Please don’t hurt me because I’m beautiful |

Please don’t hurt me because I’m beautiful

“So … what’s on your agenda for tomorrow?” Husband-Head asked as we got ready for bed the other evening. “A riveting city council meeting? An in-depth interview with a funeral director? The latest sewer plant update?”

I shook my head.

“Nope, I’m actually taking a little ‘me’ time tomorrow,” I said proudly. “I’m having my teeth cleaned and my hair colored. It’s going to be a health and beauty day and I’m looking forward to it.”

Husband-Head looked shocked.

“Who in the world looks forward to dental work?” he asked with disbelief . “That’s like getting excited about a colonoscopy.”

Or a mammogram.

But my hygienist is great and while I don’t always get stellar checkups, she makes the process as painless as possible.

Most of the time.

There’s something about the sound of someone scraping away on your teeth that reminds me of nails on a chalkboard and gives me goosebumps. But I know it’s a necessary procedure and that it’s good for me, so I try to count the number of puppies in the poster that is pasted on the ceiling while she does it. However, I’ve yet to come up with a firm figure.

And the two of us make an effort at having a conversation during the process.

Naturally, she has the upper hand because it’s hard for me to answer with the saliva sucker, or whatever it’s called, in my mouth, along with her fingers.

On this particular visit, she mentioned that her husband was a fan of the column and I told her I was having a book collection of columns coming out this summer.

“I’ve always thought I should write a book about the weird experiences I’ve had in my job,” she admitted.

“… ike aahht?” I tried to ask while her hands were in my mouth.

“Oh, like the time someone called and asked if we could extract the gold fillings out of their dead relative’s mouth,” she said nonchalantly. “Apparently they wanted to melt the gold down and sell it.”

I pushed her hands away.

“WHAT?” I asked with horror. “That is some way bad ju-ju! Who would do that to a dead person?”

“Well, obviously we wouldn’t have to use anesthesia,” she shrugged. “And they would probably only get about $15 for the gold. But I declined and told them we didn’t do that. It didn’t seem right.”

I agreed. Taking off the deceased person’s jewelry and giving it to the family seems acceptable and donating organs is a commendable thing to do. But to extract body parts for profit seemed like a bad, bad thing.

The hygienist continued her work and was moving around when my little green bib flew up over my chest and onto my face, practically suffocating me.

“Ahhh!” I screamed out in a muffled voice. “I’m being assaulted by the bib!”

She pushed the offending material away and we had a good laugh about that.

A little while later, she was intensely focusing on a tooth and holding my head when I had to gently bite her to get her attention.

“Ummm, you’re kinda poking me in the eye with your thumb,” I informed her.

She apologized and went on with her work.

I didn’t expect this to be as relaxing as, say, a massage, but I certainly didn’t expect to be injured during the procedure, either.

As she finished polishing my teeth, she moved her instruments and something fell and landed smack on my cheek.

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry, Heidi!” she apologized again. “You’re probably never going to come back to me again!”

“I will,” I assured her. “But when I get out of this chair, I’m just going to punch you in the nose and we’re going to call it even.”

Off I went on my way to the hairdresser to get cut and colored.

“Please don’t stab me with the scissors, please don’t stab me with the scissors,” I silently prayed on the way there.

“You look pretty,” Husband-Head said when he came home that evening. “How much did all that cost me?”

“Let’s just say the money wasn’t the painful part,” I said honestly.

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Treating mental illness as a disability


Editor’s note: The Post Independent, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, continues a monthly series of profiles about people in our community who meet challenge with courage and perseverance.

See more