described to me like this; my husband was leaned back in the chair, relaxed in the safe hands of the dentist. His mouth and half of his face was numb as he stared out the window. The dentist was casually drilling and chatting about the upcoming World Cup game when she suddenly stopped with an “Uh-oh.”

Generally, this is not a good thing for a dentist to say.

The dentist peered into his mouth through a tiny pair of magnified glasses. Her lashes, thick with mascara, batted up and down, as she assessed the situation. A pair of pursed lips and increased heart beats told him the news before she announced very matter-of-factly, “Your tooth has cracked in half.”

She said it in a way like she wasn’t the one holding a drill that had just been running inside of his mouth. It was as though the tooth had a mind of its own and decided to split from its current place of residency and to make a break from its brothers.

It was just a few hours later that my husband shuffled out of the office, with a newly rebuilt tooth and an aching jaw. The secretary stood up as he reached the door, and called after him, “Don’t forget to remind your wife she has an appointment tomorrow.”

Fearlessly, I arrived ten minutes early to have a cavity of my own drilled.

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