Rachel’s Thoughts: Dentists and Validation

This week was amazing. This week I discovered the Validation short, the 24-hour music video by Pharrel Williams, Sherlock 3 (and watched all three episodes-smiles, tears, and absolute shock), and had a dentist appointment that might have changed my life.

 

Cats are fantastic. We were privileged enough to dissect them over the pre-Christmas term, and one of them was pregnant. The kittens were amazing. Fully formed, itty bitty little toes, tiny tails, their whole bodies size of quarters.

I love dissections. I always have. And I love Bones. So one day, I thought to myself, Rachel, you should be a mortician.

I was told after a few weeks that I didn’t want to be a mortician, I wanted to be a coroner, and after looking it up, I realized my vocabulary maybe isn’t quite what I thought it was and ‘coroner’ is what I meant all along. I had to go around and fix what I had told people. So awkward, especially since morticians are even creepier than coroners, and I think that even with as few people want to work with dead bodies, even fewer want to put makeup on corpses. Seriously, who does that.

So hurrah, I had a new goal for after college. Or at least, I did until the same lovely person who corrected my terminology also mentioned the seven years of med school required to coronate. Oh, the shock. Does it really take seven years of training to be able to say with certainty, Yep, he’s dead all right?

On the other hand, I’m good at drawing, so after I decided that eleven years of college wasn’t happening I decided to move to Paris and draw, sell my drawings to Americans, then move back to America and sell my drawings to China. I haven’t looked into whether the French will purchase drawings of China, but that would be nice.

I also want to travel with fairs and circuses as a caricature artist.

Right about when I became completely psyched to be an artist and was wondering what color beret to get, I went to the dentist and all the truth and inner thoughts and hopes came flooding out of my mouth when the hygienist, Mike, asked about my post-college plans. Pretty much every childhood wish, in fact, except my thirst for piracy. Seasickness eliminated that one long ago.

“Except for the seven years of med school,” I finished as his tools slid into my gaping mouth and began poking and prodding.

“Well, actually…”

It turns out that our county coroner, according to dentist’s-office rumor, is a practicing attorney, a coroner, and a nurse all at the same time. Which means, according to the hygienist and also the dentist, who said the same thing later, she was a coroner with just a nursing degree.

The dentist was thrilled to pieces when he came in and saw the hygienist and I chatting about dead bodies. “Did you know,” he said, his eyes gleaming, “that when you get a blob of fat and squeeze it, oil comes out?”

The hygienist quickly googled pictures of fat while the dentist examined my teeth. “The sheriff was in the other day and he got a call about a suspicious looking truck, and when he went out, he found it swarming with bees, ‘cause some guy had shot himself and the bees were eating him.”

I usually have fairly nice dentist appointments, but this one beats them all. When the hygienist asked about summer plans and was told about my upcoming roadtrip to Texas, he was almost as excited as he was about my coroner plan. “Do it, girl,” he said. “Make memories. Have fun. Get into trouble along the way. Go to med school and be a coroner. And when it comes time for the election, I will vote for you.” Then, slightly embarrassed, “I’m being very motivational today.”

He was. Who needs therapy when you have a dentist appointment?