This week, before I went to get my dental check up, I braced myself for another lecture on more consistent flossing. I hadn't planned on needing to justify my approach to our wedding to my dentist.
Dentist, spying my ring: When's the big day?
Me: August 27th.
Dentist: That's not long!
Me: Just under 40 days, yeah.
Dentist: Oh, hon, we're really gonna have to hustle to get your whitening scheduled.
Me: My what?
Dentist: You know, your whitening. So your teeth will be nice and white for your wedding. Most of my brides get at least a couple of treatments.
Me: I'm ok with my teeth.
Dentist: But we could make them even whiter.
Me: No, thanks, I think I'll skip that.
Dentist, frantic: But it's your wedding!
Let's examine the dentist's appeals:
1. "But we could make them even whiter."
What kind of white? As it is, my teeth aren't coffee brown or nicotine yellow. If we were looking for hardware store paint chips to match my teeth, we might find something close in that indistinguishable family of soft off-whites that includes Eggshell, Ecru, Bone, Vanilla, Ivory, Cream.
Those are reasonable colors for teeth to be. I'd be afraid that bleaching would put my teeth more in the family of Politician Smile white and Blank Word Document That Should Have Been A First Draft By Now white.
The underlying argument from the dentist, of course, was: "There are people out there who are prettier than you are, and their teeth are dazzlingly white. Do you have your checkbook with you?"
2. "But it's your wedding!"
From the more reasonable friends and family, this sentence means, "Your wedding is important enough to justify being a little fancier than you normally would," or, "Let us do something nice for you, since getting married is a big deal and we want to help."
However, when a peddler-of-wedding-goods says it, she is attempting to bypass all your logic with her Jedi wedding vendor mind trick nonsense.
Blade and I ran into this mind trickery at Bed Bath and Beyond, too, when we didn't register for some of the fancier stuff we'd never use, and again when a potential caterer couldn't believe we weren't planning on serving a formal, sit-down meal at our reception.
When a vendor says "But it's your wedding," she means, "Your wedding -- and, by extension, your marriage -- won't be as meaningful and impressive and real if you don't purchase these goods and services. Did you say you had your checkbook with you?"
I finally told my dentist I would think about it, because I was tired of the conversation and needed my teeth cleaned so I could move on to the rest of the afternoon. The sound of the polisher blocked out most of the rest of the free wedding advice.