It was just a few days ago that I heard it for the first time: the word “falsies.”
Actually, it wasn’t the very first time I’d heard the word; rather, it was the first time I had heard it used to refer to something other than that to which I had first heard it used.
Okay. Okay. I am back pedaling, aren’t I?
Bosom pads for breasts. Falsies. We talked about them in junior high school in the 1960s when our hormones were kicking in. Of course, nowadays kids are probably talking about them in elementary school. Kindergarten, perhaps? Is there no innocence?
BUT . . . the way I heard it used the other day . . . it made reference to mascara, a Maybelline makeup product. That one was new to me.
The subject of cleavage enhancement has a long history, dating back to the Victorian era. Evidently we aren’t the first folks to engage in serious image management. We human beings aren’t comfortable with “the naked truth,” as a quote I often employ says. It continues: “so we want to cover it up just a little bit.”
The word “false” originally carried with it the notion of “fake” or even “deceitful.” We seldom think of it that way when we answer a bunch of True/False questions; we tend to think more along the lines of Right/Wrong, or Correct/Incorrect.
But when we use the word “falsies” we readily understand that fakery and deceit are implied, even when we may have no intent to do harm with that deceit.
Which brings me to the reason I thought about writing this blog entry to begin with (I know, some of you are thinking, “why doesn’t he just get ON with it?”). Sorry! The writer’s mind is a complex and confusing arena filled with hungry lions and unwitting gazelles.
I have a false tooth.
There! Are you satisfied now?
Several weeks ago I was eating a quick lunch before hurrying off to one of my part-time jobs. I was eating and talking, and . . . crunch! All of a sudden I bit down on my metal fork, and it felt like my bottom front teeth collapsed beneath it. When I looked for the damage in the mirror . . . there was nothing.
The tooth in question continued to hurt; it was somewhat loose, too. I knew I was in for a dental visit but I put it off for another day, and went on in to work.
The next morning I sat in my dentist’s chair awaiting the official verdict. I could see the X-ray for myself on the computer screen nearby – it looked like the internal resorption I had experienced a few years ago. The roots of the tooth were just a dark mass. Ugh!
A trip to the endodontist made it clear that a root canal and subsequent crowning would not work on this tooth. So, I returned to my dentist for an extraction. I was informed that replacing the tooth with an implant (if it was even feasible in that spot) would cost about $5,000.00. So, I asked for the cheapest option, and agreed to it post haste.
Goop was stuck in my mouth, it hardened quickly so that a mold was formed, and then someone in a distant location created an appliance with ONE TOOTH on it. Tailor made for my mouth. How flattering!
My family has enjoyed fits of laughter over this, of course. They liken me to my wife’s parents (who haven’t hardly had any teeth for 40 years); they soak their false teeth in a container every night (at least I HOPE they do), so if you speak to them just before they retire at night you may engage in a brief conversation with a toothless elder.
I have a false tooth.
It is still hard for me to conceive of it as I sit here in this bookstore and write. I am currently not wearing it, so my tongue regularly visits the space between my bottom front teeth and says, “hello.”
When I am wearing it, the appliance (which fits nicely over my gums and is secured by eye teeth) makes me salivate, or at least it causes saliva to collect in large amounts in places it did not collect previously. As a result I talk kind of funny now. I don’t think I would ever try to sing with this thing in for fear of drowning as I took a breath for a long note.
It is difficult to eat with the false tooth in, too. It isn’t really made to tackle steak or anything challenging like that, and even when chewing with my “true” (real) teeth, particles of food get stuck beneath the appliance and play tricks of their own on me.
I am officially old, I guess. In two months I will be a mere 62, but . . . clearly I am old. False teeth DO NOT LIE! They always tell the TRUTH.
Part of what makes this difficult is that my parents (who both lived into their late 80s) never had to have false teeth. Sure, they had crowns, bridges, etc.
But nothing FALSE.
Am I being deceitful when I wear my deceitful tooth? Am I a fake?
That question is one for those who deal in metaphysics, I suppose. Not for those of us who simply want to appear to have a full set of teeth.