Category Archives: Trials and Tribulations

Soul Searching

I’ve been doing a whole lot of it lately.  I think the best explanation for my lack of posts has been that I don’t have anything to say.  Or, at minimum, anything good to say.  This post is meant to be an explanation of sorts, though I have a strange suspicion it may come across as a pity post.  If that’s the case, I’m being upfront that it’s unintentional.

The past few months at work have been slow.  Painfully slow.  Slow as in, as of late, I don’t work Mondays and Wednesdays.  An automatic response would be, “lucky you!”, but the truth is, when I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  Being at home with time on my hands and no money coming in is P.A.I.N.F.U.L.  When I first started work I was in a similar situation, and found myself legit depressed for the first time in my life.  I’ve been sick and tired of school and bummed about immediate situations before, but I’m talking legit depressed.  Depressed like—you worked your entire life towards something that’s sucking all of your energy and finances out of you and giving nothing in return-depressed.  I’m finding the depression creeping in again, and praying the holidays will ward it off until things undoubtedly pick up again in January.  In the meantime, I have far too much time on my hands.  Too much time yields too much thinking.  My brain never stops to begin with, but when it’s left in silence it works at quadruple the pace and the result is never good.

Thinking has led me to re-evaluate…..everything.  I think I’m in the beginning stages of a quarter-life-crisis of sorts.  Nothing to hit the panic button over, I think this sort of thing is bound to hit everyone in their mid late twenties, and recur again in the fifties.  I’m sane, and I’m not going to chop my hair, tattoo anything or make any sudden moves…because that’s not my style.  It’s more of a “where are you going with this” reevaluation of my life.  I’m lucky in that I have absolute stability in the most important stuff.  My relationship with Chris is rock-solid, and when I look into the future that’s the one thing I know is for the long haul.  It’s the rest of the stuff that’s got my gears turning.

I’m still settling in to being a dentist.  I didn’t expect to graduate and know so little—but the truth is, after thirty years in practice as a dentist you still don’t. know. everything.  You might not even know 50%.  I hate what I’m about to say, because it’s so “oh poor you”, but I wholeheartedly believe it, and so I’ll throw it out there.  Being a dentist is one of the most difficult careers out there.  People don’t like coming to see you, you’re working in a black box of limited visibility with a tongue and cheeks to battle to work within fractions of millimeter parameters.  It’s f*ing hard as s***.  People don’t like having to pay to take care of their mouths, they think you own a yacht even though your student loan debt is greater than your overly understanding husband’s mortgage, and it never ends.  I’m either having a nightmare about whether I removed all the nerve tissue from the last root canal I did that day, or on call on the weekends saying no to the second drink in case my phone rings on Saturday night.

About a year ago I had an overwhelming sense of relief when I was explaining to one of my closest friend’s why dentistry is stressful.  Her dad is a dentist, and she was in awe of my descriptions, because she remembered her dad always coming home stressed from work, but wasn’t sure why.  At least I’m not the only dentist out there who feels constantly on the verge of falling off the deep end.  Overly dramatic, maybe.

So over the past two months of having too much time on my hands to constantly stress about the next 25 years of loan payments I have to face and whether or not I want to spend these 25 years doing the profession that I’m paying off the education for, I haven’t had much to say.  For now, I’ll continue making lists of pros and cons, weeding out as much as I can from my day to day that ends up on the “cons” list, and doing more of what constitutes a “pro”.  I’ll try to search for the good, and put the bad into perspective.  That, and I’ll hope to hell my schedule fills up enough to stop thinking so much about it all.

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The Art of Confrontation…and a Side of Apple Sauce

A week ago last Friday I had the long-lasting keratin treatment done at a local salon and spa. I’d been anticipating getting this treatment for a long, long time. I had a gift card (remember my gift card hoarding problem) from last June to this salon, and saved up to finally get it done.  I had heard so much positive feedback about this treatment—it is supposed to smooth your hair and decrease drying time.  My hair takes about 40 minutes to blow dry, and I’m a complete greaseball, so I have to shower and blow dry daily. In the summer I’m fine with the frizzy wreckless look if it means avoiding these 40 minutes of heat torture, but in the winter I get cold and force myself through the annoyance of spending this long in the bathroom.  I don’t color my hair and I never spend much on hair maintenance…so this was a big commitment for me.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the treatment…it costs at minimum $300.  I called the salon where I had the gift card and got on their waiting list, as they were just starting to offer the treatment. When they finally called and booked my appointment, I couldn’t have been more excited.

So that Friday I had a new stylist wash my hair 5 times, blow dry it on a cool setting, apply the keratin to each strand in small layers, then flat iron everything until it was pin-straight. The whole process took about 3.5 hours. The next part was the worst—I couldn’t wash my hair for four days. FOUR DAYS! If you’ve ever seen me a day unshowered, you know that this is dangerous territory. To make it worse, you can’t get any “bends” in your hair, so no pony tails and no hair tucked behind your ears. I was sporting the mangy, wet dog look all weekend. My only saving grace was a dry shampoo available for purchase that is compatible with the treatment during this period…it helped, a little. But I was GROSS. See below:

Gross, right? So you can imagine how excited I was to return to the salon Tuesday for my wash and blow dry. I was REALLY excited.   Like, Christmas morning excited.

I got to the salon and this time had the senior stylist working with me. When I sat down, she commented that my hair must be naturally “pin straight” seeing as it remained so straight over the four days. I told her no, it was actually annoyingly wavy, but I had flat ironed the “bends” out each morning as instructed by the previous stylist. This stylist suddenly had a look of panic on her face and exclaimed, “you FLAT ironed your hair? On a hot setting?!?” When I told her I had (as instructed), she seemed a little panicked and a little annoyed at the new stylist. Apparently you aren’t supposed to apply heat AT ALL in that time. WHAT?!? So, she said I should be fine, but still looked a little apprehensive. She did her thing, my hair looked great as it always does when someone has direct access to the back of my head when styling it, and I went on my way feeling squeaky clean and satisfied. I tried out my new hair for about a week, excitedly asking Chris each morning how much better my hair looked. His response each time? It looks about the same. The other thing I noticed was that my drying time was—about the same. My hair didn’t feel different at ALL! I finally admitted to myself that this was a failed treatment, and started wondering if it was due to my flat ironing. This treatment is $301 before tip…though I had a gift card, it took a LOT to get my to spend this on myself. I had high hopes, and felt utterly defeated. When I finally told Chris what happened with the mis-direction on the flat ironing, he made me realize that I would have to talk to the salon.

I hate confrontation. I hate it so much I have a pit in my stomach THINKING about it right now. I hate it because I’m truly terrible at it. It really is an art. When Chris brings a mistake or complaint to someones attention, he somehow walks away with a new client or a new friend. When I try the same, I either cry and appear mousy, or I get hot all over and can’t get my words out so I leave and then get really, really angry.

Yesterday I drove to the salon. I didn’t sleep the night before thinking about what I had to do. I MADE myself do it, knowing I’d be in knots until it was over. I walked in and asked to see either stylist A or B to ask some questions. The owner came out and told me neither were there, but that she would be happy to answer any questions. This was not true—she was not happy to answer my questions….it was more like willing. While she listened to what I had to say (I want to give myself a pat on the back here because I was able to tell my story politely and thoroughly without a tear…though they were creeping further and further up the back of my throat the entire conversation).  She did hear what I had to say, but she then proceeded to find reasons why the salon was at no fault for the failed treatment. She said it was my responsibility to realize my stylist was wrong by reading directions. She said it was my hair type that probably didn’t take. She said a lot of things in attempt to avoid having to actually deal with the problem. My issue is that I spent an ungodly amount of money on my hair and I got no results. If a salon messes up highlights or a cut, they see you again to fix it. This treatment cost WAY more, and she’s offering to do absolutely nothing! I continued to do a pretty decent job of holding it together, and asked that she speak to both stylists and the manufacturer regarding the flat iron situation and get back to me. She’s supposed to call today or tomorrow. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ve written down my points and  rehearsed how to say them so that I might be direct without being overly emotional or snappy. I’ll keep you posted.

So as not to end a post this close to Christmas on a negative note, per request of Nick, here’s my apple sauce recipe. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make, it costs no money, it tastes delicious, all it’s a hit with all age groups. I’d highly recommend offering to bring this next time a family member asks you to lend a hand and bring a dish to a holiday.

Buy one bag of Macintosh apples to make a serving for about 10-12, two bags for more.

Peel apples.

Use apple corer/slicer to core and slice apples.


Bring water in a medium saucepan to a boil. You only want enough water to cover the bottom of the pan about an inch. If you have a double-boiler, that works even better. I don’t have one. Once water is boiling, add the apples and cover. Boil the apples until they are soft, about 5 minutes.


Remove the apples with a strainer spoon or in a strainer (you don’t want the water) and place is serving pan. Use a fork to “mush” the apples. If you want your sauce chunky, leave it in big chunks. If you want it smooth, you can mush them until it’s almost a puree.

Add cinnamon to taste. This is my favorite part…I taste it A LOT to make sure it’s just right.

Mix it all together until it’s a creamy brown, and enjoy. If by chance your apples aren’t sweet enough, you can add sugar to taste as well. I’ve rarely if ever had to do this.

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Filed under Cooking, Trials and Tribulations