Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Orthodontists


When Mother was a child, her orthodontist took her braces off and retired, so she didn't get the full treatment, and consequently her lower teeth shifted in various directions, which made her self-conscious about her smile for the last 55 years of her life.

When I was a child, my orthodontist took my braces off and retired, so I didn't get the full treatment, and consequently, my lower teeth shifted in various directions.

So when my daughter was a child, I took her to four different orthodontists before choosing one who I guessed to be in his fifties-- young enough that he wouldn't retire before he was done with her. But he did anyway.

Then it came time to start interviewing orthodontists for my son. So when an orthodontist looked into my son's mouth for the first time, and then straightened up to tell me what he thought, I interrupted him to ask if he had any plans to retire in the next few years.

"I'm 32 years old," he said in a puzzled tone.

"Do you have any plans to retire in the next few years?"

"No!" he said.

"If you decide to retire--"

"I'm not going to retire."

"If you decide to retire or quit or die or go to jail or--"

He assured me that in any of those cases his patients would go to his partner in the practice, that he had full confidence, etc. So I told him to continue with what he was going to say about his plan for my son if he became a patient here, which the orthodontist no longer seemed quite as enthusiastic about, but in my defense I'm almost sure that this was the last bizarre interaction he had with me in our entire five-year association.

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