Today I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned. As much as I hate the discomfort, indignity, invasion of personal space, and 40+ years now Ive been nagged about flossing..,

The whole time, she was singing o little town of bethlehem and little drummer boy and what child is this? Jesus H Christ! Then leaving I stopped at the grocery store next door. That goddam bell ringing - what did they do, a study to dicsover the most grating sound in the universe? Then the grocery store with the worst christmas songs ever - The Carpenters meet Barry Maniloe or something!

All I could envision was Marlin Brando in Apocolypse Now.... The horror! The horror!

When will it all end? Arrrrggghhhh!!!

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A real horror! Dentists have a way of making you speechless and then you're at their mercy: I always have to listen to very old-fashioned sex jokes. I COULD bite him...

And the supermarkets are horrible; I'm specializing in highspeed shopping so I miss most of the crap music.

A real horror! Dentists have a way of making you speechless and then you're at their mercy: I always have to listen to very old-fashioned sex jokes. I COULD bite him...

I have a very nice woman dentist who I enjoy chatting with.

I saw a male dentist once who seemed extremely sexist.  He talked to me in a very condescending sort of singsongy way, simplifying everything as if I were very stupid, similar to baby-talk - the whole time.  He talked to his (female) staff in somewhat a similar way.

It's always hard to tell in a specific instance if you're being treated with prejudice - you just know women are treated with less respect on average.  But it's hard to imagine an adult male patient being talked to with that singsongy baby-talk, dripping with condescending simplifications. 

I do think about the issues between the sexes.  I understand issues of persecution and privilege.  As it happened, this office was about 90% female.  The hygienist, and the dentist, were women.  Every dental hygienist I have ever had were women.  So I don't know what a male hygienist would have done.  

I don't know if there is a sense of same-gender bonding in such situations.  Maybe.  Probably.  I work in a healthcare office.  Most women patients there express preference for women as their providers, and many men express preference for men.  For that matter, with the ethnic mix where work, many Filipinos gravitate to Filipino providers, Russians gravitate to Russian providers, and Chinese to Chinese providers.  Generic whites, I don't know how many,  but some express that preference too.  LGBT patients often ask if there is an LGBT provider, and for good reason since many have experienced outright judgement and prejudice.  I know Mormons who seek a Mormon provider, and other Christians network in their churches to find someone of their preference.  Back to gender, the place where I work is about 50:50 gender split (the providers.  Management and assistants is about 95% female) , so it's usually possible to provide people what they want gender-wise, although many of the women providers close their practices to women when the numbers are above 60% or so, because they claim men are less work to take care of.  

At this appointment, I did feel like I was being handled roughly, rudely,and somewhat written off.  I wondered if she was anxious to get off early for the holiday and resented me for being in the way of that.  

Whatever unconscious signals I may give off unawares, I do my best to be polite and friendly to everyone, and this was no exception.  Was she reading my unconscious mannerisms and annoyance about the christmas carols?  I did not consciously express anything about the carols.  Hard to do when your mouth is being invaded by tools and ultrasound cleaners and sharp objects.  Was she just a self centered jerk?  Was it just, some people just aren't a good match together?  I don't know, but it was a more miserable appointment than usual.  And I have good teeth, all of them, no cavities in the past 40+ years.

All the while with the humming of those asinine christmas carols.  Something I had no choice about.  I was exhausted after the visit, and felt both down and irritated, although I tried to express the christmassy part of it with humor.

When i made my appointment for 6-month follow up, I did ask for a different hygienist.

I do think about the issues between the sexes.  I understand issues of persecution and privilege.

Well it seems as a woman I never get to grow up or be treated with respect. I'm in my 50's, and a man in his 50's is generally regarded as having achieved something, knowing things, grown up. Having gravitas.  This dentist was almost talking to me like "Aww! Poochikins got a boo-boo!" That was his general tone.

Dentists are quite close to you.  Their face is right next to yours, more so than with a doctor.  So it makes sense that people would want a dentist similar to them, more so than with a doctor.  I have male doctors - there's more of them to choose from. 

 I did not consciously express anything about the carols.

Some hint might have worked excellently at stopping it, though.  She was probably just singing to amuse herself.  Most people would stop right away if they got some sort of negative remark.  A song request for something you'd like to hear might have worked :)
Once my dentist had terribly bad breath and she didn't know it :( She probably had some stinky germs in her throat... and I didn't know how to tell her, I just kept wincing when she laughed and puffed out bad breath. Luckily she had figured it out by the next time I saw her.

I do think about the issues between the sexes.  I understand issues of persecution and privilege.

Same for me Luara, very often. Still, even now that I'm almost 60.  And I also wonder if I get the ´child´treatment because I'm rather short - 1.55 M. - but I try to keep my cool and often ask, "I beg your pardon?" Most of the time they behave a little better then.

Well, I find the innocuous, happy, celebratory nature of Christmas carols a welcome relief from the  messages we get the rest of the year from Christianity.

And the “stories” about changes of heart, discovery of love, kindness, generosity, the “spirit of giving”, season of sharing, etc. are also an about-face from the regular  religious dispatches.

The trend to extending the “holidays” from, like, Labor Day to, say, Memorial Day might not be a bad idea.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if Christians behaved year-round like they do at Christmas time?

Personally am glad they don't behave this way year-round. I have not seen any reports of fistfights standings shootings or other forms of violence when people go shopping on the Fourth of July or any other holiday. If like most Christians, they pick a day to be "holy, loving and so forth" like Sunday. Then they spend the rest of their time treating their fellow man like crap. What more can I say? in any comment on "And the “stories” about changes of heart, discovery of love, kindness, generosity, the “spirit of giving”, season of sharing, etc. are also an about-face from the regular  religious dispatches." These changes, etc. have about as much staying power as most people's New Year's resolutions.

Years ago I worked as a clerk in a pharmacy. This was back in the day of the eight track tapes. For those of you who have no clue about eight track tapes picture of plastic box. Not quite as big as a paperback book. You plug this into machine and it played nonstop until you pulled out. The pharmacist was a fan of country Western music and I think he only had one tape. Now don't get me wrong, I'll listen to just about anything but eight hours of Kitty Wells. "He done me wrong." Or Hank Williams. "When you left, you took my dog and I'm sure going to miss him." And on and on and on. Well you get my point. The owner of the store eventually grabbed.the tape and threw it in the dumpster when the pharmacist was out to lunch. Now I am just about immune to any sort of Muzak.

Romin, wow, 8-track tapes?  I remember having an 8-track player in my Ford Maverick.  I thought they were a wonderful innovation, and cassette tapes would never take off.

I listened as I drove down the interstate in southern Illinois, viewing the herds of Mastodons roaming the prairies.   I miss those Mastodons.  The Maverick rusted out so fast I felt like it left a powdery brown trail like Hansel and Gretel with their cookies.

I don't mind feeling old. I'm happier now than I was then.  And I can thrill the young with tales of those days of yore.  Thank you for reminding me!

A maverick. Wow! I had a Gremlin. I lived on Long Island and managed to keep it from rusting out by once a week going to the local you clean carwash and rinsing out the wheel wells and underbody to get the salt out. It came stock with an AM radio and I put in an FM converter. Do you remember those? I did not have a tape deck in the car, but I had a portable cassette player on the seat. When I wasn't listening to music I was listening to recordings of college lectures. I used to do this during rush hour.

We didn't have mastodons on Long Island, but I used to drive next to the great ice sheets that came down from the north..

Sometimes when I tell young people about some of the things I did back then I get the impression that when they leave they roll their eyes and say sssuuurrre!

You're welcome for the reminder. BTW, I don't think I know anyone who actually owned a Maverick. I thought that was a myth perpetrated by Ford.

My turn - a Gremlin - Wow!  


Ford tried to perpetuate the myth that they were making cars.  Maverick was more than an urban legend.  Mine looked like this.  This isn't mine.  Well it might be, after I sold it.  If they spackled and painted some of the rusted out areas.  If you leave the windows open, chickens might use as a nice place to lay eggs.


What's worse is after that I had a Dodge Charger. Not the cool looking Duke's of Hazard big Charger. The later one that was kind of a little Mitsubushi with a dark paint job. It worked fine, going downhill in 1st or 2nd, or if you put it in reverse and went backward you could go uphill.  It wouldn't start on cold days.

Not mine.  Mine didn't look this good.

On the other hand, I thought Gremlins were really cool.  Too bad AMC went under.

Believe it or not, I worked for a company that had a fleet of delivery cars and as the office manager I had to pick of the litter, so to speak. I had one of those chargers and it had the Daytona package. I think instead of a mouse they put a rat on the wheel. On a good day I could out run a toddler on the wheel.

Yeah, I really loved my Gremlin.It had the big six (256 cubic inches). I put coil springs over the shocks. I had replaced the factory shocks with Gabriel striders, which were adjustable (soft, medium, firm). I also put slightly larger tires on it and built a custom exhaust system. On the interior I put in gauges because the only instruments were idiot lights. I added an oil pressure gauge and a tachometer. Interestingly enough, I ordered it from the factory with a floor shift instead of the "three on the tree." Another thing was at that time. If you remember they had switch under the seat. Both driver and passenger that you could not start the car unless the seat belt with buckle. A disconnected that because I did not need to be told to wear seatbelts. That's just good sense. I didn't want some stupid switch foisted upon me by government that thought they knew better. As a matter of fact, before I ownedthis car. I had a 1963 Pontiac Catalina convertible they did not have seatbelts and I installed them.

Anyway, this is fun talking about those days.


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