Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Sweet Tooth Farewell (Age 40 Bites... but not really)

Tomorrow morning my alarm will go off at 6:30AM. Rise and shine and open wide: time to get my tooth pulled! Tooth 31 (the victim of an old filling) will be extracted from my mouth at 8AM. 9 weeks into turning forty and I'm losing a molar. I don't think yank a tooth is 1 of the 40 things listed to do when you turn 40!

Life could be worse for me though and is worse for a good portion of America and indeed, the world.

I'm full-time as a waiter in a busy restaurant and a I'm a 10 plus year employee.  I'm taking 5 vacation days off for my oral surgery. I was able to pick up President's day lunch shift to earn some extra cash before my days off.  (Incidentally President Washington had about half his permanent teeth left at my age. Ouch!) My work insurance will cover the majority of anesthesia, extraction and pain killer costs. I'm going with Tylenol-Codeine, but everyone says go for the Vicodin. I welcome your comments as to the drug pros & cons.

Not bad benefits for a waiter. I'm doing okay for an actor who was then a massage therapist (equine & equestrian message no less) and now has followed the dream of writing in the wake of the not so horse-massage-friendly recession. I work full-time, mostly doubles and I typically get 3 days off to write. I'll have this full week off to write.

I live less than forty miles from the Wisconsin border where the Governor is trying to crush unions. The national unemployment rate  is 9.8%. People are being sued for medical debts. People are hungry.

John Scalzi's online essay Being Poor puts everything into perspective with many lines beginning with Being poor is... This line struck me: "Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away."

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