You just don’t know when dental plaque is going to bring you closer to someone you’ve only just met

Midlife Sentence | Menopause and dental problems

First, you need to know I have a thing about teeth. My teeth, specifically. I’m not crazy about how they look and a little insecure about the big spaces in between them and their coloring and the overbite thing.

Oh, and you could land a Cessna on my gums, they’re so big. I’ve never been the kind of person to smile wide at someone and ask if I have anything in my teeth. I’m not insecure about much except the possibility I could scar someone for life with a stray spinach leaf lodged in my incisor.

You know, it could happen. Probably not, but maybe.

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You might not recognize me later

My not too distant future self? I think I have that sweater.

A few years ago I was having lunch with mom, when I recognized our server. She was about my age, and I couldn’t place her. She could have been a distant relation or someone I see every day in some other context.

She gave us our bill, and I saw her signature in big balloon letters. “Chrystal,” with a cartoon smiley face. I remembered who she was.

“Did you go to grade school over here? Over at Franklin?” I asked, bobbing my head toward the window. “I think we were in, like, second grade together.”

She tucked some hair behind her ear and looked at me, then snapped her fingers and pointed.

“That’s where … I thought. Yeah, I remember you,” she said.

“Beth,” I said, putting out my hand, but she slapped her thigh instead of taking it.

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