This is about a girl I ran into that I hadn’t seen for a while. I’ve known Teri for over twenty-five years though you couldn’t quite call us friends; more like good acquaintances with far too little to share to have intimacy of any kind, more than an honest assessment.
Teri used it work for a medical group in my neighborhood who let her go after thirty years of faithful service. She had taken a rare leave of absence to have a hip replacement but was quietly not asked back.
I always wondered why but never felt it was appropriate to ask. Like I said, we weren’t close friends.
When I saw her I was rushing to go to work, but like many people when you say, I’m sorry I can’t talk right now, they hear, but I can still give you a good fifteen minutes.
She lamented on that street corner how for two years she hasn’t been able to find work. She blamed it on turning sixty and how if a position was between her and a younger gal she’d lose hands down.
What I remembered about her was her elegant, easy style despite a lifelong battle with weight. Her blonde hair was always coiffed and curled and she’d wear starched button-downs always with the collar flipped up over nicely pressed khakis. I also loved her jewelry: big, wooden bangles and pastel beads and she was never without a great looking handbag.
All this came to mind as she yammered on about those mysterious powers that be who were preventing her from finding employment.
Then I saw something I had never noticed before.
Teri’s teeth from top to bottom were completely rotten. I thought maybe it was the way the light was hitting her but then I got a whiff of what all those interviewers must get when they first meet her. I was stunned.
Could this be why her former employer let her go?
And why, pray tell, hasn’t anyone said anything to her. She has siblings, a mother who only recently passed away and more than that, how can she not know herself?
I was more than a little bewildered.
Finally I had to excuse myself.
“Teri I really must go. I’m going to be late,” I said, turning my face when she went to hug me good-bye.
“Let’s have coffee soon, okay Susannah. I have so much more to tell you.”
I lied and said I’d call knowing I wouldn’t because how could I not tell her. I’d have to, and let’s face it, what right did I have when you come right down to it.
First of all, if it were me, I’d want to know. Just the other day I asked my pal Ed if my breath was a little off since a girl we were with kept offering me mints making my awareness more than a little acute.
My question where Teri is concerned is, how can she be that unaware she has such a serious problem?
I’m almost positive this is the reason she’s not getting hired since it’s more than a little offensive with clearly no solution in sight.
I do know some people are terrified of the dentist but you can’t live your life with what has to be an infected mouth. It’s been proven that if teeth aren’t properly taken care of it can cause heart disease among other illnesses.
Is it possible she has no clue?
It made me sad since self-care is such an important part of self-esteem so worth staying on top of.
Camille said I should mind my own business and just brush my own teeth.
I know she’s right, but I can’t help thinking about it.
I’ve also noticed I’m flossing a lot more often, like hourly.
Think that’s too much?