Friday, October 13, 2006

What Were You Doing in 1985?

That was the discussion happening over my dental-dammed mouth as I lay in the dentist's chair this morning, having my thirty year old filling replaced on a cracked molar. The radio station was playing music from 1985, and Katrina and the Waves "Walking on Sunshine" had just finished when the dentist says to the dental assistant, "What were you doing in 1985?"
Without a pause the assistant went straight into what she was wearing: shoulder pads, leggings, leg-warmers over jeans, big hair with bangs, large plastic hoop earrings.
Then the dentist chimed in with her fashion mistakes: wearing purple and gray eyeshadow, those slouchy flat leather boots that were all the rage, more bangs. Then the dentist asked me, when the dental dam was removed between procedures, "What were you doing in 1985?"
It was humbling to realize I was older than both of them, because my 1985 attire was less teeny bopper, more hard core, and consisted of cowboy boots with chains around the ankle, black jeans, a leather biker jacket (named Cleo) and a flat-top haircut.
I didn't look any better than they did at the time, I'm sure, but I was scarier.
My fillings might have been older than the dentist replacing them. Hmmm.
Actually, my fillings are old mercury ones from Canada, circa 1976, when my mother traded a square grand piano for dental work on my sister and me. Nobody in the family played the piano, and it was sitting in a small damp house by the ocean getting moist and out of tune, but it was a rare family item that left the line.
I still don't play the piano, no one in the family does, I don't have room, so it is really no loss. I'd have done the same in her place.
Actually, I think about trading resources often. I wish I had more negotiable skills to offer. I have a friend who has re-done most of her house by trading her skills for contracting. That is so awesome. And my screenwriting teacher has an enormous house she bought with her writing earnings, which spells success in a big way.
But I don't seem to have that much ambition.
Though you never know. Maybe I'll be able to help with college. And dentistry. Even if I don't own a piano.

On the easel: Azul
On the desk: Anna's Action Alphadogs A to Z
On the nightstand: The Old Fox Deceiv'd by Martha Grimes
On tape: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On my mind: our dog's arthritis, my aching jaw, my lust for dessert and need for exercise

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