Friday, December 4, 2009


I want to make a universal etiquette code that everyone must abide by.
(Yeah, right! What mixture of OTC drugs am I on, right?)
But seriously. . . .
I thought of this “code” because of my crown . . .
No, not for my head, but the temporary crown in my mouth.
It all began a month ago.
I was chewing my gum when . . .
What the heck? Why is there grit in my . . .
No—not grit!
My tooth!
Or rather, my crown.
Quick emergency trip to the dentist.
I now have a temporary crown on. My real one is waiting for me at the dentist’s office, but I’ve been traveling so much lately that I’ve had to cancel my office visit twice.
There are consequences though to wearing temporary crowns too long.
Shown recently in the behavior from my family, friends—and even strangers.
When I speak . . .
People put their forefinger by their nose . . .
Or rear their head back.
Or crinkle their nose like my one-year-old grandson has done.
And my cat!
When a cat crinkles its whiskers when you talk in its face . . .
You know you’ve got some kind of stank going on in your mouth.
(stank - a stronger odor than stink)
So, after noticing this behavior a few weeks after my temporary crown was put in I realized . . .
Dear God!
There must be rotting food lodged in my temporary crown!
I so want to dig in there and get it out but remember the warning from the dental assistant.
“Do NOT floss this temporary crown or it could pop off!”
So out of fear of popping off my temporary crown and having an exposed nerve while I was in Korea, LA, or anywhere . . .
I’ve only delicately cleaned the area around that temporary.
Consequently, that’s what has caused this “rearing back” behavior from people I talk with.
So, to solve this problem, I think there should be a code so people can kindly and gently—though effectively—let another person know that they’ve got stink-breath going on.
A person would say, “Mint?” and then nod their head once.
Which is not to be confused with offering someone a mint to be courteous. Then a person would just say, “Would you like a mint?” No nod of the head.
Now if someone has bad, bad breath, a person would say, “Mint?” And then nod their head several times.
And for halitosis, a person would say, “Mint?” And then nod their head incessantly.
See? That way you know you’ve got a stanky problem in your mouth and how severe it is.
And it gives people a way of letting you know.
No talking behind the person’s back and saying things like . . .
“Boy, their breath reeks!”
“Why don’t you tell them?”
“Why don’t you tell them.”
“No! You tell them.”
And then what happens is no one tells them and they go around with stink-breath.
Or that person is avoided like the plague.
So, everyone reading this, please obey this simple rule of etiquette.
If you offer me a mint like you’re asking me a question and then nod your head . . .
I’ll “know.”
And the same will hold true if I ask you if you’d like a mint and then nod my head.
Got it?

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. The temporary crown comes off next Tuesday. I'll be stank-less.Yeah!


Anonymous said...

Good one, Karen! I think a little "stank" breath is worth the risk of offending peoplei in exchange for not exposing a nerve! That sounds painful beyond anything. I'll try and put your suggested etiquette into practice. Let's make a movement out of it! Patrice

Jill Kemerer said...

Stinky teeth is never pretty. I've been there, trust me! Please feel free to give me the "mint" signal anytime!

Em-Musing said...

Praise the Lord! My permanent crown is going on tomorrow. Yes, let's start an etiquette movement :)