So have you heard the Good News?!!
Salvation is unexpectedly and inexplicably at my door. I’m suddenly born again and been given a righteous path away from damnation. Praise the lord!
Yes, my friends, I’m saved. It took me by surprise too. There I was earlier in the week, happily sinning and contemplating the vagaries of retirement-friendly dividend funds, when you might say I saw a light. Or I heard a light. Or maybe I saw and heard a light.
Actually come to think of it, I’m not really not sure. It’s possible I saw a light and then heard something else completely. Religion is complicated.
But no matter. I’m saved, dear readers, and I owe it all to our new dentist. I know! A dentist for God… I mean, for gosh sakes. The good lord indeed works in wondrous ways.
My road to enlightenment really started back in November, during the annual open season for insurance plans. We had to find a new dentist because earlier in the year we moved to our new home in a different part of Florida. You know how that drill goes: you look over all the available plans, check dentists who are preferred providers in the network, and then study all the fine print of what each plan offers.
Most dental plans offer either a standard or high option coverage. But because Gorgeous has a history of extensive dental work, we decided to stay in the same high option plan that we’ve had for the last two years. After some deliberation and helpful referrals from people we’ve met here, we chose a dentist who was listed as in-network in our current plan. Easy right?
Ah, but the devil’s handiwork is always at play.
Although we exercised due diligence in confirming this dentist with our insurance company ahead of time, plus calling the dental office itself just to confirm, we nonetheless discovered at our first scheduled appointment in January that the practice was no longer listed as a preferred provider. We carried on with the appointments anyway but had to pay non-network rates. Our insurance company later apologized when we called them, explaining that the dentist’s affiliation had changed sometime after the start of the year.
It was bad timing and bad luck. Or, perhaps it was the hand of Lucifer? I wonder what dental school he attended?
I managed to get through my own exam and cleaning unscathed. But Doctor Lucifer unfortunately found decay under some of Gorgeous’ old crowns. With a prophetic gleam in his eye, he recommended that she return for repair, replacement, and perhaps some sacrificial bloodletting for good measure.
However, there was no way we were going to go back to a dentist out of network. And anyway I’m pretty sure Satanism is a pre-authorization under our plan.
Changing horses in mid-stream, we quickly re-started a search for another dentist. We went back to our original list of candidates and zeroed in on one who was recommended by a neighbor. This time we doubled and triple checked with the insurance company and the dentist’s staff to make sure that he was in-network. Once we determined he was, we called back Dr. Lucifer’s office to ask that x-rays and records for both of us be transferred to the new dentist.
Gorgeous made an appointment a week later with the new dentist for a consult. She also asked me to come along with her to get impressions of the doctor. Well, just to be clear, she wanted my opinion of him. But wouldn’t it be a gas to actually ask for a copy of your dentist’s own dental impressions?
Both the doctor and his staff were very nice and professional. He studied my lovely bride’s x-rays, did a rudimentary examination of all her teeth, and ultimately confirmed the previous diagnoses of her crowns. Doctor and patient agreed on a procedure to do everything in one appointment, which was arranged for the following week. Prior to leaving, the office manager printed off a precise estimate of the charges, showing both our costs and those that the insurance company will pay. All amounts were further delineated by the established, agree-upon network charges between insurer and provider. In other words, it’s all in-network, baby. I was jazzed.
While sitting in the office during that consult, however, my ears were picking up on the music that was being played overhead. It wasn’t the soft, Brian Eno ambient kind that’s often played in dental offices. Nor was it one of those generic mixes of pop favorites, which quite frankly was a relief to me — I’m not sure I can handle that jarring moment when a great Tom Petty song segues into Taylor Swift, and I’m sitting in a dental chair.
No, what I plainly heard was country music. And not the classic country sounds of Willie, Merle, Patsy, or Conway (which would be pleasing to me), but rather modern country music.
I really don’t care for modern country music.
But hey, this is northern Florida. The Georgia border is really just short drive from here. Who am I to judge the music my new dentist likes? Play me some Florida Georgia Line and let’s talk fluoride treatments, shall we?
On the appointed day, we arrive for Gorgeous’ appointment. I was forewarned that with breaks this procedure would last at least three hours, possibly four. I could have gone back home to wait, but I thought I’d be a caring spouse and stay put in the waiting room. They had WiFi and complimentary coffee and cookies, plus an available rest room. My basic needs were met.
I really didn’t pay much attention to the music till probably the second hour. The doctor had come out once to let me know how everything was going, which was kind of him. But at one point I put down my laptop and all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks: this wasn’t just country music playing overhead; it was Christian country. Every song played was modern Christian country music.
What tipped me off? Well, it was the constant references to “Him” sung by men. Although I’m sure statistically speaking there are a fair number of gay country music fans and performers, I had my doubts that Gay Christian Country is an actual sub-genre music format.
By hour four the good doctor came back out to report that an additional tooth which previously looked like a potential problem on the x-ray, was now confirmed to also need a new crown. Gorgeous gave him the go-ahead to work on that too. This, he said, would keep her in that chair for an additional hour. By this time I was rapturously swaying in my seat to the glory of the kingdom, the fidelity of marriage, and the majesty in which He blesses this great land of ours. I looked at him with reverence and instructed to just carry on with the good work.
Gracious God, my bride was in good hands.
Later on our way home, after enduring a five-hour dental odyssey, Gorgeous recounted to me how incredible this new dentist is. She talked about how gentle he was, how she never felt any discomfort, and that he is incredibly skilled. She said he might be the best dentist she’s ever had.
I told her how glad I was to hear all of this, that it was apparent we were led to him by divine intervention.
She glanced at me in an odd way.
Since that time I’ve slowly gotten back to my old self. I’m cussing aloud again as I watch the news, and I’ve stopped dropping my G’s in conversation. You can really only drag a Jew so far from his normal comfort zone. Zei gezunt.
Still, it’s good to be saved; I like having all bases covered. On my next visit, though, I think I’ll bring my iPod and headphones. I got my own tunes after all.
Until next time…
¹ Get it? Get it? The Rolling Stones? Sympathy for the Devil? Ha!