33: Two Metal Posts

33: Two Metal Posts

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game

Two Metal Posts

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

~Marcel Proust

In my senior year of high school, I chipped one of my upper front teeth during an unfortunate wrestling incident. Not to worry. My hometown dentist placed a perfect cap upon it, and I continued to live a normal life with a healthy smile.

But years later—when the tooth next to it began to die—my dentist at the time did a super job of creating a false, four-tooth, upper bridge that perfectly matched my original teeth. Once again, I resumed a normal life with a healthy—albeit fake—smile.

In 2010, I met an outstanding woman named Kim. We established a friendship at first, and then later began dating—despite Kim living in Port Orange, Florida, and my living on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. By Sunday, January 23, 2011, we had been conducting a long-distance relationship that consisted of meeting somewhere in between our homes once every month.

On that momentous Sunday, we met halfway in Saint Augustine, Florida, and checked into the Victorian House Bed and Breakfast Inn. From there, we walked over to Columbia, a romantic Spanish restaurant where we had eaten on a previous date.

The evening was going perfectly and we had just ordered our entrees, when the waiter delivered a basket of fresh, warm bread. We promptly dove right in.

But while I was eating a slice, my bridge suddenly came loose. Inside my mouth, I could feel it dangling atop my tongue, and I tried to remain expressionless. I excused myself from the table and luckily Kim was none the wiser. She was probably too engrossed in the bread.

Upon arriving in the men’s room, imagine my dismay when my bridge fell off into the sink. I looked up into the mirror to see two metal posts jutting down from my upper gums.

I snatched the bridge from the sink, washed it off, and then wrapped it in a paper towel. Tucking it into my pants pocket, I departed the men’s room.

Then I trudged back out to our table, covered my mouth with my right hand, and explained to Kim what had just happened. Have you ever tried to talk without your upper front four teeth?

Kim was fantastic! She didn’t run away. Instead, she perfectly understood. She even laughed.

That night, imagine two grown adults, lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling fan . . . and just shaking their heads.

The next morning, we were up early—before the Victorian Inn even offered their breakfast—and went to a local dentist that Kim happened to know. He glued my bridge back in, and Kim and I returned in time to make breakfast.

The rest of our Saint Augustine date was uneventful—like nothing had even happened. We’re still together, and that bridge has remained in ever since.

~John M. Scanlan

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