The tooth fairy

Yesterday I had an exciting visit to one of my favorite places – the dentist office.

Now, i know, some of you may be thinking, ‘Look, Stacey’s so cute, she made a funny!’.  But no, really.  I actually really like my dentist and his office.  There are skylights in the patient rooms, green growing things everywhere, and the man is actually funny.  How often does that happen?  He gets excited about explaining your options to you as far as your teeth go, and just generally promotes a good environment for his employees.  Plus, his hygienists don’t have the anguish and rage that some do, so they aren’t vindictive about the pointy things they shove in your mouth.  And since I’m no longer a child, and get to choose the things that do or don’t get shoved into my face, I’m going to choose people with gentle hands.  I love my teeth – the first one I lost I ended up asking the tooth fairy to give back, because I wanted to keep that little baby tooth more than the money.  Things that fall out of your head are important.

But back to the dentist office –  on this particular occasion, I had that bane of dental patients everywhere, the New Hygienist.  Always they’re nice, sweet, chipper ladies who you think are graceful and couth until their fingers get into your mouths, at which point you promise whatever they ask to lessen the pain.  But even that went surprisingly well.  Instead of asking me in-depth questions while her fingers are all tangled up in my mouth, she casually described how she got into the dental industry, which she now loves.  Even though she knows it’s weird, there’s something satisfying about making things clean – a fascination I find much more comforting than other reasons people might give for being in the field.  Plus, she was also a nighttime grinder, so we had a fabulous discussion about the paranoia involved with dreams where your teeth fall out or wiggle around loosely in your gums.  There’s a reason some people brush more frequently than others.

So despite the fact that I have a cavity and have to go back for a final visit, it’s a pleasing place.  If I have to trust a tooth fairy to keep my nostalgic old chompers safe, this would be the one.

Spacey Stacey

I’m typing this mostly by feel, so I apologize for any typos in advance.

Today I had my eye exam before I start up school again in the fall.  It’s not that i have some great fear that my eyes are going to pot.  It’s only a minor paranoia, a little like the dreams people can have about their teeth rotting out of thier heads.  More on that later.  Anyway, it’s something I’ve been thinking about, in part because I’m afraid my eyes are getting worse.  Things far away have been a little blurrier recently.  And soon I may actually have to read things on a blackboard or at a distance.  I want to be prepared for that eventuality, just in case.

So I went in, and had all the tests done.  Verdict is: I probably don’t need glasses.  The doctor said I’m slightly nearsighted, and that he ‘could’ improve my vision.  But he also cautioned me that I probably didn’t need glasses, and could potentially damage my eyesight by using them when I don’t really need to.  He also mentioned that I could be noticing changes in my vision because of my job.  Staring at a computer screen all day is evidently not that good for the eyes.  The good doctor explained it as a muscle relaxation malfunction.  By excersizing the focus of my eyes for a long period of ime to see at close range, my muscles around the eye are tightening into specific positions.  Eventually my ability to relac those same muscles becomes less since they’re locked in place for long periods of the day.  He recommended simply taking some time, just a minute ot two, to look away from the computer screen, off into the distance, and consciously relac and resy my eyes for a moment.  This could cause my vision to actually improve, and may mean that even in a lage clasrrom I wouldn’t need glasses to see clearly at a distance.  Seemed like a good and reasonably idea, so I’ll try it.

It also got me started thinking about my family and the reason why I haven’t needed glasses in the past.  I’m an avid reader from a family of readers.  I love writing as well.  When I was a kid, my dad would have to confiscate my novels to get me to go to sleep (now that I’m an adult, I just stay up all night if I’m in the thrall of a really good one).  On car rides, in dimly lit places, across distances short and small, I’ve strained my eyes to read throughout my life.  Both my parents and my sisters all have glasses which they require to function on a daily basis.  It’s obviously not just good genes that have saved me from completely wrecking my eyesight.  It’s equally obviously not good habits.  The only thing I’ve been able to come up with thus far (sparked by the good doctor’s comments on how to relive my potential eye strain) is that I’m a space cadet.

I am an extrememly philospophical person.  I like pondering the big questions ( or even the little questions) in great detail.  My mind wanders twisty little back passages, and I often get lost in them, unwilling to focus again on the world around me.  For this reason – for my lost expressions, for my occasional random comments, and for my lack of awareness at certain times, I was nicknamed ‘Spacey Stacey’ by my family.  But now that I think about it, every time I was lost in my own little world, my eyes were unfocused.  Every time I took a minute or several to ask just WHY we have belly buttons, my eyes were glazed and looking off somewhere beyond the horizon.  All that blind looking really stretches your vision.

SO yes, sometimes I don’t remember the details of a converstion two seconds after it’s finished.  Sometimes when you speak to me, you have to repeat yourself four or five times to get a response. Sometimes my irritating and completely nonsensical questions are hard to take.  Sometimes you’re probably going to get upset with me for not properly focusing on teh Matter At Hand.  But i think, despite all this, I’ve really been focusing where i was supposed to be focusing all along.

PS – I looked at myself in the mirror and my eyes are FREAKY.  I tried to get a good shot on my cell phone, but no luck.  You’ll have to make do with this: