in other news of the rather unrefined

Today I had my first dental cleaning in oh, four years or so. No reason for the delay, given Ralph and the kids have been seeing their practitioners without interruption since we moved from PT – just, Mama takes care of herself last (sometimes). I enjoyed my PT dentist (a very gentle, whisper-thin fellow who smelled and looked exactly the same the many years I frequented him. Looking back, he may have been a cyborg) but this office looks pretty good and seems to be keeping up on current methods and equipment. Today my appointment was with a hygienist for a cleaning and periodontal survey. It think she found me a low maintenance client if a bit interrogatory. She’d take instruments out of my mouth and I’d repeat my understanding of the lingual or facial surfaces, or ask about the Michigan O probe measurements (mostly 2s, w00t!), or question how exactly they did quantify gum recession (as it turns out, through recognition of the CEJ). First she said I was “smart to catch all that”. Then I was “very observant!” Finally: “You’re good! You should go to hygienist school!”

After an hour my teeth felt great and I, relieved things hadn’t gone all Tooth Beaver in my hiatus from dentalwork, called Ralph to pick me up. We headed to Aberdeen in the torrential downpour to acquire groceries. Veteran’s Day: the store was busy and lots of people were driving their carts with their faces fixed in sour expressions. Stacks of packed pumpkin and marshmallow pillows and boxes of stuffing mix – I forget Thanksgiving is coming right up. We got hamburger and broccoli and milk and eggplant. We ran into a friend who suggested I look at offering a sewing class at the local alternative high school.

Driving home from our post-grocery lunch date (hot coffee, beef stew special at the Ale House) I ask Ralph, in half-despair, half-jest, “Do you want me to get a job? Then we could afford a car.”

“We can afford a car,” he tells me.

“This isn’t… affording. It’s falling apart around us,” I respond, half-crankily, carefully moving my feet around in the soggy footwell.

“We could afford one. We could go to a used car place and get a loan and bring home a two or three-thousand dollar car,”  he replies. (He’s so smart!)

“Well why don’t we do that?” I ask, jovially.

“Because then we’d have three.” This is true (seriously, if we could fix the other one before the one-year mark I’d feel awesome); we already have a cat-farm, we don’t need a car-farm.

“We could sell the silver Mercedes to that one guy. You know the one that had his clothes covered in grease, and was smoking and standing in our driveway staring at me?”

A brief pause and then Ralph and I start laughing. I keep remembering laughter is good for your body. It certainly feels good, maybe especially because I struggle when the weather starts putting us in the house day after day. Last night Ralph and I ended up abandoned by the kids (they were running their own Minecraft server) and finishing an episode of “MonsterQuest” together. There was a series of scenes involving a polygraph test: the test administer would sit behind the locals who’d reported seeing a beast and he would ask them all these questions then watch the computerized sensor bio-feedback readings during the interview. The problem was, the examiner himself looked like he was lying. Like he’d ask a question and at the very end his beady brown eyes would shift entirely laterally to look the back of the head of the person answering. “Are you lying about seeing some hominid creatures in the woods?” *shift* “Did you report seeing creatures in the woods to the sheriff?” *shift* Every time, he wouldn’t move his head, he just looked furtive. * shift * I started laughing and I couldn’t stop. Tears came out of my eyes and I had to put my head under the covers.

Today when I ask Ralph a question I slide my eyes at him keeping my head real still, but I’m not sure if he knows what I’m doing.