Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Young, Wild and Free

Despite the fact that I like to bump Wiz Khalifa's party anthem, Young, Wild and Free in my not-even-a-little-bit-pimped, four door sedan with a toddler in the back seat, I am none of those things.

Young?  Well, I'm relatively young, but I'm not party on a Tuesday night because I live in NYC young and I haven't been since I was 29.  Wild?  The wildest thing I've done lately is stay up past midnight at a wedding and "sleep in" until 9am.  That's a far cry from the UnPlain whose trips to Vegas made The Hangover look like a children's book.  And Free?  The only thing Free about me is my pay rate, because I work for a toddler and he only pays in smiles and kisses.

However, yesterday, for about two hours, I was all of those things at the most unexpected of places; the Periodontist's office.  Yes, the Periodontist's office where the average patient age hovers around 68.  Check Young off the list please.

Now on to Free.  Yesterday was the first time since leaving my paying job to play house that I've been separated from P.  It's scary, but true, that for the last two weeks and three days P and I have been quite literally attached at the hip save for the 45-minute nap I took this Saturday while I listened to T and P play just outside our bedroom door.  So after I dropped him off at Grandma's house and started my drive to have some long-dreaded gum surgery, it dawned on me that I was free.  No baby to buckle in and unbuckle out of a car seat, no blackberry to check, no dishes or laundry to do and only one place to be. The oral surgeon's chair.  Not everyone's idea of freedom, but any parent would likely agree that laying back in a chair without a child, spouse, boss or co-worker interrupting is about as free as it gets.  I was FREE, despite the fact that an oral surgeon was about to rip my gums away from the teeth that nature had so nicely attached them to.

While some may consider any activity involving a scalpel to be wild, it's not the kind of wild that Wiz and Snoop are singing about or the kind of wild that I'm used to.  The kind of wild that I'm used to comes with at least two dirty martinis and a scandalous dress.  So how was this day about to get wild?  Cue the Nitrous doc!  Generally one to avoid prescription drugs (barring those little happy X pills that make any flight go more smoothly), I did not anticipate that I'd be nervous enough to request a little laughing gas. But there I was shaking in my T-strap sandals, so I politely requested "the gas" and my request was kindly obliged.

Perhaps the divide between professional surgeon (Dr. A) and completely immature 12-year-old (me) is so great that the laughing gas discussion felt less like a medical interaction and more like being sixteen and trying to by beer with a fake ID for the first time.  I tried to act all serious while Dr. ImaGasYou explains to me how it works and how I'll be fine afterward and I emphasize how it's been SO LONG since the last time I needed the gas (about five years ago) so as not to seem like a drug addict trying to score some pain meds in the ER.  Meanwhile, in the back of my head all I can think about is how the last time I was given Nitrous at the dentist I sent my husband, my best friend and at least two co-workers a text message from the dentist's chair that read "The Dentist is AWESOME!!!!!".

Five minutes later I'm breathing in sweet air and as the Periodontist tells me, "You're going to get a sort of floating feeling," I feel my chair rise magically off the ground, the soft rock music playing in the background somehow turns into Kylie Minogue and I swear a disco ball dropped down from the ceiling.  Before I know it I'm being stuck with no less than 5 needles to numb me up and I am not remotely close to giving even the smallest of shits.  All I hear around me is "Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa", yet I manage to understand when Dr. A tells me, "Just let me know if it's too much or too little and we can turn it up or down.  Now, in my head I'm thinking, "I must definitely be getting too much,"  but I don't dare say that out loud.  This is way too much fun.

My trip to space camp is going along smoothly when Dr. A asks, "Remember this song?" and I believe my answer included the words, "the remix."  My idiotic answer reminds me that I'm in a doctor's office and not at a house party.   Then he tells me he's going to turn down for a bit while I get numb (um, aren't I numb already?).  When he does, I quickly sober up and get an immediate case of The Horrors.  You know, that feeling after a night of four-too-many drinks when you can't quite remember what horrifically embarrassing thing you said to your boss.  Luckily for me, I only had to endure about 5 minutes of torturing myself with thoughts of what I may have said to my oral surgeon before he comes back and turns the gas back up and gets back to business.

Is it considerably sad that the biggest party I've had lately is during oral surgery?  Probably.  On the bright side, my standards have been considerably lowered and clearly, it doesn't take much for me to have a good time, no matter where I might be.  Young, Wild and Free has taken on a completely new meaning to me and frankly, I'm cool with that.  I appreciate my small moments of freedom the same way I appreciate and enjoy the hundreds of tiny moments every day when I am neither young, nor wild, nor free - but instead attached at the hip to the best party of my life, P.

Moral of the story:  If the dentist offers you gas to ease the anxiety of a procedure; take it and enjoy.

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