One of the first things to do before moving to the United States is to visit your dentist. I knew that, and I took care of my teeth a few days before my departure. At least I thought I did. But on one Sunday when my mother–in–law came to visit, I cooked a nice lunch. Cooking never was a problem for me, but when your mother-in –law is around, everything becomes more complicated. She is very nice and sweet, but she is still the mother of my husband. I don’t know how it is culturally in the US, but in my country, usually, the mother- in–law is not a “girl’s best friend”. At a minimum, you get nervous having her around. That is what happened to me as well. I was nervous, and, therefore, I was talkative in addition to my regular chattiness. In the middle of a conversation about great Russian literature, I bit a cherry a little bit too passionately, and with horror, I realized that one of my teeth I so lovingly took care of back home was cracked. Shall I say that my day was ruined, my week was ruined, my month was ruined as well? At the end of a month I finally decided that I have to go visit an American dentist. Going to the dentist is a famous affair for Russians. Historically, we don’t have impressive teeth for a number of reasons I can only guess at. Many ex-Soviets I know in the US and back home have problems with their teeth, and it is a sore topic for my people.
I started to look around for a trustworthy dentist. I asked people I knew for their recommendations. I checked my husband’s insurance policy. I read on-line. Finally, a lady from my neighborhood suggested going to our neighbor who has his office not too far from our house. After serious mental preparation and a phone conversation with the dentist, I made an appointment and went to his office (to be continued)