I have my first dental appointment on Tuesday, marking the beginning of yet another series of intense digging, drilling, and rooting around in my poor, delicate little mouth. I really do have a small mouth and it’s not easy to keep cranked open for hours at a time. My hope is that the new dentist has incredibly small hands.
It’s just in time, too, as the past three or four days my permanent crown has begun to ache and feel tender. I have a little bit of swelling and, last night, when we went to dinner with Jay & Scott as a last-dinner-in-several-weeks pre-surgery celebration (Jay’s having his tonsils taken out at this moment), I thought I might pass out. I got really dizzy when we got home, felt hot and nauseated, and some other things I won’t mention for those of you with weak constitutions.

At this point I’m going to estimate that I have another few thousand dollars’ worth of dental work to be done, at least two more root canals, and several cavities in need of filling. I don’t know what the new gal is going to do with this crown. I think the “Butcher of Broad Ripple” as Jay eloquently called her last night, did a hack job on my teeth. I spent hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours last summer getting a lot cleaned. She split up my appointments so frequently that I didn’t think I’d ever get the work done. And I didn’t. Before I knew it, the insurance was maxed out, MetLife dropped her, my savings were dried up, and I wasn’t even a third of the way done.

It’s really frustrating because both Charlie and I have been saving a lot since that time and I don’t want either of us spending money on something like this. I guess that’s what you have savings for, but I’d really rather start investing, or putting it away to buy a house and/or move in the next few years. It’s taken us a while to really get into a financial groove, and I’m super-proud of him for working so hard.

We’ve discussed the idea of buying here because, after all, all our friends and family live in Indiana. Plus, our bank has pre-qualified both of us for a generous amount of house. We’ve discussed the idea of moving out of state because, after all, if I’m going to grad school I might as well apply to a few exotic places just to do something else for a few years. But there is something to be said for the comfort and convenience that come with job security, health insurance, steady paychecks, and a safe neighborhood.

But every few years, I’ve noticed that Charlie gets stuck in a major rut and seems really unhappy until he makes Big Changes. Now that we’ve traded in both the Santa Fe and the Corolla for a Matrix and a Tacoma, he seems pleased. Now that he’s finally leaving the office gig to go back to carpentry, he seems happier. But what happens in another couple of years if I apply and am accepted to the pedagogy program at IU? It won’t be much of a move, but it’ll be a move nonetheless. Or what if I’m accepted to a program in Utah that offers to pay tuition and some housing, plus a living stipend? I don’t really want to go to Utah, so I suppose to best thing is to not apply to any schools there, but I also don’t know what will happen if I’m not accepted anywhere. I don’t want to be yet another English major working in a bookstore.

I know now isn’t the time to make any big decisions. I’ve gone back and forth between uprooting myself and settling down and I just cannot decide. So I allow myself to entertain lots of ideas and see how I feel about them. I want to take the summer off and do a whole lot of nothing, but I was thinking about taking a class at the Indianapolis Art Center. It would have nothing to do with college, just give me something to do and work on. I’ve always liked the idea of working with metal or glass. I know I can’t draw for shit, I can’t really paint, and my sewing skills aren’t quite up to par yet.

Speaking of art, the Herron print and ceramics sale is next Friday, April 27th. You should stop by. I talked Charlie into taking the day off. I think he, Cavan, and I are going to get breakfast and head down. If they can occupy themselves for a bit, I’d like to meet with an adviser at IUPUI.And speaking of Cavan, he’s applying to an English-as-a-second language program for the school year in Spain. I’m a little concerned that he might not have enough time to get all his paperwork in, and, of course, that he’d be leaving in September after having signed another year lease (we weren’t quite ready to take on all the bills just yet), but I think it would be good for him.


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