I always loved the dentist when I was little because he was my dad’s friend, I’d get a toy after he checked my teeth, and the fluoride he had me use tasted all tingly and grapey and nice. But a few years ago, all that changed, partly because I was too old to get toys anymore, but also because the dental assistant said something mean about my salivary glands.
Okay, actually I think she was attempting to compliment me in her tooth-obsessed way. She obviously eats sleeps and breathes teeth (and saliva), because all dental assistants do – DUH – so she probably thought what she said about my salivary glands was the highest compliment she could possibly give another human.
Dentist-assistant-lady says, “Wow, you’ve got great salivary glands.” I don’t reply (because she has both hands, her foot, and a small dog inside my mouth) but instead make a weird grunting sound like Tarzan when he’s drunk. She says, “Yeah, they’re really active!”
Apparently that means my teeth will be really clean forever because I have so much saliva sloshing around my teeth that plaque will be grossed out and therefore not make a little nesty-nest house on my molars. That’s what it means in dental-speak, anyway. To me, it means this: I will never, ever, ever have a boyfriend. Because as she’s ooh-ing and ahhh-ing at my mouth in all its spitty glory, I’m thinking, “Am I actually being complimented on having excess SPIT?” Like, what happens when I, oh, kiss someone and drown him in spit? Should I just say, “Oh, sorry, I have overactive salivary glands, let me mop your face for you!”
This was a few years ago, when I was ugly and awkward enough as it was without having to worry about drooling all over myself in the middle of a math test. Really, picture me: tall (and I mean tall) girl among a sea of midget 14-year-old boys, trying to get someone to be her friend (because it’s not socially acceptable to have my sense of humor and a vagina too…oops, was that crude?) but having to battle with extra spit too. It was bad enough I didn’t understand that blue eyeshadow is not a good look for Heidi Klum, much less an awkward girl with braces and bad hair. But why, Baby Jesus, why did you have to bestow upon me the curse of spit? Why oh why oh why?
I learned how to deal with my deformity. I learned that being myself just wasn’t good enough, so I had a salivary gland removal a few years back, which rendered me completely spitless. After a few years of seclusion in a cave with the other social pariahs, I’ve ventured back into normal society and I promise I won’t spit on you (unless you ask me to).