A long time ago I used to have a number of useful skills such as the ability to darn socks, knit and sew.
These days I am not so fortunate, as life is too short to peel a grape, stuff a mushroom or prick your finger on a spindle.
“Please Mom! You promised!” she pleads. I look at my nine year old daughter, a sleepy beauty, who has more patience in her pinky than I have in my entire body. “Look, I even wrote you a note, a reminder, coz you keep forgetting.” I do not sigh. I read the carefully penned missive and place it on her cuddly tiger on the kitchen counter, a 3 foot carcass of striped fur. I give her a hug, “I promise that I’ll try and find a needle and thread today. That rip is getting bigger by the day.”
"I don't want his head to fall off!"
"Indeed, that would be most unfortunate."
I moan to spouse. “Life is too short to spend two hours in a dentist’s chair!”
“Take your book, you could do with the rest. Just try and relax!” He sounds irritated but I am more irritated.
I amend my never ending to do list with red ink:
1. sew head back on.
For some reason this strikes me as a little odd. He peers over my shoulder and grins. I do not smack his smug face, I merely pout, in time honoured fashion, as it’s too early in the morning to flounce to full effect.
After two hours of reading in the dentist’s chair I begin to doze. I tune out the buzz of dental equipment, the terrible movie with the volume on too loud and the hum of the air conditioning. It is so cold I could be fossilized before I ever get the chance to escape. I decide that hibernation provides the best means of survival and snuggle into my cardigan.
I think of the years I have spent thusly, horizontal and freezing regardless of the season. All the other patients are in shorts and T-shirts because we are in California. I wear long trousers, socks, a T-shirt and a cuddly, a thick fleece with a zip from crotch to chin. I wonder if they have any blankets on the premises? Maybe I should admit defeat and bring a sleeping bag next time, or would that cause undue offense? It seems I am their only reptilian client.
I debate why it should be that my daughter’s bedroom is a zoo, full of furry animals? Not a doll in sight but a menagerie of plush creatures. Any spare shilling she acquires is hoarded and then squandered on yet another fur ball. Who ever heard of a furry bee or snake or tortoise? Surely this will severely harm, if not warp, her ambition to be a vet?
“All done,” says a cheery voice calling me back from the lagoon. I am presented with my new retainer. “Let’s see if it fits?” he adds. I oblige. The plastic snaps into place securing my teeth in my mouth for another 11 months. “Sorry about the delay, but we needed to get it just right.” I smile, dozy and partially awake, the world is over populated with perfectionists.
Delay. Delay? Delay!
I glance at my watch and leap from my bed, to rush to the exit, “agh! I need a needle! I forgot the tiger in the kitchen!”
I wonder why no-one ever understands me?
And in my other "life."