ODE TO WISDOM, Waltz No. 1

Toothaches. Painful, unpleasant, boring, irritating toothaches. Over the course of my life, I’ve changed dozens of dentists, all of whom were pretty moody, now that I think of it. Imagine looking down in people’s mouth all day long. Who wouldn’t be? My teeth have seen many a dentist maturing, getting divorced, sending their kids to college, marrying them, becoming grandparents, growing old, retiring and all they could say to the departing ones was: ‘Fill me in when you get back.’ I brush, floss, have my teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis but it’s no use. I’ve had it all: dental infection, cavity, gum disease, braces, plaque, cracked teeth, poorly placed fillings, loss of a tooth, tooth extraction and, last but not least, a crown, though I need to have it replaced. I surely know what’s it like to be a queen. The only thing I haven’t had is tooth problems during pregnancy, which left me wondering to this day why the hell not. Due to fluctuating hormone levels, pregnant women are prone to gingivitis and tooth decay. Naturally, I got a bit paranoid and had my teeth checked more often than I usually do only to be told everything seemed to be in perfect order. Given my dental history, I would greet such statements with great dismay each and every time.

Anyhow, I’ve been having a toothache for a few weeks now. It’s the irksome wisdom tooth again. The gum in the back of my mouth is swollen and I have difficulty opening my jaw. I can’t even eat properly since I’m in pain when chewing and biting. But, don’t you worry about me. I’m a tough cookie. As for my tooth, same old, same old. The condition is probably (not) critical but, whatever the case, I’m not expecting it to pull through.

 

Let us sneak a peek at my next follow-up appointment with the dentist seasoned with a likely resolution of the crisis:

Dentist: I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. You need to leave.

Wisdom Tooth: Why?

Dentist: I’m not quite sure why you’re there in the first place. There’s no way to say this nicely. You’re good-for-nothing, an unnecessary evil.

Wisdom Tooth: (sobbing) I used to be wanted and loved once, you know. You wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for me. My three best friends and me were lifesavers.

Dentist: That’s only an assumption. Our great great great great great-grandfathers used to eat difficult-to-chew food and were rather susceptible to tooth decay.

Wisdom Tooth: I did learn the importance of oral hygiene in the meantime. I brush myself every day.

Dentist: I bet you do. If we ignore our teeth, they might go away. However, this has nothing to do with To brush or not to brush. You can prevent cavities by brushing and flossing, which isn’t the case here. You got run over by evolution. You’re not contributing much, not any more. There’s no longer enough room in the jaw to accommodate you.

Wisdom Tooth: I’ve been trying to move into a new position but it doesn’t work.

Dentist: Of course it doesn’t. Other teeth are in the way.

Wisdom Tooth: I’m having an identity crisis here. I don’t know who I am any more.

Dentist: Listen, you’re bad. You have to go. It’s nothing personal. It’s something we have to do, like putting the toilet down. You may know history, but I know dentistry. I’m telling you, it has pretty advanced.

Wisdom Tooth: A dentist always gets to the root of the problem.

Dentist: Don’t get smart with me.

Wisdom Tooth: Will I get to see the tooth fairy?

Dentist: I don’t know. The money she leaves is pathetic anyway.

Wisdom Tooth: Can I at least have a hug?

Dentist: No! No offense.

Wisdom Tooth: None taken. I get the point. When you gotta leave, you gotta leave.

WISDOM.JPG

 

I honestly thought I’ve got rid of all four by now. Just when your least expect it, the third molars strike back. As far as I recall from my biology classes, the bastards usually appear in our late teens, that is early twenties, which is basically the whole point of having such a weird name, since their eruption coincides with entering adulthood. This is depressing. It means I could practically be a mom to this wisdom tooth so why the heck is it coming in so late?

Now, what is the point of my talking about my wisdom teeth? It’s to try to answer a question that has been going through my head for some time: Do we get wiser with age?

Being almost 41, I don’t consider myself old. 40s are the new 20s (thanks George), which makes 50s the new 30s (right, Tom?) But then again, I’m ancient for the jerks to be bugging me now. So, I’m not old, yet a peer called me wise recently, which isn’t really like being told you’re intelligent or well-read. Wisdom comes with age and consequently experience, as we become more educated, knowledgeable, accomplished, adept, rational, pondering, even cautious, if you will. Proper education is important, but we shouldn’t neglect the lessons one receives through informal education obtained by learning from one’s experiences, both good and bad, rather than a formal educational institution. Quite a few people didn’t have papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall or A’s on report cards; some might not have made it past grade school, but still they could have learned more from the school of life than some of our professors. Their shrewdness, sharp-wittedness, and farsightedness coming with age is what makes them wise.

In a nutshell, I wouldn’t call myself wise yet since I’m not old enough to meet the criterion. On the other hand, when compared to an 18-year old, I am definitely more experienced. I’m not sure about being wiser though. Does it mean that my tips have more weight than those of a person half my age or not really?

Are we supposed to measure wisdom with the scale of age and why do we give age so much credit? I’d like you to think it over and I’ll meet you same place to discuss more. Soon (I promise).

Author: Blogging_with_Bojana

I'm diggin' Need to grow, have to push Flicking through vinyl and feeding the rush I dig for that one and I open the haunt It's takin' all day from the back to the front I'm diggin' and diggin' You know Sorry baby I'm gone diggin' www.bloggingwithbojana.com

55 thoughts on “ODE TO WISDOM, Waltz No. 1”

  1. Holy crap, girl, I love your writing style. You have a satirical strength that is matched by your ability to structure the flow and command the reader. Top that off with your intellect and insights. Absolutely wonderful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was known for her blank expressions while performing outrageous stunts on her show. Kidding (or not). I think this dry humor that lots of people from Serbia/Bosnia have is the legacy of all the shit we had to put up with. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and more creative for that matter.
      Thanks, I love it that YOU loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for making me feel not so old! I am several years ahead of you, and I feel a whole lot better right now! I would rather get rubbed down with sandpaper than go to the dentist, but I need to go. This might have inspired me to go oddly enough because it all sounds horrible! I hope your wisdom tooth gets the farewell it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lazybones. While I was living in Canada, my dentist’s secretary would ring me up on a regular basis to remind me I needed to have my teeth checked or cleaned (in case I’d forget). How cool is that. So, you can have it arranged, so to say, lest you forget and I can see you do.
      As far as my tooth is concerned, I’ll give it a decent burial. Promise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are funny, intelligent and thoughtful. And, now you have me thinking about me teeth and my age and those things will most likely be in my head all day. I will be 49 this year and I have all of my wisdom teeth, but I have no idea if that makes me wise. Right now, I am just feeling incredulous about being so close to 50.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wise? Wisdom? Teeth??? All interconnected and fairly obtainable if we have the mindset to just make it through another year, then the next! School of hard knocks is quite the teacher! I am fairly sure I am repulsed by dentists for the simple reason of them looking into all those mouths… (HA!) but I go when I can’t stand the pain of a tooth for one minute more! Wisdom (and teeth) do come with age. Loss accompanies age (and teeth!) I smile at myself, of that person I was in my 20’s, 30’s and even my 40’s! I used to know it all! Now I know, I hardly know anything… wisdom… that’ll smack you right in the face!

    Great post! Enjoyed it so much!~Kim

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim.
      I too smile at myself esp. in my 20s. What a brat I was. In the meantime, I have learned to feel comfortable in my skin, which wasn’t always the case, and have embraced myself with all my flaws. I am ok with aging too, nth bad or unusual there. If I could, I’d never go back to my insecure teens. It was nice while it lasted but I’ve matured and need more/different kind of content.
      As for being wiser, we’ll see. It’s a process. It takes time. I’m definitely smarter, though, so I’m learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dentists are my BIGGEST fear!! I finally have one that is okay but I would rather not go to him either. I think I might be putting his kids through college with all my teeth issues.
    I think you are one of the most interesting and fun people I have had contact with. You are definitely pretty wise and a little sarcastic, which I really enjoy! Much Love to you always!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I heard once that dentists are the most prone profession in the world to suicide. I don’t really know if it’s true or some urban legend, or if the actual statistic was an American one, but I do know that nobody loves going to the dentist, most people say they hate the dentist, and some incurable dreamers actually avoid their phone calls, so it makes sense that they would be prone to, at the very least, an insecurity complex.

    That was one really long sentence.

    I can’t tell you for certain, either, that 50 is the new 30, but I can tell you that a 50-year old man, acting like a 20-year old fool, leaping over a dog gate at 1:30 in the morning at a New Year’s party can seriously hurt his kneecap. I mean, I can tell you that part for certain.

    So, my assessment of the “wisdom comes with age” philosophy is that wisdom comes with days, not age, and some days I’m really wise and others I’m a middle-aged man limping his way through the beginning of a new year because he did something terribly unwise.

    I can also tell you that I’m a regular at my dentist, they love me, and – for the most part – I tend to have a good time with the guys and gals there. Making the most of it is something that comes naturally to me, so if that’s wise then age has nothing to do with that.

    So, take from it what you will and get back to me, like you promised.

    And happy new year, Bojana. ❤️

    Thank you for the waltz. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here. Sometimes I feel very smart and proud of what I’ve done or said and then there are days when I think I should have never got out of bed.
      Some people never get wiser and smarter with time (I didn’t mean you. How’s your knee BTW? We all have our moments….not to say blackouts). So, it’s all relative.
      As for dentists, I’m a regular too. At least twice per year. Of course it’s uncomfortable, of course it sometimes hurts, but that’s sth we need to do, so what’s the use of putting it off? Better late than never sounds terribly wrong here. Sooner, rather than later. I don’t know if this is smart, but I believe that prevention is better than cure. I’m feeling very idiomatic today, as you can see. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An ounce of prevention, they say, is worth a pound of cure. 😉

        Knee, like everything else, is feeling better, every day. I will resume my natural habits soon enough, if it is my natural habits that I choose to resume as the clarity of the new year comes into being. If not, new habits will ensue. It’s the first day of the rest of our lives, today; or the last day of the whatever came before. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wisdom doesn’t come with age, I’m pretty certain, otherwise the world wouldn’t be so cluttered up with vieux cons. Wisdom teeth, not sure about them. Mine haven’t finished coming through yet. They mustn’t like the look of what’s out here. Since I was escaped the clutches of our family dentist I have seen a dentist possibly six times. I went for twelve years without going at all, then when I was pregnant with our first, decided (the gynecologist decided for me) to get them looked at. The idiot she sent me to (her mother) broke a perfectly good tooth poking about looking for something that wasn’t there. That taught me to leave well alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there are way too many old farts. Now, when I think they are an exception to a rule, it means my optimistism’s striking back, which isn’t often the case. So, it’s either or. You either become wiser as you age, or you turn bitter, never learning from your mistakes. I’ll probably be a wise old fart one day.

      Like

      1. I do. It’s terrible of me, as I’m always telling other people not to do it. I’ve just had a bellyful of old politicians, old priests, old neighbours, telling me stuff that just isn’t true or is plain stupid. There are wise old folks about but they keep their thoughts to themselves. The people who offer the world the benefit of their wisdom tend to be not wise. Notice I said ‘tend to’ this time.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We get wiser because we learn from our mistakes, but the problem is that this wisdom makes us lose our recklessness. The greatest creativity doesn’t come from making the safe and wise choice. Both wisdom and recklessness have their advantages.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, but it’s ironic that the recklessness has its advantages, but when you get older, you definitely want stability. It’s why I’m happier now than when I was young

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Age is but a small factor in the accumulation of wisdom. You can quote a wise man all day long and it’s only words unless you’ve lived the experience that spawned them. You can be intelligent without a degree, but you can’t be wise without shit happening to you or just making your own “teachable moment” aka screwing up. One benefit of having lived my life is I have accumulated some wisdom. You are living and experiencing and therefore likely to have more wisdom than a person twice your age that only looks out the window as life passes them by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t agree more.
      I just wish we hadn’t screwed up that often/much. On the other had, maybe we wouldn’t have so much to talk about if it hadn’t been different.
      It’s questionable whether we learn from our mistakes too. Partly, I can say…

      Like

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