Saturday, August 13, 2011

Champion Chompers

Whenever K goes out of town on a netball or business trip, I get these grand ideas about exploring the city on my own. I develop weekend itineraries that encourage me to set off early, roam the city, and return to the apartment utterly exhausted but a little better acquainted with New York than when I left that morning. Two or three days before these adventures however, I start to second guess my own abilities and so I go online and print out detailed maps and WALKING DIRECTIONS (for pity's sake) so that when I charge out my front door on the Saturday, I can look and feel confident.

To set the scene for this weekend's adventure, it's important to mention that I could hardly sleep last night. I am so excited about going home this coming Thursday, to start the celebrations for baby sister's wedding on August 27. I have been eating properly, kicking ass & taking names at the gym, and I have even scheduled a cut & colour with a celebrity hairstylist the morning that I fly home. See? Who can possibly sleep when there is such anticipation in the air?!

This morning I had an appointment in Greenwich Village to have my teeth whitened. Obnoxious, I know. And I probably never would have come up with the idea myself, but when I logged onto my email a few months ago, there was a Groupon certificate for two whitening sessions at Magic Smile and I figured I had nothing to lose. Plus I knew that with all the photos I'll have to be in at the wedding, a shiny white smile would certainly be a lovely accessory.

I chose the store/clinic in Greenwich Village because the other one is on the Upper West Side about a block away from my beloved Zabar's and I didn't want to go up there lest I be tempted into buying cinnamon rugelach or other goodies that I knew would not be part of my eating plan (always thinking, me).

So I left home this morning in plenty of time, walked up the hill to the nearest subway station, only to find that the Downtown route was shut and I would have to go Uptown to Grand Central and change from there. I did exactly that but managed to get myself completely spun around when it came to switching subway lines and given that time was ticking on, I gave up and grabbed a taxi. Catching every red light along the way, the taxi driver dropped me about 4 blocks from where I needed to be and I almost ran down Bleecker Street to my appointment.

Arriving hot, bothered and breathless 10 minutes late, I strapped myself in to the chair at the "surgery", the "nurse" explained how the procedure was going to work and made me sign a very long waiver to absolve Magic Smile of any liability should my teeth fall out, or I go blind, or my gums get dyed weird colours or whatever (I don't know - I skimmed it). I had to wedge a weird mouth guard into my face that did not feel good. It didn't look good either. I looked like my lips had been peeled right off leaving my teeth and gums totally exposed. Nursey then put a paper bib on me and began to paint my teeth with the whitening agent. I tried to concentrate on the Cooking Channel playing on the TV over my head, ignoring the tingling and kinda painful sensations going on in my mouth. Did the waiver cover this? Probably.

Just as I had acclimated to the tingles and pain, the slobbery spit started. Let's just say that it is very hard to remain ladylike and discrete when you have great gobs of drool sliding out the corner of your mouth, plus a mouthguard wedged in your face that makes it impossible to call out for help. Nursey heard me whimper and suspended one of those dentist spit-sucking things in the corner of my mouth to syphon the dribble away, but a fair portion of it slid down my chin and onto my bib anyway. So gross.

Donning a pair of pink sunglasses that were definitely not a fashion statement, Nursey wheeled over the UV light and stun-gunned my mouth for 15 minutes. It's not just a matter of lying there passively while all this business is going on either. You have to will your lips not to move. You have to make sure that your tongue doesn't lick your teeth (peroxide does not taste like toothpaste - trust me). You have to try and half-swallow drool that the spit-sucky thing can't get to, but not swallow so hard that your mouth involuntarily wants to close, which might make you gag or choke. All that concentration is exhausting!

After 15 minutes, Nursey asked me to rinse & spit and then we repeated everything for my second procedure of the day. By now I was an old hat, so to speak, and the second 15-minute bleaching exercise went very smoothly (and quickly).

I never did get to see the end of the schnitzel & potato salad recipe episode though.

As I readied to leave the surgery Nursey gave me a one-page list of instructions including all the things I should NOT eat in the first 24 hours (dark foods, fruit & vegetables, alcohol, coffee etc) and the things that ARE okay to eat (rice, pasta, bread, potatoes) are all the things I've sworn off on my eating plan. So typical.

All this aside, I have to say that I'm really fine with this food inconvenience because my teeth are now 4 shades whiter than when I went in this morning. I am really happy with the results and even though I have a splitting headache and major teeth sensitivity, I'm hoping that these symptoms will pass soon. My headache horse pills and Sensodyne toothpaste will help, I'm sure.

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