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On the Wisdom of Wisdom Teeth

Five out of seven family members have had their wisdom teeth removed…and we aren’t so wise anymore.

When you have to have your wisdom teeth pulled, use that wisdom first and choose full anesthesia for it. I’m a card-carrying member of the “Coward’s Club” and pull it on occasions such as this. I wouldn’t scar myself for life with memories of a giant man putting both hands into my mouth and a foot on my chest trying to yank out a molar while using colorful phrases under his breath.

‘Cause I think that’s how it went down when my turn came. I grow very strong bones and teeth, and frankly, there’s nothing about me that doesn’t surrender without a fight.

As each of my children take their turn at the oral surgeon (three down, two to go), I remind them that wisdom runs deep in our family. And it must go. The latest was my 19 year old who had successfully delayed the event for a good three years. I caught her in a moment of weakness and pushed her through the door. Then I waited in the lobby speed-reading all the magazines.

Why don’t I ever have time to read them except at the dentist office?

Too soon, she was finished, and I was told to drive around to the back of the building and pick her up. I guess they don’t want mangled patients scaring off the incoming victims. Good idea.

I park just outside a door opening into a dim hallway. She is sitting in the middle of a long row of recliners that are empty except the one next to hers, which contains a young man. Both of them are gesturing wildly to each other, making jumbled moans and shrieks through their gauze-stuffed mouths.

This is not what I was expecting.

A small nurse helps my daughter up from her recliner and attempts to escort her down the hall and out to my waiting car. This is not easy, as my daughter easily tops her by 12 inches or so and is staggering along like a very inebriated yet incredibly happy drunk. Her eyes are wide and sparkling.

“Whatever she had,” I tell the nurse, “I want some.”

“Mjjothelslugthtsburttm!” mumbles my daughter through a bloody smile.

We sit her in the car. I tighten her seatbelt in case she wants to go for a walk while we’re driving.

“Somehow she knows our other patient,” explained the nurse. “They came in separately and recognized each other here in recovery. I had to pick your daughter up off the floor twice.”

We look at her. She grins as widely as she can at us. “Mjjotherlstugthstburtm!” she insists.

We look back down the hall at her buddy still in his chair. He leans way forward and waves wildly to us, indicating that we are the best thing he has ever laid eyes on would really really love to come along with us if only he could figure out how to make his legs work. The nurse rushes back inside as he totters on the edge of his seat.

Ok then. My work here is done. I call out my thanks, take the prescription paper and drive gingerly away.

It was a long while later, after some gauze changes and a couple naps that my kid was able to explain her exciting morning at the oral surgeon’s. She had woken up next to her high school prom date.

If a scenario like that had to occur in your daughter’s life, this has to be the only acceptable way, don’t you think?

The fact that I laughed about it explains a lot.

Yup, wisdom gone. From both of us.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Bettina Bettina

    We’re members of the “Coward’s Club” too! Fun reading you posts, Jolie. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Lenny Lenny

    Jolie, I enjoy reading your stories on life.!!

  3. Kiki Kiki

    So clever Jolie! Loved it 🙂 Hope she is doing OK.

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