When I visit my dental hygienist, Katrina, it feels like I am in a psychiatrist’s office. She has me lie down on a couch/chair that could fit well into any psychiatric office. Katrina then asks me if I have had any problems since I last visited her. Her soft, friendly voice relaxes me.
Her counseling voice leads me to confess that I need to improve on my flossing – and I will try harder. Like a competent psychiatrist, she encourages the little progress I have exhibited and offers advice on how I can improve my dental care. She is not judgmental, but does offer positive suggestions for improving my self-image and my health in general.
The mask she wears leads me to believe that I really am seeing a mysterious psychiatrist who pretends to be a dental hygienist.
• Over the years, another dental hygienist convinced me that he was a secret CIA agent. The first thing he did was shine a very bright light into my eyes and then started asking me investigative questions, such as “Do you live at the same address and still have the same telephone number?”
He also asked about my dental behavior since I last saw him and wanted to know if I followed his last instructions from our previous visit. During the entire session he never removed his mask or offered his name. The last thing he said to me was, “You are free to go.”
• Some people refer to me as having “too vivid an imagination” about life in general. Others suggest I am a tad paranoid. I am not paranoid, but I don’t want the male CIA agent working on me again!
• As for Katrina, I always feel better physically and emotionally after seeing her. The next time I see her I will greet her as “Dr. Katrina.”
• A co-worker recently asked me, “What is your favorite animal? I immediately said, “Someone else’s puppy.”
If you have a puppy, feel free to invite me to your house, but don’t expect an invitation to bring your puppy to my house. As to your puppy (at your house), I will gladly rub his tummy, back and ears. I will even hold him on my lap and sing, “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” to him/her. Both of us will be content.
Raising animals requires more patience and time than I am willing to devote. I admire animal lovers, but I don’t envy them. Good luck with your pet!
• Maybe women live longer because they are too busy to sit down for long periods of time. The Lazy Boy chair does not become their best friend. From my life observations, the people who remain active, mentally and physically, live longer. They also enjoy life more because they have energy and enthusiasm to spare. Optimism is their trademark, and “Ain’t life awful” never enters their minds.
• These energy-filled people make time for volunteer work to help others. Kindness and compassion are important to these optimists. When others feel better, they feel better. They actually believe the universe is friendly, and they want it to stay that way.
High-energy people avoid doomsday conversations. When they get together, there is lots of laughter, lots of compliments, and a “we can do it” mentality.
• You can’t prevent negative thoughts or negative people from entering your life, but you can determine how long they remain there!
Bob Billingsley’s column appears biweekly. He also writes Heard Over the Back Fence three times a week.