I’m lucky to have good teeth. I’m in my mid 30s and still no fillings. So I get my teeth cleaned and checked religiously every six months. The worst thing about going to the dentist is the waiting room. I am like a moth drawn to the flame with those glossy papered bon bons. I know they are high calorie and low in nutritional value but I just cannot resist them. And I would never buy them for myself, which gives them that additional verboten tang.
I sit there flicking through the slippery gloss and gossamer of advertisements and inserts and when I’ve turned the page on that last airbrushed, tanned, elongated thigh I feel like I have been lowered into an abyss of depression. Not quite saw-my-wrists-with-a-key depression, kind of like a dank cloud has descended upon me. Intellectually I know what is happening, but the effect is insidious. They act on my female hard-wiring (and I’ve noticed it has become the same for men now with all those magazines covered with washboard stomachs – Ha! Are you feeling our pain now?). The upshot is, I am not gorgeous enough, my skin is not clear enough, I am not rich enough, not high-powered enough, not thin enough, not healthy enough and not surround by enough beauty and slickness, specifically that beautiful and slick man, which are all de rigueur for being a worthy member of society.
Feeling dull and worthless I walk into Dr Sen’s shiny white surgery and greet his shiny white smile. He’s a gentle and kindly man and I do my best to look cheerful; he must think me such a surly old cow as he only sees me when I’m deflated and depressed.
I slump into the vinyl chair and obligingly open my mouth. Consumer goods I didn’t know existed ten minutes ago are floating through my mind as must-haves if I’m ever to meet Mr Right and have two perfect children and live in a chrome and glass mansion overlooking Balmoral Beach.
When I leave Dr Sen’s with my squeaky chalky teeth, I head straight to the Mezzanine Café at my favourite bookshop and order a massive hunk of cheesecake with lashings of cream to go with my large cap.
No point primping for Mr Right when he’s a brainless airhead and can’t unglue himself from the bathroom mirror, I rationalise…but I could grow old waiting for that myopic IT geek to trip over me and have a major epiphany regarding my inner glowing qualities…because I’m not giving up cheesecake for anybody.