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An Acquired Taste

December 20, 2006

Writing an autobiography is not something I would ever be called to do: I’m not interesting, and no one who knows me would care to read it, nor would anyone who doesn’t. But if I were to write one, I’d likely title it, An Acquired Taste. I realize that describes me, especially in my capacity as a dental patient.

Dental X-rays are one of the simplest things in the world to do, because the patient does nothing but open wide, chomp, and grin. But there are objects involved, and due to a spin-off of my claustrophobia, I push them away when they approach my face. I don’t mean to, but I can’t restrain the impulse any more than I would discipline myself against ducking a meteorite.

I go to a terrific dentist who employs terrific hygienists. The one who lost the coin toss got me. She is infinitely patient. I think she takes something after I leave to forget I was there, because this time she asked me if I would be going to Calvary Chapel for Mass for Christmas–and was astonished when I said, “Wrong on three counts.”

My hygienist is very resourceful. To relax me, she gave my hands a salon-quality hot paraffin treatment, wrapping them in plastic and then in huge terry cloth mittens. She covered me with a blanket and tucked my mitted hands beneath it. Unfortunately, this did not prevent me from preventing the X-ray film holder from approaching my face. I didn’t damage it when I pushed it, but she removed my lead apron and closed her cupboard and cheerfully said that the X-rays could wait until my next visit. I hope this doesn’t mean she is moving to Oklahoma in the next six months.

I am always encouraged to learn that someone I admire, a theologian or any other Christian, has or had a difficult personality. We acquired tastes, whether peers or whether we span two millennia of generations, need to stick together. My sanctification schedule evidently is not going to enable my emulation of Susannah Edwards, but Kate Von Bora Luther might qualify as an acquired taste. I admire her.

However, the people I admire most are not difficult; they are actually humble in that they do not appear to think they are important. I don’t think I think I’m important, but what else could I be thinking if I act as if the environment needs to change because I can’t possibly adjust?

I realize that spiritual calibration to life’s little slaughterings, like dental X-rays, is essential. God sanctifies through his word and by his grace; we can’t rush the process, but can ask for help. It’s too stupid to go through life punching X-ray film holders. I’ve seen worse, but I don’t want to be worse.

Rather, I would ask that I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way….A froward heart shall depart from me…. (Psalm 101: 2, 4)

8 comments:

McBrooke said…
Mrs. B., I hope that your future dental visits get easier. At least you are making the effort to go, which is more than alot of people. It’s also funny you had a dental post today because last night I had a dream that my front left tooth broke off, leaving a little Gollum-like stub. The dentist insisted that I pay $200,000 for a full set of porcelain veneers.
8:23 AM  
Mrs. B said…
Whoa, Mcbrooke; may your dream not be portentious.
8:29 AM  
Mike Pitzler said…
Okay. I’m just an invisible scribe now, and Vic is talking about the IRS, and you’re talking about dentists. I’m going over to McBlog to see what’s cooking there.I think you’re just displaying survival instinct.

7:45 PM  
McBrooke said…
McBlog’s Menu:Mrs. B. = Crostille au Fromage, Rosemary-Roasted Lamb Shanks with Herb Cannellini Bean Puree, Fresh Haricot Verts, and Strawberry Dacquoise
Grapes & Figs = Grapes & Figs
McBlog = Highfalutin Cheeseburgers
Pitzler = contains only the finest ingredients.

11:02 PM  
McBrooke said…
I apologize, that was just silly. I don’t even know if you like lamb.
11:33 PM  
Mrs. B said…
That which I like best remains American. But I don’t like strawberries.
7:13 AM  
Mike Pitzler said…
I’m sorry about my crass wisecrack about primal instincts. I guess I was ‘thinking’ about ‘The Little Shop of Horrors,’ or my own experiences. Sorry. Won’t do it again, I was being irrational. Didn’t think. Am I thinking now?
7:10 PM  
heidi said…
“Wrong on three counts” is beautiful. So very Laurenish of you.And I laughed several times during this post, at the funny/poignant things that are so very true.

7:48 AM  
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