During a root canal a few years ago, my dentist and his assistant were discussing what he viewed as her excessive TV-watching habits.
Though neither had been speaking to me, when the dentist left the room to let the Novocain work its magic, I asked the assistant, “Did you ever consider turning off the TV just for one night after work?”
Her face flushed and panic overtook her eyes. She turned, and with her back to me started organizing a tool tray. Facing me again, she whispered, “What would I do?”
“I don’t know,” I said with a smile, attempting to convey that she might be on the precipice of adventure. “That’s what you’re going to find out.”
At my follow-up appointment I didn’t mention our last conversation.
I thought, Gina, if the woman wants to watch TV all night long it’s none of your business.
We chatted about other topics – her lovely manicure and new boyfriend; the fact that I was still in pain though the dentist told me I wouldn’t be. Then out of nowhere she said, “I haven’t been watching TV.”
“I mean, not like every day but I tried it a couple of times.”
“And what did you discover?”
“Well, there’s this room in my house I’ve been threatening to paint for years, and finally I just got to it.” She was animated. “I went to the paint store, got some colors and put them on the wall. Then I took out these curtains I had that I thought would go well with the room...”
“Sounds like you had fun.”
She smiled and said, “I did.”
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