My husband never listens to me, and here’s proof: This morning Lanny asked, “What’s on your schedule for today?”

“I’m going to the dentist.”

“Is it a regular checkup?” He KNEW I was having bridgework done.

“For a pap smear.” (eyes rolling)

“Oh Okay,” Lanny said, mechanically, as he picked up his cell phone, put on his hat, and walked out the door, “I’ll see you this afternoon.” (Refer to my first sentence, People.)

Chris Christie’s Bridgegate has nothing on the traffic jam in my mouth this morning when my salt-and-pepper-haired dentist “installed” a dental bridge in my mouth. Even though he said few people ask for it any more, he complied with my request for nitrous oxide. It’s called the laughing gas and it has caused people to make fools of themselves with questions, such as “Who discovered the use of the spleen?” to “Who killed Cock Robin?”

He said he was giving my tooth “the sleepy juice,” but I knew what was happening. When I opened my eyes, I saw a shiny stainless steel torpedo aimed at my upper left jaw. My eyes quickly slammed shut and I took a deep breath of nitrous oxide. Ahhhh….

Moments later, I knew my face was deadened clear up to the part in my hair, but my nitrous oxide “self” asked, “Is my upper left lip sitting on my shoulder?”

My two-and-a-half hour tour of duty in the dental chair came to a screeching halt after two hours when I suddenly announced that I needed to go to the bathroom. Probably because of my age and knowing how sensitive baby boomers’ bladders are, my request was immediately granted. In my million-dollar relief bathroom visit, I instinctively took the opportunity to look in the mirror. Yikes! A half smile was the best I could do. So I lifted my upper left curtain to review VACANCY. I couldn’t get back to the dental chair quickly enough.

It took another thirty minutes to shove, probe, squeeze, mash, and tap-tap-tap my new “temporary” bridge in place. The dentist-wife team prompted me to wonder how it feels for the dentist to have his wife looking over his shoulder. Something tells me that Lanny wouldn’t like it.

Before I was released from the chair, careful attention was made by the dental team to remove any “dental” debris from my tongue, lips, and face. When I looked down at my “bib,” I noticed several small globs. I couldn’t help but apologize, but the graying dentist assured me it’s no big deal. “I hope that someday the nursing home is as understanding as you are,” I said.

“Don’t worry. I’ll probably be in the room beside you.”

Cindy BakerBurnett is a resident of Bonham. Email her at