Do you ever find yourself amused (and amazed) by peoples' white trash antics?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
You have to take care of your teeth. Period.
From a very young age, I have been seeing a dentist. My mother took us to the dentist not every 6 months but every 3 months. Clean, well-maintained teeth are a must if one ever hopes to avoid being lumped into the "white trash" category. Now before you get angry and accuse me of being shallow and stereotypical, hear me out.
Dental care is expensive. One must be committed to the undying commitment, both financial and otherwise, of caring for one's choppers. They support your smile, your speech and your cheeks. Good teeth matter to most people. The absence of teeth, by the same token, bothers most people. I remember the first time I saw a person with no teeth in his mouth. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with his face. It was all sunken in, like a dried apple doll. He was selling boiled peanuts and produce on the roadside in rural North Carolina, and I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. My parents had taken all of us kids on a road trip to the mountains in early Fall. The trip was great right up until I saw that old man with his sunken-in face. And when he laughed, I nearly wet my pants. I had never seen anything so scary in all my life. I have obviously never forgotten it.
Now this guy was obviously a country man, and he was no more bothered by his lack of teeth than I am by my lack of chest hair. He probably lost them in his 30s. No big deal - to him. To me, it was a huge deal. Ever since that fateful day by the side of the road in the picturesque mountains, I have equated a lack of teeth with, well, frightening backwoods ignorance. That logic may sound convoluted, but maybe you had to be there.
Teeth matter folks. I'm not saying that someone with no teeth is white trash, but I will venture to say that someone who walks around toothless and unabashed at the supermarket, at a wedding or at a ballgame, simply because they're too cheap or too unaware of its impact on others, well… draw your own conclusions.
I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I have put off this appointment for too long strictly out of fear. Somewhere along the line (probably in North Carolina), I developed a phobia of anyone touching my mouth, teeth, lips, anything in that general area. I am so phobic, in fact, that I have to be sedated for even the simplest procedures. I sincerely hope that I do not hallucinate my old friend from 40-something years ago, hawking his wares on a North Carolina roadside and grinning from ear to ear. I may never go back to the dentist and end up joining the ranks of society's toothless.