Friday, September 30, 2011

The Bitter Tooth.

I went to one of those reconstructive dental places yesterday. And I was told the SAME thing I have heard 100,000 times before, which is that I am not alone in my odd dental situation but that there is nothing they can do. I was given the name of an oral surgeon which happened to be someone I have already seen and could "do nothing" so I have officially come full circle. I have baby teeth. And I have the grown up teeth that should be where the baby teeth are impacted in the roof of my mouth and it's been just an annoying thing until recently when the bone on bone action has been making my gums recede and now I can't eat ice cream. Yes, I wrote bone on bone action, let it go.

When I was a kid my sister had braces and retainers. I'm not incredibly sure why, with only 16 months difference between my sister and I, my parents didn't also take me in but it ended up being a fateful decision. My father then lost his dental insurance due to some kind of judgement call by a pencil pusher in the school district head office or whatever the school district calls their offices where they run things from. So I did not have dental insurance until I was in my 20's. And it was quite a surprise to hear I had baby teeth in my mouth. I thought those things kind of took care of themselves. I should have gotten braces then but in my 20's I was already supporting myself through college and the idea of taking on 5 grand in debt blew my mind. Then I got engaged and paid for my own ring, my wedding photos, my invitations, my reception and my apartment. I also was paying for my fiance because his folks didn't believe if they put him through school he should hold down a job. So I just had veneers put over my tiny eye teeth and went about my life. My mother at one point took me to the WORST hack dentist that gave me retainers that spread my teeth and I wore forever and never went anywhere. The same guy ended up pulling my wisdom teeth and didn't wait for the anesthesia to kick in and I screamed through the entire procedure. If I had been a stronger person I would have just gotten out of the chair and ran and then slapped him with a giant lawsuit. As it was I let him finish the procedure in hopes the meds would kick in any second. My mother could hear me screaming from the front and asked to come back and see me, instead of breaking down the door like I would have if my kid was SCREAMING. Later when she called to give them a piece of her mind they offered to cut our bill in half and she took it. I would have told them I wasn't paying them one red cent but there you see the difference in our parenting styles when she was my age.

SO I have lived with the veneers, which I had to replace once when I kept having issues with chewing, and I have them still today. All in all I have to have four teeth pulled and then the roof of my mouth opened up and the two grown teeth impacted in there removed, then bone grafted. I'd then have to wear a plate with fake teeth while the bone graft heals. Then they'd go in there and bolt four new fake teeth into the gaps. But once I have those four fake teeth they can't actually put braces on so even still, my teeth will not be STRAIGHT. All of this should cost just about 10 grand. So I live with my messed up grill and I intake my ice cream in the form of shakes and enter a bunch of online contests that offer free dental makeovers. And I sit and stew in my frustration and anger over everyone and their normal parents and their perfect teeth which is pretty much all day every day seeing as how I work in film in the state of Utah, land of white straight perfect teeth. I watched Soul Surfer last night, which by the way is the dumbest title for a film pretty much ever, and I'm looking at this girl who doesn't think she's beautiful because she has lost an arm and I'm like, "Yeah but seriously, her teeth are friggin perfect."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Email to an Old Friend

I would say I'm a liberal. I don't believe in corporal punishment anymore because if the state of Texas can posthumously exonerate 17 executed men via DNA evidence, that is all I need to know about that. I believe in Gay marriage because we have our temple, we get married there, so why not let them do their thing?? (That's rhetorical.) I believe women have the right to abort a baby safely if it's life threatening or in the case of rape and incest preferably if it's very VERY early term (morning after pill is the best option IMO in these abhorrent scenarios.) I do constantly think and re-think my opinions and I have a hard time saying, "This is what I believe in" and putting an eternal stamp on it because I'm willing to be wrong and I'm open to changing my mind, like I did about the death penalty, which I used to be hugely in favor of after I studied criminology.

The one thing I do believe in is the importance of the government's welfare system and ORS. And recently when a friend respectfully commented in the contrary to something political I posted on Facebook I did take time to think about what he posted, because he made good points, points I had often pondered about myself. But here is what I wrote in the email I sent to him after. It wasn't a smack-down and it wasn't an IN YOUR FACE DUDE retort so if you're looking for that crap, go to YouTube and look at the comments on cat videos. I'm just posting it to be posting it. Here it is, almost in it's entirety:

I know this isn't going to change your views or anything, I'm just hoping to explain why I believe so strongly what I do and lend a little "liberal" perspective. For me this debate is highly personal because during my first pregnancy I was cheated on. Oh no, wait, it gets worse. The second man who knocked me up left me *because* I got pregnant. The world is getting worse and grown people are not taking care of their own anymore, they are more interested in money, status and playing around. I was pregnant and homeless with a 4 year old and one baby daddy who wouldn't pay ANY child support. I needed ORS to go after BD #2 on my behalf because when I went to him to negotiate support he said not only would he not pay, he was suing ME for getting pregnant. True story.

The reason I tell you this is because for every crack addict who abuses welfare or subsidized daycare or whatever, there is a decent person who NEEDS it to survive a massive unforeseen personal catastrophe.

My family believed I should learn to stand on my own two feet, never mind there were actually 6 feet standing in my shoes, and my church actually said no to assisting me financially. My bishop told me to get a cheaper apt. (I was already splitting the rent.) He also told me I should instead pay them, in the form of tithing, which was hard to hear, but I'm grateful because that happens to be a true principal that changed my life...

People at facilities thought because I "looked" capable/middle class and seemed fine mentally I didn't need their help, so I was last priority. But it was the government that helped me, without condition, to get free DNA testing done in order to force him to pay child support and to get back support in order to feed my kids. I also received a daycare subsidy while I worked three jobs before support kicked in. If I had to do it all over again, I would have quit, accepted more assistance and stayed home with my baby. I have worked and paid taxes since I was 14, I earned that help. The government was there for me when no one else was and it made me fiercely loyal. I had case workers that became a great source of support. It HAS to be the government that meters out this kind of massive, wide spread, unconditional assistance. I don't think, I KNOW, others won't always be there for you like you think they will.

I would also like to state that one person did step up and help me, and that was my ex step-sister Amanda, who not only was there for me during the pregnancy but after and even watched my baby for me while I worked, even though she struggled with the pain of chronic ear infections that kept her from being able to do the job she loved. She is what being Christian looks like. She cheerfully went about helping me through the single worst time of my life by reading scriptures with me and praying with me and holding my knees while I had contractions. No judgements, just love in action. She deserves all the miracles that have happened for her, I'm happy to know her. But since we aren't all blessed with a team of Amanda's at our disposal (everyone should be so lucky) I believe strongly in Government assistance for the needy. I believe in Welfare. I believe in ORS. This is what I believe in, *eternal stamp.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reality Doesn't Bite as Much as Delusion.

The 90's have been everywhere for a while but I wasn't in the full throws of 90's nostalgia until yesterday. First, I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio driving to the State Fair. I found myself gripping the steering wheel and recalling with perfect clarity a night out dancing with Amy and Liz when that song exploded over the speakers at the Ivy Tower and the place just blew up. Secondly, on the way home my iPod played August and Everything After by Counting Crows and I pictured the Sundance Party I was at with Adam Duritz, Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette and I swear Paul Rudd but it may have been Jack Plotnick, memory is a tricky thing. I shouldn't have "gone there" though because that party brought back with it the memory that after many dirty martinis David and I "Night at the Roxberry-ed" Sean Gullette while Darren Aronofsky watched on from the balcony in between fits of laughter. Once home I put the kids down and Google Imaged "The 90's". That's where it kicked me in the rear end like a really obvious combat boot simile, I had to watch Reality Bites.

This movie was the impetuous for a lot of things for me when it came out. But me being in my early 20's and stupid it wasn't the impetuous for what it should have been, namely me trying to become like Winona's character in the right ways, say by studying film and becoming class valedictorian. I wish it had. Instead it inspired me in all the wrong, superficial ways. I already had the divorced parents and the wardrobe but I didn't smoke, have a messy short hair cut and a best-friend turned boyfriend. I set about remedying all of that. Being too egotistical to accept that in reality I needed a much more feminine face to carry off a short hair cut and that it takes a lot of hair styling talent and money to produce perfectly messy results I ended up with a bad $20.00 cut from a Hair School Sophomore. Then I tried to kiss my best friend. You can read about that HERE. I had never entertained the idea before, I knew there was a line in the sand, I also knew if he found me even remotely attractive he would have cared to try something. But he was going with friends to see the film, and I felt that if he were going, he needed to be thinking about me.

I spent the 90's much of this way. Working retail, wishing I was anything and anyone other than what I was. I wanted to be Winona, I wanted to be the amazingly cool redheaded window dresser we had that came into the store once a month or so, I wanted to be my Manager at JMR. I wanted to be like everyone else, but not me. I wanted to be amazing and beautiful and I wanted attention and I wanted to be the center of the universe. And everything I did was some kind of attempt at attention, at soothing my broken heart, my broken soul, my enormous friggin ego. It was all about me me me. The best part is that every single solitary time I tried to elevate myself I crashed and burned incredibly hard. Back then, I was confused about how to get what I wanted. I thought I could make things happen just because I wished them to come to be. But the things I wished to exist were not based in reality. They were based in delusion.

It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I was really happy. I don't know if in my lifetime I have ever had a moment when I thought I was really happy. But in the car driving to Ikea with Brett and BR I had the realization that we had a fun house we were decorating and I loved my job and the kids were growing up and becoming super funny/ great people and I was just really happy and blessed. The difference between then and now is 100% ego. The reason why I did any of the things I did back then was ego. It was about creating something, yes, I was trying to create my reality, but I was using delusion to do it. I was doing what my Step-Mom called "Futurizing". I would imagine in my mind a future day when my hair looked like X and my boyfriend was Y and it would = Happy. I thought I could Art Direct my life, but reality isn't a film you can Art Direct into awesomeness.

My mom says that in all of us there is a God shaped void. And people try and put sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, food, alcohol, what have you inside of it and are confused when the results don't turn out. That was the entire 90's for me. I was taking Winona and putting her into the God shaped hole in my heart. That may be the weirdest sentence I've ever written but there it is, and I think you know what I mean by it. If you don't, I don't know what to say to you. Have you SEEN her in that movie?

Friday, September 16, 2011

The $200.00 Diet Dr Pepper.

I told the girls at lunch today about breaking my phone. Right now I'm not able to call out on my phone but I am able to accept incoming calls, which of course begged the question, "How did that weirdness happen?" And to answer I had two choices...sip my drink and shrug my shoulders and look away and point at something outside...or I could tell the truth. I told the truth. The truth is that I went to Target with a fever because I wanted Missoni so badly.

Carina texted and told me that there were still a few little girl's items left. But that I had to hurry because all the Missoni was flying off the shelves. Now, it had taken me five hours to wake up, get out of bed and onto the couch where I received this text. I got the kids off to school, then went back to bed until after one. One week of little to no sleep every night and 18 hour days of hard physical labor and shooting and oddly, my body kind of gave out. This is the relationship I have with my body, I expect it to do what I want, when I want it to, Hashi's or no Hashi's. I have little sympathy I'm rocking a disease. I also think I should be able to eat and drink what I want and it should have no bearing on whether or not my body performs. In fact, I'm sort of bewildered still when I can't make it function on no sleep and maybe a grape for breakfast. In short, I am my own Russian gymnastics coach.

Five hours it took me to get to the couch and four minutes to get dressed and into my car when I read the words, "Missoni" and "Target" in the same text. I drove over there with the air conditioning cranked and cash already in my planner. I grabbed a sick amount of stuff with the idea that I should let Boo try stuff on and tell me which ones she liked. "She can't keep it all," I told myself, "So I'll let her choose her favorites. But I'll have to buy it all first because if I don't, it will all be gone." You see how my fever mind is working...

So I pack the cart, but in my defense, I did put back two pairs of shoes (for me), mugs, and one pair of galoshes for B so my total could have been so, so much worse than it was. I head to the register and I decide, fatefully, to buy a Diet Dr Pepper. I hadn't eaten yet that day and I felt light headed, but I was also wearing skin that was intentionally overheating to kill off foreign entities that it deemed dangerous to my person. I am basically the temperature of convenience store cocoa. I may have even had pit circles...I don't know. On the drive home I get a call from my kids who are just walking in the door and wondering where I am. I let them know I am three blocks from home. I feel awful though, from being sick, yes, but also because even if my kids beat me home by just three measly minutes I feel like the worst mother in the world. Never mind they know to lock the doors and that my oldest is four years older than I was when I babysat a family of four boys every day after school. I grabbed my bags and ran inside the house, but not before I threw the Diet DP into my purse to bring it into the house because my hands were full of friggin MISSONI BAGS. I put my purse down on the floor and gave the Missoni over the the girl who loved everything and of course gets to keep everything. I walked past my bag after showing everything to the girl and said out loud, "Why is my purse in a puddle on the floor... MY PURSE IS IN A PUDDLE ON THE FLOOR!" The DP had tipped on it's side, and I had not tightened the lid.

When I showed my phone to the guy at the Apple store (after primping my sorry old lady self up in a sad attempt to garner male favor) he opened it up and said that all four of the red sensors at the openings that tell them if a phone has been wet were tripped and showed me the condensation still on the inside of the plastic. He handed me back my phone and not only told me there was nothing he could do but tried to sell me on a new computer and some classes. Sadly, I don't still "got it". I bet if I had a half-hawk and good teeth I'd have a new phone right now.

The moral of this story is...I don't have a clue. Don't go shopping with a fever? Make sure you turn your drink lid one extra twist before putting it in your purse? Wait, maybe it's before you buy a soda, ask yourself, is this Dr Pepper worth the contents of my purse and a humiliating trip to the Apple store? Cause sometimes, you know, the answer would still be yes.