We were en route to see my son’s debut in his high school play. We had been in the car for two hours, having just dropped off our 6-year-old daughter with my dad, and in lieu of lunch were eating popcorn, peanut M&Ms, and soda.
I had left plenty of time but the late Friday afternoon traffic surprised us. I panicked about being late and shoved popcorn into my mouth when as usual a thin sliver of shell jammed itself between my tooth and gums.
“I love popcorn,” I say to my husband, “but hate when it gets stuck in your teeth.”
“Well at least it doesn’t break your teeth,” he laughed.
A few months ago, my husband and son went to see Captain America and within three minutes of the opening scene my husband bit into a kernel and instantly knew it reeked havoc on a back molar. With his tongue, he felt a crack going the full length of the tooth. Within minutes he felt pain at the nerve and ran out the movie directly to an emergency dentist appointment.
I remember his call to me, the panic and fear in his voice, and my pleading with the dentist to fit him in as soon as possible because even though he may be OK, I could not deal with my husband in freaking out condition.
As the cars seem to double the closer we get to the bridge, I try harder and harder to dislodge the stuck popcorn piece which feels so jagged. I decide to use my finger to help it out and with a slight jostle, I set it free.
I remove the hard white piece and it’s visibly a piece of tooth rather than a popcorn kernel. My tongue rolls over my left uppermost tooth (is this my wisdom?) to confirm a very sharp-rimmed hole in the back of my tooth.
“I just broke my tooth,” I say to my husband in a not funny and most ironic moment. Talk about jinxing it; always better to spit three times over your left shoulder!
“What? Are you kidding? After I just said that? Does it hurt?”
It didn’t. It felt sharp around the edges and down to the gums but didn’t hurt.
We arrive at the show just as it’s beginning but they tell us there are no more seats but we can stand. I tongue my jagged hole the entire first half, paranoid the pain would come on, but it never did. Or else, I’m coasting on the anesthesia of the pride of seeing my son crush it in his first starring role.