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Real or Artificial?

November 16, 2010

I was talking with a friend the other day and we were discussing Christmas cards. In particular, the family photos for Christmas cards. And I realized that this blog is kind of like that Christmas card family photo where everyone is smiling and wearing nice clothing and sitting in front of the fireplace.

That photo is bullshit. And this blog is mostly written without sharing the shit behind the Christmas card family photo.

Has been for years.

In case you didn’t already know that.

Anyhoodle, I went to the dentist this morning and I didn’t know it was going to give me such an emotional response.

I went to the dentist a few days before I started chemo because I heard that was a good thing to do. Make sure my teeth were up-to-date before the chemo did it’s best to mess them up. And mess them up, it did. My teeth were thick with plaque. So thick that pieces chipped off and hit me on the face. I’ve never had plaque like that before. The dental hygienist had her work cut out for her and she did a great job.

The emotional part came when the dentist came in to see me. I had to spend the several minutes trying not to cry because she is so kind and was so concerned about what I’d gone through. She’s a great dentist and an incredibly gentle soul, as is her husband, who is also a dentist that I see at the practice. I just wanted to tell her to stop being so nice but I would have burst into tears so I let her do most of the talking and held myself together until I got to the car.

Fucking cancer.

I’ve been wanting my teeth whitened and opted for the custom trays and gel home-kit. I had impressions made of my teeth and go back next week to pick them up and get started. This method takes just a few days to get whiter and once my teeth are white enough, I’ll only  have to do it again once or twice a year. So I’ll have the custom-made teeth trays and just have to purchase the gel. I get four syringes of gel but will probably only need two to get to the whiteness I want. The other two I can use months down the road. I think the total cost is around $250.

Our dentist’s office has four chairs that are blocked from view of each other by large cabinets that contain the x-ray machines and other dentisty stuff. I was stuck between two very chatty old folks. I don’t know how the hygienists could get anything done what with all the chatting about Door County, turkeys, and all sorts of old people chitter chatter. Jesus. Shut up! Both of them had to get the list of tooth polishing flavors because mint is just too dull for their thrilling lives, I guess. The old guy opted for cherry and the old woman couldn’t decide but narrowed the choices down to raspberry, strawberry, or orange. “You decide,” she told the hygienist. God, I’d hate that job.

I was meeting a friend for lunch after the dentist but I got close to the restaurant about a half hour too early so I hit Bachman’s nursery  to look at Christmas stuff.

the Big Nugget and I fight every year about our Christmas tree. I want artificial, he wants real. Guess who decorates it and waters it every fricking day?

That would be me, in case you couldn’t guess.

When I rounded a corner at Bachman’s and caught sight of a kitschy aluminum tree, I had to take a closer look. Imagine my surprise when it was originally priced at $99.99 but marked down to $69! I knew it was my destiny, that aluminum tree, so I bought it. If the Big Nugget wants a real tree, he’s welcome to go out and get himself a real tree. Me, I’m in charge of aluminum tree maintenance, only.

It’s not a tree of great quality and I suppose I might only have it for a few  years but $69 spread out over a few years is cheaper than the $50 ish we drop on a stupid real tree every damn year. Now I just have to figure out a way to get the damn cats to stop biting on it. They’re going to eat the aluminum garland that is wrapped around the “branches”. Damn cats. I think I’ll buy them squirrel costumes for Christmas.

God, I’m feeling bitchy right now. Stupid emotional cancer and my fake Christmas card photo family.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosie permalink
    November 16, 2010 7:48 pm

    Holy Jeebus! I just about wet myself when you mentioned buying the cats squirrel costumes! That was a true classic. And no, no one’s life is really what it shows on the Christmas Card picture, is it? If people only knew…and thank heavens they don’t.

  2. November 16, 2010 7:54 pm

    If you buy the cats squirrel costumes, and Stella sees them…. look out!

  3. November 16, 2010 9:08 pm

    As you know, I have no personal experience with Christmas trees. I do know people who spend all spring planting trees so that a given number of years from now they will still have live trees to cut down for Christmas.

    But when I was in college, we were required to have an artificial, fireproof, tree in our lounge. (Even the Jewish sororities had them. Jewish girls didn’t want to be thought politically incorrect.) The biggest debate over the d***d tree was whether we should try for a green one that looked sorta real or just give us and get a silver one. And even after the prsiding officer of the house declared the matter decided, there were still girls re-opening discussion — at a meeting that had begun at 10:30 p.m., when we knew all the girls would be present.

    Well, I guess I won’t be politically incorrect either. I hope you enjoy your tree and your holiday. Just know that I don’t care which kind you decorate. 8)

  4. November 16, 2010 10:08 pm

    I remember when we were kids we had the silver tree with the electric color wheel that would change the color of the tree….sort of.

  5. Gretchen permalink
    November 17, 2010 10:47 am

    Last year my sister took our little old ancient silver Christmas tree from when we were kids, put white lights and brown (I think) balls on it (that sounds dirty but it’s not) and it looked so nice. I would not have guessed anything could make that tree look good. She’s like Martha Stewart with that stuff, it drives me nuts. She got all the decorating talent in the family.

  6. November 17, 2010 11:28 am

    I had those teeth-whitening dealies like you have –they worked very well — it was horrible having the moulds made though, I gagged with that gunk in my mouth — anyway for some years afterward I’d just get a couple syringes and use them for a couple days once or twice a year. You know how it says to leave them in for a specific # of minutes? Well you don’t yet, but you will. Anyway, last time I used it, before the time was up my gums were stinging a little, and stupid me, instead of whipping the trays out immediately and rinsing my mouth, I held out for the full recommended time. The result was that it caused my gums to recede a little. Yeah. So if your gums start stinging, get that shit out of there!

    I understand about focusing on the publicly palatable for blog entries. It can be a real balancing act to protect the privacy of yourself and your loved ones and yet be honest about your life and share real experiences that may well be common to most readers, who might benefit (not might; DO benefit) from discovering that they are not the only ones who seethe at their husbands and hate their mothers-in-law and cry themselves to sleep some nights. Journals on the web that have found that balance are few and far between. My blog is read by my family members, old friends, and neighbours I have never even met. I don’t hang the dirty laundry out anymore.

  7. November 17, 2010 12:35 pm

    That’s why I haven’t been updating my journal! I just figgered it out this morning! I want to write, but every time I sit down to do it, there IT is, right there in the fore-front, the thing I don’t want to write about. I’m writing a little on facebook, I’ll email you a link. Also, regarding real or fake christmas trees, I feel your pain, we even went as far as buying LIVE trees with 400 lb ROOT BALLS attached, which we dragged, causing multiple hernias, into our house for a week, and then it took up 43,000 square feet in the garage for the next 18,000 months, until the ground thawed enough to dig a 783,000 acre HOLE for the thing… We did that 4 years in a row, 2 of the trees survived, and I’m still not sure I like them all that much to keep them growing in my yard for the next 50 years… Booo. And I hate looking at our annual family christmas photos right now too. Not because the happiness was fake, but because it was very real…

  8. Sue permalink
    November 17, 2010 1:47 pm

    My husband’s cousin used to send a Christmas letter every year with her card telling us what their family had been up to in the past year. They have 4 kids. Every year, I’d tell my husband I could not believe how perfect their life was. Our kids weren’t bad, but were never on the high honor roll, never were student of the month, never went on mission trips to Honduras, etc., etc. Well, once those 4 kids got to be young adults, we stopped getting the Christmas letter. In fact, we didn’t even get a Christmas card for a couple years. Come to find out, everything wasn’t so perfect anymore. I didn’t act smug or anything, I just felt like saying to them “Welcome to the real world!”

  9. November 17, 2010 2:34 pm

    i bought a tabletop pre-lit silver tree, along with some blue mini ornaments. i have a bunch of smaller trees that i plan on putting all over the house. i’ve even got a tiny one for the counter in the 1/2 bath.

    my husband bought a white christmas tree with white lights. i can’t wait to have some pink and brown balls on it and adding some gingerbread men ornaments.

    we used to get a christmas letter from my mother’s childhood friend when i was little. she always said that her 2 boys were doing fine. nothing else.

    turns out, all those years they were doing fine, they were in jail for robbing a bank. i guess things were fine because neither of them dropped the soap

  10. Jean permalink
    November 17, 2010 5:10 pm

    A silver tree! Yes!!! With lime green and fuschia bulbs and a string of lights that look like chili peppers or bass or something off the wall like that! Picture! We must have a picture!

    I’m a chicken about the teeth whitening thing – I heard somewhere that it can make your teeth REALLY sensitive. Maybe it’s an urban legend, but I’m too afraid to try. Let us know, will ya?

    The everlovin’ holiday letter. I admit, I write one, but it’s really just a vehicle to send the kid’s pictures without sending actual pictures. I try to make it funny and more than a little self deprecating.

    Hey, that’s an idea for a blog post – my REAL holiday letter….

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