Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'd rather just hear the drill, thanks

This morning, an early appointment at the dentist's. I had a bit of work done on a molar. It took awhile. You know, the tongue has to go numb (and, while I usually have full numbness with just one injection, this morning I needed two). It takes time.

And as I was sitting there, waiting for the injections to do their work, I had ample time to consider the music being pumped in.

It was a mix I would call "The Worst of the 70s." I never really thought I would ever have to listen to "Muskrat Love" again. And yet, there I was, listening. Unable not to listen. And I'm talking about the real thing, not a Muzak instrumental version. Toni Tennille, singing, as if a song about rodents doing the shimmy makes all the sense in the world.

And so, when it came time to do the actual dental work, the assistant offered me headphones. Um, no thanks. What a relief, I thought, not to have to listen to that anymore.

I just don't understand, really. Aren't there other options for helping folks stay calm? Even a little smooth jazz, which I'm not too keen on, would be better. At least it wouldn't leave you with words in your head.

Because someone had to select this mix, didn't they? And where do they select it from? Is there a company that markets just to dentist offices?

And, actually, because it's spring break, I've been catching up with all my health care. So I was at the doctor's office a couple of days ago (just a check up), and I was sitting there in the examination room, waiting. And I began contemplating the curtain that is pulled around the entryway to offer a degree of privacy. It was a thoroughly unattractive curtain, white with brown designs. But the designs had to have been chosen by someone, right? Even at the level of production, a decision had to be made. It was an abstract design, curving lines and circles. Wouldn't it have just been easier to do something like straight lines? But, no, this has a kind of intentional design.

Is this a whole industry, I wondered. The making of curtains for examination rooms? And are there folks who specialize in the design of these curtains? Is there some rhyme or reason to it all?

Yes. This is how I'm spending my spring break. In health care offices. Inquiring into aesthetic choices.


Anonymous said...

HEY !! I (the 'captain' of the famed captain & tennille group), am deeply hurt, because, in our hit record, MUSKRAT LOVE, you failed to mention how my 'muskrat instrumental solo' effected your mood !! When I recorded the solo, I thought that it sounded a little bit like muskrats, but MORE similar to a dentist's drill. Do you agree, or were you (at that point) on anesthesia?
- - Daryl,'the captain'.

anne said...

why I bring my iPod to the dentist....!