I just saw a commercial for www.christianmingle.com
It’s the site where God helps find you your perfect “mate.” I personally didn’t use the site when I found my sweet little match back in 1994. I was slinging lattes and toasting croissants; serving up apple pie and cinnamon twists when she walked in and ordered a cappuccino. She had actually been eyeing my best friend at the time, but it was me that could make foam like no other barista in town and somehow that, and the fact that I didn’t wear undies, won her over.
My partner is as solid as The Poconos.
No. More than that. She can leap tall buildings in a single bound. She’s as sturdy as the pyramids at Chichin itza and mightier than a hurricane. She has the ability to eat nails, at a picnic, all the while, smiling at how beautiful the surroundings are. She coaches her women’s basketball team like a tenacious barracuda; a relentless teacher and forceful presence; pushing her players to be fearless warriors in a treacherous sea. She can take a sliver out of her own palm, never wincing. She doesn’t crack when there’s no money in our bank account, even though it’s two weeks till the next payday. If the bastards at PG&E or Comcast screw us over on a bill, she calls them up, remains calm, cool, and collected throughout the entire conversation, and we get the refund.
If a tsunami were to hit our coastline, she’d not only have an excellent plan of escape; one that you and I could depend on, but she’d execute it in a composed, nonplussed manner.
When a situation that required muscle arose at the park, it was Ms. Barracuda that I sent to handle it. I remember it well. One evening right before sunset, Rafael was disturbing the peace and tranquility of our harmonious modular housing community; Ranting, raving and waving a Cesar Chavez flag. Neighbors began phoning in with complaints. Then there was a knock at our door. It was the teenage son of Rafael’s next-door neighbor, saying he felt there was going to be an eruption and he feared for his father’s well being if we didn’t go down and intercede. My partner went down. (I pulled our blinds and turned on a good murder mystery.)
As she approached the unit, she could hear what sounded like a carport of barking dogs and screaming children, but it turned out to be none other than Rafael, 3 sheets to the wind, and falling over his fold-up lawn chair. With the poise of a tightrope walker, she approached.
“Hey..Rafael. Everything okay?”
“ Oh…hiiiiiii (hissing sound like a German snake with a rat caught in its windpipe) hi...there …Winn…deeee.”
“Rafael…what’s goin on?”
(More hissing and lots more stumbling) “ Wiiiinnnnndeee…do you know what Guillermo said to me?? I…I...I’…m gunna kick his…”
“Geee…Air…Mo called my daughter una...lesbiana...a lesbiana and I’m gunna kick his ass…pendejo! Windeee, can you help me…porque he called her a…”
(A delayed pause)
“Well, Rafael, that’s actually not the worse thing your daughter could be.”
My partner, cool as a lesbian cucumber, answered calmly.
“I...love you Wiiiiindee….(hiss and drunken hacking sounds) I love …the managers…”
“Thanks, Rafael. We feel the same about you, but....”
“Do you know what my daughter said? She…(slurring, hissing and possibly slobbering) she said for me to come inside and go to bed.”
“I think you have a very smart daughter, Rafael, and you should take her advice.”
“NO! I already called…I called the sheriff and told the sheriff...”
“You what, Rafael? Look. Go inside and get some sleep and let’s talk in the morning.”
I’ll be damned if the sheriff pulls up, gets out of his rig, looking like Barney Fife, and greets Rafael by first and last name. (Obviously, they’d met before.)
“Mr. Anayo, you need to go inside your trailer or I’m going to have to write you up for disturbing the peace. Now get on inside.”
There are numerous more examples of my partner’s fearless bravery: burying dead mice, fixing technical difficulties because I hate reading the “How To” manuals, confronting residents who hate us, dealing with Jehovah Witnesses at the door…these are just a few examples of why I married her.
But there is one exception. There is one thing, the Queen of Composure is deathly frightened of; one situation that, just the thought of it, drains her of every damn ounce of suave and coolness and leaves, in its place, a pathetic puddle of panic.
My partner is petrified of the dentist.
I’ve never seen a grown woman avoid something to such an extreme degree. I mean the sound of that drill, the smell of that drill, the guy with the mask on leaning over you while you are strapped to the chair, flat on your back (or so it feels), his big ‘ole hands down your throat, and who can forget the shot! Holy Mother of God! I totally understand the yucky unpleasantness that borders violation with regard to going to the dentist. But I go AND I suck it up with the generic Novocain. But not my Buttercup. Just the mention of the “D” word sends her into a crazed frenzy and causes crocodile tears to form in the corners of her baby blues.
This is where I stepped in; where I became the parent. I began with a Deepak Chopra approach; gently explaining that her issues and concerns are real, universal, valid and that I am here to support her in a loving and understanding way. Then I took a more Margaret Cho approach and told her to get over it and woman-up because rotten teeth are unacceptable for a girl with a Master’s degree in Psychology. I then acted quickly and found the solution:
It took the dangling of a huge carrot and some secret ‘favor-promises’ to get her to the first consultation. (At Sleep Dentistry, they give you several consultations, in order to establish a feeling of trust and tranquilly between them and their patients.)I sat in the waiting room through each one of her consultations, thumbing through Yogi Times, with the other parents.
Months and consultations went by before the first x-rays were taken. The verdict was in. She had MAJOR dental issues to address and fix, and many appointments would be needed. The news sent “the barracuda” straight into denial and another6 months passed before she phoned back to schedule her first appointment.
Day of First Appointment/Misc. Examples of Future Appointments
Prior to “the day” the patient is sent a lovely card. The front of the card had butterflies and purple irises. The inscription inside welcomes you and assures you the path you are on is a healthy one, and that you will be pain-free through the procedures. The morning of the procedure, the patient takes a pill (given at the final consultation) one hour before the scheduled appointment time. The patient must have a designated driver there and back.
She hadn’t slept at all the night before. She took her “happy pill” at 6:00 am.I didn’t think it had any affect on her until, at about 7:00 am, when we were getting into the car. I looked at her and happened to notice a little bit of drool and a weird smile on her face…She says to me in an equally weird voice, “I like your ass in those jeans.” (Okay, that’s nice, but I was wearing baggy sweats.)
The ride to the office took about 30 minutes and for the first time in 17 years, she didn’t complain about my driving. So, I asked, “How’s my driving, babe?”
“Great.” She answered, seeming content to just stare out the window. (I love the “happy pill.”)
As you enter the waiting room of Sleep Dentistry, elevator music plays softly and the air is filled with the smell of cinnamon and apples. Everybody whispers. The receptionist greets us in a quiet, delicate Stepford Wife voice and encourages us to relax and have a seat. There are various healing journals throughout the room; a counter with fresh fruit, a coffee maker and hot cider with cinnamon sticks floating at the top. Everyone is smiling.
A nurse eventually comes to escort her back behind the door to the “frown-free zone” and I am instructed to keep my phone on so they can call me 15 minutes before she is ready to go home. I leave but not before noticing my partner is chuckling it up with the nurse as if they were old college pals.
The Drive Home
So, when the dirty work was over, the nurse, who is now Wen’s bff, escorts her to the car. They hug one another. The nurse seems so proud of her, which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. They are smiling and exchanging happy thoughts as happy people often do. I am given strict orders: She must go home, rest, drink lots of water, soft foods only, and no alcohol for 24 hours. She assured me they’d be calling to check on her in a couple of hours.
The drive home began pleasurable enough. My partner put her chair all the way back, closed her eyes and appeared to be sleeping. There’s something I neglected to mention to y’all and that is that my partner is as stubborn as she is valiant, and with eyes shut, here’s what comes out of her mouth:
“Take me to work.” (She’s slurring like Rafael.)
“No way! You’re not going to work! Are you f*cking kidding me?”
“I gotta work. It’s the last day of the semester. Just take me there.”
You have absolutely no idea what that ride back was like but I’ll tell you this…I had zero chance in hell of winning.
“I’m going to stop by Erik’s Deli and get you some soup.”
I did both; I got her soup and took her to work.
Several hours later, her assistant brings her home.
Evidently, she fell asleep on her office floor for quite a long period of time. During practice, she set up her chair in the middle of the gym floor rather than on the sidelines. She has absolutely no recollection of eating her soup.
These types of escapades continued for several more appointments in much the same way. I got lots of compliments the mornings of the procedure. My driving was exemplary the mornings of the procedure. And she had no recollection of work on those days, even though she went. But let me tell ya, I love Sleep Dentistry! It’s the bomb and I highly recommend it to all the babies out there who wear an exterior of Superman or Bionic Woman because it takes you in its loving arms, gases you up and sends you to La La Land, all the while, taking care of your dental problems.
You betcha. That’s all for today, folks.
Keep smiling and showing the world those pearly whites.
Happy, Happy, Happy to you!
Causes Valerie Fern Supports
AFRP (Animal Friends Rescue Project), POMDR (Peace of Mind Dog Rescue)
CWOB (Compassion Without Borders)
Bead For Life...