One of the first and most dismaying signs of my growing old was the realization I couldn't see small things like I used to, such as small letters on a page. It was cold comfort to read that the percentage of people over 50 who need reading glasses is functionally 100%. I was down to two pair (one at work and one at home) when I went to the dentist for teeth bleaching. That was pretty unpleasant but only lasted about 2 hours. They gave me a goody bag with literature, a toothbrush, Sensodyne toothpaste and a little bottle of thick blue liquid. I left the last in the car and when I was rushed one morning and had forgotten mouthwash after brushing, I drank from the little bottle the dentist had given me, thinking it must be mouthwash. It was vile in a way different from other mouthwash and I had to keep it in my mouth for about 5 minutes until I parked the car and could spit it out on the nearby plants. Thank God for the small mercy that I didn't just get impatient and swallow the stuff. The next day, when I had reading glasses with me, I looked at the little bottle and discovered it was hand sanitizer. Never assume your dentist will give you mouthwash.
Labels: personal history: teeth bleaching; reading glasses