I went in to have my teeth cleaned this morning and was pleased to have LeEllen as the hygienist. She is incredibly bubbly and friendly. She makes me smile–as much is possible when your mouth is full of hand tools and portions of her hands. She and her husband are also students of mine. They took a handgun class from me a few years ago and we frequently talk a little bit about guns when I see her. This time when she introduced me to the new dentist she told him about my being her instructor and that I was “a really good teacher”. That made me feel good and caused a real smile since she had temporarily removed the tools and her hands from my mouth.
The thing that made me smile, to myself, the most was something she surely didn’t intend to be funny. She talked about the new dentist and how he liked to “do everything” in dentistry–just like Dr. J that we have been seeing for the last dozen years who is the primary owner of the clinic. She then went on and on about “Dr. J. likes to do root canals and he likes to do extractions, everything!” My mind immediately thought of a sadist getting pleasure from causing pain to someone else. Not at all what she meant and certainly not what my experience with the good Dr. J. has been. But my mind twisted her words to give me many minutes of pleasure on my long drive to work this morning. I thought of her, so cheerful and bubbly, and the gentle Dr. J. in some sort of Monty Python like skit where they do root canals and tooth extractions because they enjoy them so much.