In which a more successful day at the dentist is overshadowed by a gloomy victorian portrait.

I wish I’d had my camera with me on Monday when we went back to the dentist to fill those dreaded cavities. Because I really wish you could see the waiting room. For the most part, it’s a pretty standard pediatric dentist’s waiting room. There’s chairs, and magazines, and LOTS OF TOYS, and a television, of course, tuned in to the Disney Channel, all day every day. (At least it’s not Nickelodeon, right?)

And on the walls, here and there, are some framed photographs of the dentist’s own children, all grown up now, but still worth talking about. Incessantly. I know more about our new dentist’s kids than I do about some of my good friend’s children. He likes to talk about them. And show me pictures of them. Did I use the word “incessantly” yet? Oh, I did? Whoops. Sorry. Don’t mean to get all repetitive on you, but he does talk INCESSANTLY about his own kids. I take it as a good sign.

So, anyway. On the walls, there are a few shots of his kids, and then on the sliding glass partition the receptionist sits behind, there are some cool translucent sticker designs. Flowers and such. It’s pretty. And below the glass partition, there’s a silly mirror that the girls really like standing in front of.

It’s pretty much a waiting room that would give Sesame Place a run for it’s money. Except, that is, for the GIGANTIC GLOOMY VICTORIAN PORTRAIT hanging way way above the glass partition. It’s huge, it’s mostly black in the background, and it’s a full head-to-toe portrait of a young girl wearing a full-length yellow dress. She’s standing there staring down at us, with her curly dark hair piled formally on top of her head. She is NOT smiling. At all. Compared to this girl, Mona Lisa is positively GRINNING. And if we were to take the thing down off the high wall, it would probably stand as high as RegularDad, it’s THAT BIG.

I have no idea why this portrait is hanging in this waiting room. It goes with absolutely nothing else in the room, and it’s so large that it just overpowers everything else in the area that’s supposed to be cheerful.

My 5-year-old finally asked about it late Monday morning as we were patiently waiting for her sister to be finished with her fillings.

That is the MOST HUMUNGO picture I have ever seen! she said.
Yes, I said. It certainly is big.
Who is she?
I don’t know, I said. It’s just a picture.
Whoever she is, she’s not very happy.

Nope. Doesn’t look like it.
Maybe she’s got bad teeth. Maybe she had cavities.
Maybe she did, I said, and started laughing.
She should floss or something.

Then my 5-year-old turned back to the TV, where a bunch of psychadelic rainbow colored bunnies wearing sunglasses were hopping around singing a happy song. Each bunny had one pristine white buck tooth sticking out of its mouth, and you could just tell those bunnies know how to brush, and brush RIGHT.

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7 Responses to “In which a more successful day at the dentist is overshadowed by a gloomy victorian portrait.”


  1. 1 Maria April 30, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Okay, this is really going to bug me. I want to know the WHOLE story on this lady. Dental ancestoress? I mean, if he talks about his family a lot…say INCESSENTLY, then mayhaps it’s a member (albiet large) of his family. And I want to know how that women afforded a photo so large. Back in the day that was expensive. She should’ve been smiling if she could afford a photo that large. Or maybe it’s a blown up photo. Get some answers if you could. This kind of thing bugs the heck out of me. Keeps me up at night…..

  2. 2 karisma April 30, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    His mother probably gave it to him. It sure sounds like one of those types of gifts that you just have to have on show but you dont actually like!

    Your dentist sounds like our librarian. She always waffles on about how perfect her kids are (and I mean to the extreme) when she is supposed to be giving our kids a little library lesson! While we parents all ooh and ahh so she feels special and all, my kids complain rather loudly all the way home. Needless to say they are never keen to go back each time.

  3. 3 yestheyareallmine May 1, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Ok, pretty please ask someone why that picture is hanging there. You HAVE to find out for me! I am so curious now. AAccckkkk!

  4. 4 Robinella May 1, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    You really should have asked because now we all need to know. Please do ask next time.

  5. 5 RegularMom May 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Okay, I’ll ask. I promise. We’re going back next week for the last filling. And I’ll try to remember to bring my camera to take a picture of it, too. I mean, you’ve just GOT to see this thing. 🙂

  6. 6 Mom #1 May 3, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Oh, I know I’m chiming in late, but I really want to know as well.

    Who is the gloomy girl who didn’t even smile for a photo hanging in a dentist’s office? I mean, is that even legal? Aren’t you literally forced to show your teeth in any sort of photo type paraphernalia that will be introduced to a dentist’s office?

    Anyway, keep us posted.

  7. 7 SabrinaT May 4, 2008 at 5:56 am

    We are all waiting to know who she is! Maybe it is a picture of his relative!
    You should start a poll. Let people guess who she is. HA HA! Hey if nothing else if gives us all something to ponder for a week?


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