I went to the dentist a few weeks back for a teeth cleaning. Now, I know that sounds pretty mundane, but hear me out. The last time that I was at the dentist for a cleaning was when Clinton was in office. I kid you not. What prompted this visit was that I was having some problems with a crown on a tooth on which I had a Root Canal in the late-nineties. Turns out the porcelein had cracked and all sorts of nasties were getting in there. That tooth was the cause of my sometimes funky breath and large chunks of food that would lodge in my mouth. One new crown in and my pockets $500 lighter, later, I decided that I needed to take better care of my teeth. What was keeping me from the dentist all of those years? Fear.
When I was younger, we didn’t have dental insurance and dental care was done kind of randomly. I wouldn’t go so far to say that the dentists were butchers, but they weren’t very kind. Looking back, I realize my experience was exaserbated by the fact that I need the equivalent of a horse tranquilizer before I begin to feel the effects of anesthetic, so when I was younger, I was not totally numbed for dental fillings… great memory to have, right? (true story here: When I was in high school, I dislocated my elbow inline skating. I was taken to the ER and the proceeded to pump me full of morphine so they could pop it back into place. But here’s the thing, I wouldn’t go under… I just became loopier and loopier. At one point I started singing “Yellow Submarine” and then speaking to everyone in German (my second language.) But they still couldn’t do anything to the elbow because I could still feel. The resident didn’t feel comfortable about giving more morphine, so I headed into Surgery instead.)
So, I asked around for some dental referrals and I decided to check one of them out. You know how they give you the big stack of papers to fill out, medical history, insurance info, next of kin, etc., etc. Well, on one of the forms there was this question:
“Have you experienced dental anxiety? If so, how did you get over your anxiety?”
My answer: “I just had to. I had to put on those big girl panties and get over it.”
Now I will tell you, my dentist did find that pretty funny. The result of my check-up: I just needed a deep cleaning and I had 2 small cavities, both in Wisdom Teeth. Now, deep cleaning did result in my needing copious amounts of novocaine but at least I didn’t start singing “Beatles” Songs…
My dental experience did get me thinking: How many of us are shying away from things that we should be doing because we are refusing to put our big girl panties on?
Is there someone you care about and an apology is owed and both of your egos are getting in the way? Pull them on and apologize.
Are you tired of being rolled over by friends or family members? Pull them on and tell them how you feel.
Have you been afraid of trying something new because you don’t want to fail? Pull on your training pants! Ha, no really, pull on those big girl panties. We are made to perfection, we are not made to be perfect.
Has it been years since you’ve been to Confession because a priest yelled at you or otherwise hurt your feelings in the past? Guess what? He is not the Church. He is a man within the church. Find out what the church stands for… not what the men within her do. Oh, and pull on those Big Girl Panties and talk it out. Find that awesome priest that you connect with and have a chat.
How nice would the world be if we all pulled on our big girl panties (or underoos) and dealt with the crap that life throws at us, instead of hiding in our stinky diapers?
What are your thoughts on wearing big girl panties?