Whenever I run into two people who are currently engaged or about to be, I have a tendency to butt in and offer some sage advice. I feel it is worthy information that I should share. And it’s good, solid advice, based on years of real-life experience. It’s quite simple actually. I just advise whomever that it would be prudent for him or her to check out their partner’s teeth before making any locked-in, lifelong commitment.
Now, I sense the expression on some of your faces right now, and I admit I am being a little outrageous. After all, you are marrying the person you love more than anyone else in the world. It’s not like you’re buying a horse. No, wait. Maybe it is. When you get married you’re supposedly in it for the long haul. The track is often muddy. You’ll start off in a gallop and finish up barely able to trot and you’re bound to be saddle sore about six months in. Yeah, I’ll stick with all that—it is a fair analogy. So where am I going with all this? Well for sure, it’s not to the dentist, at least not right away. That’s where it all started–at the dentist office where I had an appointment to have my teeth cleaned. Well, I got more than that.
As usual The hygienist reminded me about the virtues of good flossing and rinsing regularly with the floride kool-aid they gave me. But then the big cannons unloaded with volley after volley of explosives like cavities, crowns, root canals, implants—it was like the 1812 overture featuring a mighty crescendo from all the instruments that had just been playing around in every cavern and crevice in my mouth.
The entire orchestration left my heart pounding and my checkbook quivering. My wife, by the way, had orchestra seats at the same concert a few weeks back when she was at the dentist. Between the two of us, we could more easily afford to renovate the master bath complete with dual vanities and a seamless glass shower enclosure than figure out how the heck we’re going to pay for all the dental work the two of us need. To put this in perspective—no wait—to put it into really fine-tuned, sharp focus, let me disclose one thing: there is no dental insurance in this scenario…none, zilch, buttkiss.
My script calls for a dramatic pause at this point.
(begin pause……………………………………………………………………………………………………..(end pause)
Like my wife and I, many seniors have to sacrifice lots of things when they retire, like dental insurance. And it’s precisely one of the things I just knew would come back to bite us if we didn’t have it. But decisions had to be made because that steady stream of paychecks was going to be pretty much sandbagged forever. So now another decision has to be made and it’s certainly one we don’t want to gum up. It’s almost like having to buy a car when you hadn’t planned on it. It could mean a loan with monthly payments for the rest of our lives and, face it, at this point there is a lot less “rest of” in our lives than previously. Looking for funding elsewhere, we’d have to consider exhuming chump change buried in the backyard that we otherwise need to survive…or, we could become the desperate and blundering old couple that robs banks….They’ll make a movie about us and everyone will say how cute we are. Come to think about it, the cute factor may eventually influence the plea bargain in our favor.
Needless to say this dental dilemma is a puzzlement. I have no idea how we are going to resolve it. I know we just can’t sit back and allow out teeth to disintegrate and eventually fall out….or could we. Nope, this is no easy decision. For now, I guess, I’ll just have to chew on it.