“Love conquers all except poverty and toothache.”

The morning is foggy, damp and cloudy. The only thing to commend it is the warmth of 42˚. I have already been out and back to an early morning dental appointment just to have my teeth cleaned, but they found something. I have a fractured tooth. I’m going back in a couple of weeks to have it filled. It seems parts of me are falling apart, a piece at a time. It happens to old cars and now it’s happening to me.

When I was kid, we never went to the dentist unless there was a problem, but I did start with an orthodontist when I was seven. His office was on Comm Ave. in Boston. On appointment day, my mother had to find a babysitter for my sisters. We walked uptown to take the bus to Sullivan Square, and, from there, we took the T. We walked from the T station to the office. I have pictures in my head of the office, the room and the furniture. His waiting room was enormous and filled with oversized furniture like giant puffy chairs and sofas covered in flowers. One giant old wooden desk sat near the door. In my memory drawer the desk is as large as the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. The nurse was there to check me in for my appointment. My mother and I sat for a bit then I went into the office. Dr. Nice was oldish. He wore a white jacket with buttons on the top which opened a flap. On the old Dr. Casey TV show, the brooding Dr. Casey wore the same white top only he kept the buttons unbuttoned. Dr. Nice had white hair which stuck out in places. His office was at the front of the house. It had a bank of windows which kept my attention. I watched the cars. I don’t remember the appointments too well, just the windows and the chair in the center of the room and the going and coming. We took the T back then waited at Sullivan Square for the bus home. My mother usually bought me a treat from the station kiosk. We’d get to Stoneham Square where my mother would buy me lunch. The two of us then walked to school. She was my late note.

My house feels chilly even though the heat is cranking. I have forced hot air. When I was a kid, we had radiators and forced hot water. I loved the hissing of the steam and the gurgling of the radiator. One was in my room under a window near the foot of the bed. It was the sound I heard when I was falling asleep.

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4 Comments on ““Love conquers all except poverty and toothache.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Our first winter storm began with sleet and freezing rain last night on schedule at about seven o’clock. This morning the precipitation has changed over to snow showers and it looks pretty from my window. Thankfully, I brought my work home and as long as the power remains on all is well. I don’t plan on any long power outages like we had last February. Currently, it’s 21° and we might reach the forecast high of 25°. 🙁

    I have to make a dentist appointment so, thanks for reminding me. When I was a kid I also had braces. My orthodontist in Dallas recommended one in NYC when I moved to NY at age 13. His office was located at 81st. street and Central Park West, which was directly across the street from the Hayden Planetarium and the New York Museum of Natural History. Dr. Arthur Greenstein was old and all his office equipment seemed ancient. It turned out he was one of the country’s first orthodontists. He told me that he had to go to Europe to learn orthodontics after dental school. In those days there were no schools that taught orthodontics in the States. Did you have sleep wearing that stupid headgear?

    All my appointments were on Saturday mornings and my cousin and I would spend our afternoons in the museum, or across Central Park in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Guggenheim Museum across Fifth Avenue. Manhattan was an entertainment smorgasbord of things to see and do and we could travel by ourselves on the fabulous NY subway system. We used to jokingly call it, “The Unteshmutz”, phony German for under dirt. 🙂 It was and probably still is underground and very dirty.

    We also have forced hot air heat and air conditioning and it feels nice and warm in my office. I’m working in my PJs and a robe. I’m not planning to leave the house until Saturday when the temperature is predicated to go above freezing. I remember having steam hit and hissing radiators in my aunt’s house in Queens. They didn’t have central air conditioning only a couple of window units. The furnace ran on fuel oil from an underground tank.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      You are living in my usual winter weather right now. It is so strange to be warmer than you. Today the world dripped.The snow melted I many spots, and in some places, you can see lawns. The snow was pretty for a while. We’ll have another storm on Sunday, but we’ll get rain, maybe sleet.

      Dr.Nice was one of the first orthodontists in Boston. I don’t remember his equipment but I’ll never forget that office. It was so big and beautiful, a brownstone in Boston. Now, I swear most kids wear braces. I was young, 7, so it was always my mother who took me to Boston. We never did anything else in the city on those trips. My appointments were on school days, and there was a babysitter.

      I came home from the dentist, wrote my blog and took care of the cats. I didn’t change into cozies as I had to go out later. Outside was damp which made it feel colder. It was an all in all ugly day.

  2. Christer. Says:

    Chilly here this morning but now all the snow we got yesterday is melting away again, I don’t mind at all 🙂

    I don’t know when it started but we have had free dental care in school (and now up till the age of 25) at least since my oldest sibling went to school and he’s 68 years old. I’ve been lucky to always have good and friendly dentists, others have had dentists from hell and daren’t go even now when they are much older. They learned me to relax so I never have any kind of anesthesia, well once when they pulled a tooth but that’s it.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Our snow from the weekend is also melting. Today was in the low 40’s most of the day. I can see green. The snow is really ugly, even the untouched snow.

      I get novocaine to numb my teeth when I get work done. I don’t mind the dentist. I consider going a necessary evil, and I go every six months for a cleaning. I have dental insurance which I pay for myself. We haven’t ever had free dental.


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