Once upon a time, I was a kid who lived at home and was tired of having adults nag me. Do your home work… is your bed made… who broke the vase… brush your teeth… don’t forget to do the dishes… why is there chewed gum all over the bed frame… why did you hit your brother with a tennis racket. I was excited to become an adult and be able to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. As it turns out, it’s not that simple and the nagging doesn’t end.
Take for example, the all-knowing editor of mine, Mr. Dennis Box. Any time Sarah, Leah or I blink differently or say one word less than we normally do, he knows something is wrong. And, this is the only time in the history of the world that I will ever admit to this and I will deny it if anyone asks, but, Dennis is usually always right when he says there is something wrong. As much as Leah, Sarah and I try to argue that there isn’t anything wrong, he is usually always right. I know, it’s annoying.
I finally understand why I’ve been nagged all my life and will continue to be nagged: adults know a thing or two about life. There’s a reason for all of the nagging, most of the time. Except for Dennis, he likes to nag just to nag. Or if he’s bored.
The reason that after almost a year and a half of being nagged by Dennis that I’m finally admitting that he’s been right is because the last two things he has nagged me about, have been helpful.
A couple of weeks ago, I came in to work with a weird headache. The first thing that Dennis asked me was “what’s wrong?” I hadn’t talked or breathed or even looked in his direction and he knew there was something wrong. After denying there was anything wrong I finally succumbed to his questioning and said I had a headache. Then he says it could be a sinus infection. Insert a long, sigh and eye roll from me. I said no, I’ve never had one and it most definitely was not one. Insert more nagging from Dennis to go see a doctor in case it is an infection, so it doesn’t get worse. Fast forward a few days and a trip to a doctor and an ear, nose and throat specialist. The most annoying thing in the entire world happened, the doctor told me it’s a good thing I came in early on before the infection got worse. I eye rolled so hard I think I saw my brain. Thanks to his nagging, I avoided a potentially bad infection.
After years of not going to a dentist, I finally started going last year. I have never had dental insurance so I take advantage that my job provides it, and I needed to go to the dentist once I got braces. So I’ve been good about going to the dentist for the cleaning and check ups. I had a dentist appointment last week and I tried to get out of it. Dennis of course nagged me and Leah about the importance of going to the dentist. And I said it wasn’t that important, the dentist doesn’t do much but scrape my teeth which makes a noise so awful I want to vomit. And I get horrifying flashbacks to that noise for days after. It happened to be a very busy day at work on the day of my appointment and I eagerly said I would stay and help. He said no, I had to go and be a good example for Leah.
I mentally prepared myself for the dentist, and it didn’t do much. The only good thing about my dentist visit was that HGTV was on the little TV so I was distracted by that while that horrifying noise was in the background. It’s like being a baby again and given a toy to play with while being given a shot. Those distractions don’t work, okay maybe they do. Anyway, while I was mentally yelling at the couple on the TV show for picking a stupid house, I heard terrible news. I had a cavity. Cavities are terrible in general, but I have never in my 27.25 years of life, have had one. I’d always tease my brother about being better than him because I have never needed dental work. That was always my fun fact when I was involved in those annoying ice breakers in college. Now, all of that is over. My perfect teeth are now tainted forever.
Then my dentist said something even worse and these stupid words haunt me just as much as the scraping noise, that my cavity was so small it would be an easy fix and that “because you come in to your regular cleanings, a bigger cavity was avoided,” so because Dennis nagged me, a problem that could have been worse, like my sinus infection, was minor. I think my eyes are permanently in eye roll position from that moment.
I learned a very hard lesson that day — to listen to my elders, as much as I want to protest. And that being nagged all the time is usually for a good reason. Unless you’re bored and your name is Dennis Box.