Thanks For Sharing

Well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and I’m grateful for many things, not the least of which is no longer having a strange man taking up residence in my kitchen. “A strange man?” I hear you say. “How intriguing!” Let me assure you that it was not. Here’s the story:

A few weeks ago, I got sick of looking at how worn my kitchen cabinets looked. They’re painted white but chipping everywhere because the original owners of the house didn’t get them properly primed. The cost of replacing all the cabinets was astronomical, so we hired a company to paint them. Enter Mike, he of the numerous tattoos, faux-hawk, effusive personality, and, despite him being the same age as Ken and me, numerous children under the age of 5 who kept him “running around like crazy”. Mike assured us when we signed the contract that in 3 days, with his spray technology and oil-based lacquer, we would have “a brand new kitchen.” But on the night before he was due to start painting, he called to tell me that he had come down with shingles and was running behind schedule. Bear in mind that we had to take every single thing out of the kitchen to prepare for the spraying and the house now looked like a disaster zone:

Me: I’m so sorry to hear that.
Mike: Ya, it’s super painful. Worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I’ve broken every bone in my body,
Me: Wow.
Mike: Ya. And if I can be honest with you, I MANSCAPE, and let me tell you, it hurts like hell.
Me:

And I don’t know what it is about me that compels people to tell me very private things, things that I really don’t want to know, but it happens all the time

Like the tattoo artist that Kate and I went to (my fifth tattoo—the Tree of Life, and her first, a cool graphic she designed herself). It was a reputable parlour, but the artist himself was a little off kilter. My appointment was before hers, and the tattooist, a very short man with a slight build, regaled me with stories about his “Chippendales dancing days”, where he claimed that he “didn’t have a great body like the rest of the guys”, but he “had the best moves”. I was like “Uh huh” and silently begging him not to demonstrate. Then when he was tattooing Kate, he launched into this gem:

Tattoo Guy: My sixteen-year-old stepson just got his first girlfriend.
Me: Oh, that’s nice.
Tattoo Guy: Yeah, I found a condom wrapper on the floor of his room.
Me: Gosh.
Tattoo Guy: So I said, “Where did you get a condom from, anyway?” And he said, “I found it on the path.” So I told him, “NEVER use a condom that you found on the path.”
Me: Words to live by, that’s for sure.
Tattoo Guy: I know, right?

Then there was the last time I went to the dentist. I’ve been going to the same dentist for years, but I didn’t realize that they have a completely different staff on Saturdays. The receptionist WASN’T Nina, for starters, although the Saturday receptionist seemed quite nice. But when the hygienist, Cindy, came out, I became more suspicious. “Where’s Serenity?” I asked. Let me just tell you that Serenity has been my hygienist for many years. She’s a lovely woman, and completely suits her name. We like all the same TV shows, and she has a wonderful knack of carrying on a two-sided conversation about Sons of Anarchy or Better Call Saul with me, even with her hands in my mouth, kind of like this:

“Did you see the latest episode of _____?”

“Eh—i wa o ood”

“I know, right? Could you believe it when____?”

“I ow. I uz azy.”

The new, unfamiliar hygienist said, in a very bubbly voice, “Oh, she’s on her honeymoon. But she doesn’t work Saturdays anyway.”

Well, all right. Cindy seemed very professional and competent, so I decided to give it a go. I got comfortably seated, and then the deluge began. By the time we were done, I literally knew EVERYTHING about Cindy’s life: where she went to high school, how she met her husband, his career ups and downs, their respective families and where they all lived…she was very entertaining, and the appointment just flew by. I don’t think she actually took a breath for 25 minutes. But the best part was this:

“So my husband lost over 80 pounds in the last year. I’d known him for so long that the weight just crept up on us, then one day, he decided to lose 30 pounds, but I think he got addicted to weight loss because now he’s really thin and worries about his skin flaps but I just keep telling him to tone up and not worry about the weight. He ran his first marathon last year. The only thing is that I REALLY like to snack and I NEVER gain weight, but if there’s snack food in the house, he’ll binge-eat it all so I have to hide it. I had this really great hiding place in the baking cupboard, but somehow he found it and ate everything and I know he MUST have been looking for it because why would he be in the baking cupboard since he never bakes, right? So then I was hiding all my snack food in the car, but now it’s getting too warm and I’m worried things will melt or go bad. So the other day, I found the perfect spot, and if he finds it, I’ll KNOW he’s been deliberately looking, because I put everything in a TAMPAX BOX IN THE GUESTROOM BATHROOM. If those chocolate bars disappear, I’ll know he was searching the house for food, because why would he want a tampon, right? My only worry is that I might have a girlfriend staying over and she might need a tampon, and then she’d be like, “Is this what you’ve been using? How does THAT work?”

I didn’t know who to feel more sorry for—her, her poor snackless husband, or the unsuspecting house guest. At any rate, I was laughing so hard that I barely felt my gums being ripped open by the assortment of picks in her arsenal. And I had no cavities. Yay me.

As for the kitchen, despite Mike’s promises, he didn’t finish until end of day Friday. The cabinets look great, all fresh and white. Some areas of the walls are also white, as is the perimeter of the ceiling and a lot of the window panes because the one thing Mike DIDN’T tell me was that he was an indiscriminate sprayer. Which, I suppose, I should be grateful for.

And please don’t feel sorry for that sad-looking puppy. He just ate, and thinks if he pushes his empty food bowl into the middle of the floor, someone will feed him again. He’s such a little trickster:-)

My Week 163: Drama at the Dentist, Titus Has a Hallowe’en Surprise For Us

I’ve never had a problem going to the dentist. I mean, like most people, I don’t enjoy having someone else’s hands in my mouth (already I can hear the voices saying “Speak for yourself”—this is a PG site, so back off), but I’m not petrified, and I don’t avoid going like some people. In my previous workplace, we had a great dental plan, but there were so many people with really awful teeth that it seemed like a lot of people avoided the dentist like the plague, which is the time period when, I believe, that dentists were invented and were used mostly for implanting dead peoples’ teeth into rich peoples’ mouths. I used to work with a guy who was so scared of the dentist that he had to have laughing gas just for a cleaning. I had laughing gas only once, when I had my wisdom teeth out, and all I remember is that it was the surgeon’s birthday and he had helium balloons in the corner, which were apparently the funniest f*cking thing I had EVER seen, to the point where he got really mad and said, “Stop laughing!” And I was like, “This is your fault, you hilarious bastard!” then he hooked me up to an IV and I don’t remember anything after that, except that having your wisdom teeth pulled out REALLY takes the smile off your face. But even THAT experience didn’t sour me on dentistry. Apparently, according to my dentist, I have “boring teeth”, which might sound like an insult, but he said it’s way better than HIS teeth—he’s had three root canals, four crowns, and multiple fillings, which is weird because you’d think with all his access to floss and sh*t that he’d be completely tuned up. I really wanted to ask if he did the repair work himself, like that Mr. Bean show where he gets sick of waiting for the dentist and starts messing with the dentist’s tools and ends up drilling into several teeth, but he had his hands in my mouth so I couldn’t.

Mostly our conversations involve him griping about the fact that I’m allergic to latex so he has to wear vinyl gloves “just for me” and “they don’t fit properly and they’re hard to get on because there’s no powder”. And that’s a way worse inconvenience than me swelling up and choking, which is why I left my last dentist, who was like “there’s no such thing as a latex allergy—stop being a baby and breathe properly”. Yesterday though, my current dentist was quite pleased because he’s got these new blue gloves that are more comfortable. Of course, he still came in the room with the latex ones on, but my hygienist gave him this crazy signal like she was swatting at bee or something and he came back with the non-death-inducing ones.

I love my hygienist. Her name is Harmony, and she’s very much like her name. We like all the same TV shows, and manage to talk about them while she has sharp hooks in my mouth. I’ve been going to her for several years, and there’s never been an incident until yesterday, which simply proves that the universe is spinning out of control. We were discussing the finer points of “Game of Thrones,” and we have this system where she says something, and then I wait until she clears her hands before I answer. She does this regularly, so our timing is usually pretty good, but yesterday, she was like “Could you believe that scene at the end with Sansa?” and I waited a second, then started to respond with, “I know, right?!” when GASP!

Me: Oh my god! I just bit you!
Harmony: Uh, it wasn’t hard.
Me: I’ve never bitten ANYONE before!
Harmony: It’s OK. I’ve actually been bitten before. Usually by little kids. They bite a lot harder.
Me: I’m so sorry.
Harmony: Seriously, it wasn’t that bad.

But then, at the end of the appointment, she told me that she might not be working there any longer, because she had an interview to be an “International Dental Recruiter”. And I pictured her going home and saying to her husband, “It was the last straw. If I can’t even count on mydangblog not to bite me like some insane middle-aged vampire, what’s the point? I gave her some bullsh*t story about becoming an International Dental Recruiter” and he would be like, “What the hell is an International Dental Recruiter?” and Harmony would say, “I just made that sh*t up. I’m done, Stan.” (I don’t know if her husband’s name is actually Stan, but I could totally hear her saying “Stan” in her voice.)

Anyway, I’m sad at being all bite-y and forcing my hygienist to find a new job, but then again, it also just occurred to me that I’ve been going to Harmony for years, and she never looks older than 25. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her reflected in that tiny mirror she uses for checking the backs of my teeth, and sometimes, she digs a little too hard with the pick and it makes my gums bleed, but when she says sorry, she sound a little too cheerful. So who’s the vampire now, HARMONY?

Hallowe’en Surprise

Me: I can’t believe that, out of all the candy you gave out, all we have left are a bunch of mini-Mr. Goodbars and Wunderbars. I’ve never even heard of either of them. What happened to all the Aeros and Kitkats?!
Ken: I don’t know. I tried to be random…
Me: What the hell is a Wunderbar anyway?
Ken: Ooh, it’s yummy. It tastes like chocolate and butter.
Me: What?! That’s gross. Give me one…ohhh, that’s actually quite tasty. But still. What happened to all the candy?
Ken: I left some packets of Swedish berries on the counter for you. Just because you ate them already, don’t get mad at me.
Me: No, you didn’t. There were ZERO packages of any type of decent candy on the counter.
Ken: Yes, I DID. They were right there…
Titus (clears throat): Ahem. I thought those were for me.
Me: You ate my Swedish Berries?
Titus: Were they yours? They were delicious.
Me: Were there any Fuzzy Peaches?
Titus: There may or may not have been some Fuzzy Peaches.
Me: Dammit—I love the Fuzzy Peaches!
Ken: What happened to the wrappers? I don’t see them anywhere.
Titus: Oh, you’ll be seeing them eventually. Trick or treat.