So. I was reading a blog about the new graphic novel, Smile by Raina Telgemeier. It looks cute, and bildungsroman is giving a free copy of it away. To win one you have to write a story about an embarrassing moment at the dentist’s office.
Um, I HAVE AN EMBARRASSING STORY ABOUT THE DENTIST’S OFFICE. But, I also don’t think it’s fair for published authors to compete in writing contests on blogs (plus, I couldn’t get my story down to 500 words or less). Still, how often is one invited to talk about their really heinous dental debacles? So. Without further ado…
The following story is based on true events (except the parts that I totallly made up).
A tragedy in three acts
by Geek Girl Darcy
I blame it on my mother. All it took was one time passing out in gym class because I hadn’t eaten enough and she started watching my food intake like a hawk. And really, I get it. I know other girls have problems with that kind of stuff, but not me. I love food. And when I haven’t:
- Lost my lunch card
- Had a hair crisis to deal with before I could get on the school bus and
- Skipped dinner the night before because I was at Tracy’s and her dad served tuna casserole (blech!) – when all those things don’t occur in that exact same order – I am a champion eater.
The other thing my mom is insane about is dental hygiene. I guess it’s because she had to get a bunch of her own teeth pulled. And yeah, I get that too. I brush. I floss. I even use that special rinse she bought. I don’t complain about going to the dentist twice a year for a check up and a cleaning. And I don’t complain (much) when I have to get a filling, mostly because our dentist is really nice and kind of cute (for an old guy who has his fingers in people’s mouths all day).
So there I was, not complaining, even though I had to get TWO fillings, and even though the first pain shot didn’t work so I had to get another one, then wait for it to kick in, and even though the whole dentist appointment thing was taking way too long. And I didn’t complain (much) when Mom insisted we stop by the Burger Hut to get a sandwich since I’d missed lunch at school. Like I said, I wasn’t complaining, even though my lips felt like giant balloons and I could not taste or even feel the fish sandwich I was shoving in my mouth. Complaining would have taken too much time and I was in a hurry to get to Brit Lit class.
I like reading almost as much as I like food but that’s not the reason I wanted to get to school. The reason was Marco. He was beautiful like a Michelangelo statue (except, you know, without the marble and with clothes on). Through an amazing twist of fate, Marco was scheduled to be my partner that day in class – and we were supposed to perform a scene from Romeo & Juliet.
I’d never thought I had a chance with him before but the way he’d looked at me the last few days when we practiced our lines made me think… maybe?
Mom pulled up in front of the school and I promised that, yes, I would brush my teeth before I went to class. Usually I hate breaking promises to my mother but really, who has time for dental hygiene when yon Marco awaits? I ran to class and when I entered the room, he smiled at me. Then a look of concern crossed his face. Awe, was he worried about me? This might go even better than I’d hoped.
We sat through Jack, Todd and Brian’s sword fighting scene then, even though it was out of order, our teacher called Marco and me to the front of the class. I climbed onto the step stool and we started delivering our lines. It was hard to remember them though.
I kept getting distracted because:
- Really, Marco was just so hot.
- And the way he looked at me – wow, like he was trying to peer into my soul or something.
When our scene ended he offered me his hand to help me down from the stool. I’d never believed all that tingling at the touch stuff you read in love stories, but I swear, it happened.
I kept stealing looks at him while our classmates performed the next two scenes, and each time I did, I found Marco staring back. That’s what gave me the courage to linger after class. Incredibly, Marco lingered too.
“Um, Julie?” he said.
I could tell he was nervous. It made him even cuter, if that was possible. I walked over to where he stood by the classroom door. He gave me that look again, the soul searching one, and I thought I might actually swoon. But I knew that if I did, my mom would be there pronto to whisk me off to an eating disorders clinic or something. Instead of swooning I stepped in close like all the teen magazines tell you to do.
“I was wondering if you-” he started.
I smiled up at his beautiful face. I didn’t care what he was wondering, the answer was: Yes! Yes! A thousand times, Yes!
“If you-” He actually blushed and pulled at the collar of his shirt. Adorable.
I was thinking we’d be just like Romeo and Juliet (except without the poison and death and the whole tragedy thing) when he spoke again, “I was wondering if you – knew you had a really big piece of sandwich stuck in your cheek?”
Okay. So totally WITH the whole tragedy thing. For never was a story of more woe than this of Julie, her crazy mother, two Novocain shots, a fish sandwich, Shakespeare – and her Marco.