On Wednesday night I went to the dentist. Since graduation from my parent’s insurance I haven’t had dental because all small communication companies ironically view it as an option to have a healthy mouth.
Now at job number three I have secured dental insurance so I can finally go find out that I have seven cavities and inoperable gum disease. This is my uneducated assumption because sometimes my molars hurt and on occasion I do see a little pink in the sink.
I go to the first dentist I can find in network that has availability within the month and is located near a subway stop. This, in hindsight, is more like the way one should go about finding a $60, 50 min Chinese massage — not professional care involving sharp tools.
My dentist, Docta Saaands as he was exclusively called by his secretary, is located on the 4th floor of a non-descript building in a neighborhood I didn’t previously know existed. “We’re in the gova’ment neighba’hood,” she told me on the phone. “You mean the Financial District?” I said. “No, I mean what just came outta my mouth! Gov a’ ment.”
I should have cancelled, but I really was worried about that pink…
Docta Sands office was like Willy Wonka’s office in the end of the movie (Gene Wilder version of course) when Charlie and Grandpa go try to apologize for stealing the EverLastinGobstopper except instead of everything being half there everything was just half dirty.
Docta Sands though appeared to be fully clean but only half there.
“How are we all today?” he said to me and a completely empty waiting room.
“Good to hear,” he said before I responded.
“Ga’ head and pick a chair ova’ where the dentist chairs are. I’ll see ya’ in a little bit.”
This is when I take out my moleskin. If this is going to be painful I better at least get a story out of it.
I pick the chair closest to the door. In, oh, 10 maybe 12 excruciating minutes, he saunters in. He appears to have just taken the final bite of a large roast beef sandwich with sauerkraut.
To give you a visual – he is George Castanza’s father except 6 feet tall and as tan as Fabio. I envision a half dirty house in Boca.
Then, within hesitation, reference to my teeth, or the application of one of those spittle bibs, he launches into this:
- DRS: So – ya’ married?
- Me: Nope
- DRS: Ya’ wanna be?
- Me: Eventually.
- DRS: I don’t think ya’ wanna be.
- Me: Excuse me?
- DRS: Ya very non-chalant about it… (At this point he’s started taking out the various pointy dental tools and arranging them on the tray.)
- Me: No, no, sorry – I would like someday to be married, but I don’t have a boyfriend right now.
- DRS: Interesting.
- Me: Why…do you know someone? (Two can play at this game)
- DRS: Sure – how ‘bout Miguel in the chair over there (he points to the extremely not sound-proof half- wall separating me from, apparently, Miguel)
- Me: Sshhh! He can hear you…
- DRS: What? You like ‘um deaf? (I laugh then think Shit — now I’ve encouraged him.)
- DRS: Well listen – I tell ya’ – I do know some people. But I think you gotta go online first.
- Me: Excuse me?
- DRS: You on Craigslist?
- Me: Craigslist? I’m not sure that’s a real dating site
- DRS: Sure it is – and a free one ta’ boot!
- Me: Oh, well, I’m not sure…
- DRS: I tell ya’ what’s wrong with you people.
- Me: What people?
- DRS: You young women people.
- Me: Oh. (Here we go….)
- DRS: You’re all just too all ova’ the place with ya’ profiles about ya’selves. Always I love to bicycle and read mystery novels and go to the beach and eat the sushi and work out three days a’ the week and small dogs and yadda yadda. It’s too much! (He throws one of the small pointy instruments on the floor in exclamation. I decide firmly that if he picks it up and tries to use it again in my mouth I will leave)
- DRS: I tell ya’ what ya’ needa’ do. You needa’ say: ‘Sometimes I like ta stay home and relax…sometimes I like ta’ party. You take me out, you find out more.’ And that’s it! Done!
- Me: Well I don’t…
- DRS: Nope! Done! That’s it! (Now he is flailing the electric toothbrush around wizzing flecks of that fake toothpaste all over the room as he makes his grand point)
- Me: Okay (it is not worth arguing with this man)
- DRS: So – ya’ set. You let me know how that works out for ya’ Now, do ya’ floss? Neva’ mind – ya’ don’t floss – I can see that plain as day…
And there you have it. Words of wisdom from an 80-some-year-old man who appears to have spent some time trolling the Craigslist want adds.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe that approach really is the way to hook a guy online.
Unfortunately I won’t be finding out or reporting back. According to Docta Sands I have no cavities and there’s nothin’ wrong with a little pink in the sink.
Next month I’ll be seeking a second opinion on the Upper East Side. I bet they don’t even know Craiglist exists.