This was a post of mine on another blog. I posted it in August of 2009. I am reprinting it here because it’s one of a couple of new posts I want to make about interesting people I meet in my life.
On this spinning ball of 7 billion people, there’s only a handful in my life that have actually sparkled and stood out from the rest. Something about them that just shines from the inside out and makes me happy to share a planet with them.
My dental hygienist is one of those sparkling people.
So I’m thinking of asking my dental hygienist out.
Okay, don’t look at me like that. I’m very (okay, mostly) happily married to my husband. But it’s rare to find someone who has a lot of things in common with me. I spent 1.5 hours getting my teeth x-rayed, scraped and polished while I listened to my very informed dental hygienist about the latest in digital imaging for teeth x-rays, about the discovery of bacteria in the mouth (and even though she didn’t tell me, I had a suspicion it was certain strains of streptococcus bacteria) that were discovered in the hearts of patients of mitral valve prolapse quite by accident, and how chewing tobacco is made with not only 19 different carcinogens but it contains fiberglass (or a fiberglass-like substance) to etch the gums so that the nicotine can penetrate into the tissue (gross but good to know because my dear husband used to chew tobacco occasionally – another reason it was good for him to give it up).
The dental hygienist also told me about her now adult children, who are very bright. She was telling me stories about his year-long stay in China teaching English to students and how he now works with college students with Asperger’s Syndrome and she let me know of a few fun things in the area to do with the kids (guided nature hikes, the astronomy club, Saturday classes fifth graders can take at the local university). Asperger’s syndrome was one of those topics I’d researched because my daughter has had selective mutism and sensory processing disorder, and for a while, I thought it might have been indicative of being on the autism spectrum. Turns out that my daughter is not autistic, but it was interesting to learn about neurodiverse experiences.
I was very pleased with the dental visit and a bit sad that it had to end. I wanted to talk to her more, particularly since it was obvious that she was a highly intelligent woman and spent a lot of time on the research of her field. She told me only 30 credit hours were required to maintain her certification, but she easily had about 100 credit hours. It was clear she was passionate about learning about new things related to her job.
I think I should like to find out if she’s be interested in going out for coffee or to the bookstore or something. I have to go back in 2 weeks to get some minor cavities repaired, so I’m thinking of giving it a shot. I really like the idea that her kids are grown, because oftentimes mothers only want to get together with me for playdates with the kids. I never get to go out with another friend without kids being involved. Or of being told it’s a great idea, yet somehow it never seems to happen.
I have a feeling that she just might be interested, particularly after she told me she was going to be thinking about our conversation after she got off work tonight.
She just seemed a lot like me and I think it could be a good friendship. I think we’d have a lot in common and it would be good to hang around someone who researches things as much as I do.
It turns out my friend the dental hygienist and I did have a lot in common and we have met a couple of times since this posting. One of the funniest stories I have involve a church picnic my friend invited us too. I’ll post that story next.