Last week, I reluctantly agreed to receive the services of a student at the NYU School of Dentistry. The poorer I get, the less respect I have for myself. They made me sign forms stating that I had been informed that an inexperienced person would be putting hand held machinery in my mouth.
Then I had to sit with a counselor who said, “Welcome to NYU School of Dentistry. Believe me, you are not the only one second- guessing your decision to be here today. I feel confident saying that all of the student dentists are nervous wrecks who are riddled with self-doubt. Especially the English is a Second Language students! They are…………Well, the good news is, if these kids fuck up bad they’ll probably take a running leap off the side of the building while you’re still in the chair. Oh-kaaaaaaay, I think that is IT.”
I was assigned to Suki, a 23 year-old Asian female who slowly and carefully drilled a hole in my tooth while maintaining a one inch distance from my face, making confused grimaces, and muttering incessantly in an unidentified language. Oh yeah – every once in a while she’d say, “OK I be right back,” and run off to get direction from a superior.
I wanted to suggest they blindfold the patients so they don’t have to witness the emotional reactions of the student dentists’ hands-on training. But Suki had been overzealous about the whole Novocain thing, and had stuck me a good five times before she felt confident I was numb, thereby ruining my ability to voice any complaint.
When she was done, she told me I was a good patient. Without skipping a beat, I said, “Really? What about me makes me a good patient?” I have never met a compliment I didn’t want to know more about. Compliments make me curious. I wanted to make sure she hadn’t just thrown that out as some sort of chairside pleasantry. “You calm and patient. Some people, they… [laughs with trepidation] they mean and they not nice. You nice.”
I was not flattered. It’s not often I’m unsatisfied with a compliment, but “calm-patient-nice?” Yawn. I don’t know what I was expecting. She doesn’t even know me. I am file number 87435 with bicuspid decay.
On my way out I saw a muscle head Italian guy student dentist who was like mayor of the waiting room.
I asked who he was and the receptionist said "Tony, and he’s married"
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.