Dr. Dentist

I am up again, not having a husband is exhausting on too many levels. I have to do something I hate to do. I have to fire someone, a professional someone. I have to fire my dentist. She is a stalker that does not abide by societal rules and I must fire her. I have tried to fire her four or five times already, so clearly I suck and I can’t dismiss her. If Peter were here we or I would not have this problem but he’s not and I do. She calls me at all hours of the day, on my cell phone, to remind me that I have yet to book a cleaning for my offspring. My fear of this current dentist has elevated my fear of dentists to another level. When my dentist’s calls begin, it starts with my land line, she calls and usually Bronny checks the caller I.D. She looks at the phone’s screen, then looks at me with disgust written all over her face, knowing full well two truths.

  1. If Daddy were here “Dr. Dentist” would have been long gone and
  2. That mommy in her everyday life pretends to be badass but in reality she’s afraid to confront people. Medical people.

So my twelve year old daughter is holding the phone and shaking her head, with disgust, in my direction all the while chastising me for not “getting the job done.”

This is usually the beginning of my emotional torment.

“Mom, it’s Dr. Dentist” my daughter yells

“Everybody, SHUT UP!” I scream, convinced that Dr. Dentist has found a way to hear the conversation in our dinning room. You never know, Dr. Dentist could have implanted a listening device in one of my fillings. Which now that I think about it, is very possible. How else could you explain her seemingly perfect, well thought out responses every time I have tried to fire her.

Dr. Dentist then proceeds to leave a message something along the lines of:

“Hello Tanisha, this is Dr. Dentist and I am calling to remind you that it is time for a cleaning for you, Duke and (sic)Brownin. I know school is out because I checked the Estacada school calendar, I know you’re not on vacation because you didn’t mention you were going anywhere during you last visit. You must be really busy and just forgotten about your teeth, which is very bad. Please give our office a call when you get this message. Thaaaank yoooou!”

That is an almost verbatim message that was left on my answering machine but it doesn’t stop there. She then has the balls to call my cell phone. Oh, and did I mention this Dr. Dentist drama is happening at 8:00 at night. There is no escaping her. Three minutes later she calls my cell phone and you can hear the tension and frustration of not being able to threaten me person to person in her voice.

“Hello Tanisha, this is Dr. Dentist and I am calling to remind you that it’s time for a cleaning for you, Duke and (sic)Brownin. I would hate for something bad to happen to any of your teeth, cause that would be very bad. I know you are in town and I am sure you have just forgotten to call us here at Dr. Dentist’s office. Please give us a call. Thaaaannk yoooou!”

Now you see why I need to fire her. She is passive aggressive, co-dependent and most importantly, terrifying. I can’t help but think that if Peter were here he would be able to fire her with such ease that she would believe the separation was her idea. This dilemma has made me realize what marriage really is, convenience. You don’t marry someone to devote you life to them and grow old together. You marry someone based on their ability to do the shit you can’t or won’t do.

I remember the first time Peter took the phone out of my hand and “dealt” with the person on the other end of the line. He was smart, creative and quick, but the best part was that whatever problem was on the other end of the phone had disappeared. I didn’t have to do a thing and it was taken care of. That is the true measure of a life partner. Fuck love, passion, great sex, and the proclamation of such, I need someone to do the ugly shit I don’t want to do. So here I sit, alone and unable to quit a medical professional who is not very professional. I have even thought about giving my kids the responsibility of firing Dr. Dentist. One of them could just get on the phone and tell her that they are not happy with her services and they will not be coming back. I don’t feel particularly proud of this thought but I still have the thought. I am quickly sinking into a shame spiral and I am beginning to hate myself for being weak.

So I look to my kids and the conversation that follows makes me so proud on so many levels. I also laugh hysterically and wonder, when did my kids become carbon copies of me and Peter.  We are in the car, as always, and I decide to ask my kids for the sixty-eighth time how they feel about Dr. Dentist.

Me: Chickens, do you like Dr. Dentist?

Bronny: Oh my God, not again, with this!

Duke: Mom, grow a vagina and fire her. Just tell her that although we have had many good experiences with her, we have decided to go in a different direction.

Me: Yes, Duke, but do you like her?

Duke: At this point mom, it’s not really a matter of us liking her or not, we have simply outgrown her.

Me: Sigh.

Sometimes you need people in your life to do the things you can’t or won’t do but sometimes you just need a reminder that you are able, even if it’s just finding a new dentist.

7 thoughts on “Dr. Dentist

  1. You picked a good subject to write about. Most people have been ambushed into doing things they didn’t want to do by an unexpected phone call. And anyone who has any empathy at all, knows how crappy it feels to have to fire someone. When I was a young mom with a husband who travelled for a living, dealing with phone calls from friends or strangers soliciting money or help was hard for me. It took me years to figure out that I had to tape notes to my phone that read along the lines of, “No. I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” or “I’m sorry, I have a personal policy against taking surveys over the phone, but thank you for calling.” I would read the note that applied and it worked like a charm. I sounded decisive and courteous without leaving any room for argument.


  2. Look – for the right amount of chocolate I’ll do it. Right up my alley. Didn’t I kick ass on a couple of previous volunteer assignments?

    However, I have a few procrastination and technical disability issues I could use help with…….

    When ya live in the ‘hood you have to barter cajones sometimes.


  3. On the other hand, have had fun w a few phone callers. 7 years (or is it 7 days?) after, I still get calls occasionally for Rodney. I say he’s not here right now, can I take a message? Will have him return your call when he gets back. Rec’d one while w daughter and grandson, Rodney last week. Passed the phone. No, he’s not here, I’ll let you speak to his mom.


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