Some Gums that I Used to Know

January 24, 2013 by Jen

Dear Dentists of the World,

Today, I went to the dentist’s office after a five-year absence. Needless to say, I was nervous. It did not help that I had forgotten how to get to the office and had to call for directions, arriving late for my appointment.

When I walked in, I tried to relax by making small talk with the receptionist and dental hygienist. Then the hygienist escorted me back to the examining room.

At the precise moment that my body touched the dentist’s chair, the soothing jazz melody playing on the radio was replaced by the distinctive introductory xylophone of “Somebody that I Used to Know” by Gotye.

What you have to understand is the deep-set loathing I feel for this song, and its uncanny ability (general overplay notwithstanding) to play on any Pandora station that I create or in any public place that I frequent. I have successfully avoided this song for almost a month. A month.

Now this.

As a result, the song remained stuck in my head throughout the cleaning. I noted (with irony) the Krispy Kreme coupon calendar on the wall and tried to ignore the throbbing in my gums.

But you didn’t have to cut them down
Make them like they didn’t matter and that they were nothing
I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so sharp

If this were an episode of Glee, the hygienist would have sung the next verse.

No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your address
Guess that we don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that we used to know

I swear—I’ll do a better job of flossing! But at least you can see by my pre-decaying teeth that I didn’t cheat on you with another office. I just moved to a new house, that’s all.

Now you’re just somebody that we used to know
Now you’re just somebody that we used to know

Sigh. It is going to take another month to get the song out of my head, and now, what is worse, I will associate that xylophone with a singing, dancing dental hygienist. That’s low, dentists of the world. It’s not enough that you torture us physically; now you’ve added mental torment as well? This is getting ridiculous.

Love, Jen

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