14 February 2012

conversation hearts: a willy wonka adventure

"How many of those have you eaten today? When the dentist looks in your mouth, he's going to see a chalky layer from all those conversation hearts," Christy told me as I popped a pink heart in my mouth.

I laughed as I imagined Dr. Holdridge pulling the overhead light closer, telling me to open wider, and squinting in disbelief as he peered in my mouth.

"Your teeth are pastel! And—this is really very interesting—you appear to have little letters floating around your mouth. There along your gums, it says EMAIL ME. In the space where you wisdom teeth should be—" stern look here as he implies that maybe if I still had my wisdom teeth, I wouldn't be turning my teeth shades of Easter eggs "—here, it says I ♥ YOU."

It'd be like an extra scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the Oompa-Loompas would toddle out and gloomily sing about how my twin obsessions with sugar and words had consumed my mouth. With their green helmet hair never moving, they'd doom me to a life of speaking only in conversation heart phrases.

As they dragged me away from Willy Wonka, I'd try to shout out my defense, wanting to say, "I know I ate an entire bag of conversation hearts in three days! A whole bag, all by myself! I know that equates to 28 servings and my Recommended Daily Allowance of Sugar for the next three months! But this is a once-a-year treat! A throwback to childhood!"

I'd want to say that, but all I'd be able to shout would be, "TRUE LOVE! YOU'RE CUTE! KISS ME!"

Oompa-Loompa doobity-do.

"Kamiah, seriously, the whole bag?" By chastising me for my conversation heart intake, Christy saved me from my Willy Wonka fate, very imaginary as it was {quite apt, considering that "Pure Imagination" song Willy sings—just before the scariest boat ride through a tunnel ever}.

"Ok, even I'm a little shocked by how quickly I ate this one."

"This one? How many bags have you had this year?"

"Just the one!"

"Really? But the whole bag since Monday? Don't you have any...any..." Christy looked for the right word as I slid a handful of hearts over to her. It's all right to be a pusher if you're a pusher of love.

"Self-control? Will power? Is that what you're looking for?"

"No, I was looking for sugar threshold. But now that you mention it, do you have any will power?"

I considered this. Bags of Oreos came to mind. Dinners of popcorn and red wine. The time I found maple leaf cookies on sale at Aldi and ate half the box before lunch. The stash of starlight mints I keep in my desk drawer. How I can never make cookies or brownies without leaving a spatula's worth of batter to eat.

"You know, I might not have any will power, but if it's any reassurance, I, at times, display the same inability to stop eating with healthy food. Like right now with kale. I have had kale at every meal for the last week. Even breakfast. I can't stop sauteeing it with garlic, letting it get just crispy enough so it's like I've made kale chips. Ooh, that sounds good right now. As a side dish with the conversation hearts."

Is it a lack of will power?

Or is it just an insatiable appetite for the things I like, be they TV shows {seems appropriate to mention Downton Abbey and The Mary Tyler Moore Show here} or books {Laurie Colwin, how I love your prose and could read it every night without tiring} or food?

"Insatiable appetite" certainly sounds better than "lack of will power," doesn't it?

Most people I've told about my insatiable appetite for conversation hearts have looked at me like I was eating little kittens' hearts. I take it 99% of the population thinks they're revolting, which makes me the happy 1% who will be stocking up the day after Valentine's Day on TRUE LOVE and TOO SWEET pieces of confectionary joy.

Even my dental hygenist looked at me with disgust when I mentioned the conversation hearts. I refrained from mentioning Oompa-Loompas.

"Even the pink ones that taste like Pepto Bismol? You like those?"

Kelly was measuring the density of my teeth with these laser thing, so I couldn't do much in reply but mumble a "Uh-huh."

She couldn't hear my answer, though, over the high-pitched screeching of the laser. Kelly pulled it out of my mouth and said, "I'm so sorry to tell you this, but you have your first cavity."

Oompa-Loompa doobity-do
Conversation hearts will make you rue
Their sugary sweetness so yummy going down
Until your tooth needs a crown

PS In case you're worried about my dental knowledge: I know that my conversation heart gluttony on Monday did not cause a cavity on Thursday.

And I don't need a crown; that was some artistic license taken for rhyming.

This is a very defensive PS, isn't it? I think that's because I reveled in my perfect teeth record, even though teeth have a lot more to do with genetics than with performance {and my 89-year-old grandfather never had a cavity}. But if there is an opportunity to feel like I've won an award, I will gladly raise my toothbrush as if it were that giant silver plate thing they award at Wimbledon.

Not that I can win the perfect teeth award anymore.

Okay, let's move away from defensiveness and sadness. Given my consumption of conversation hearts, it was a very ironic dental visit—that's all I want to point out.

And that maybe I should work on my will power.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't even know they came in Bags!! I've been making due on a couple of those small boxes. :-) Tomorrow I will have to stop by the store and pick some more up on sale!!

    -A Fellow Conversation Heart Lover



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