Monday, February 11, 2013

A Trip to the Dentist (who else misses Veronica Mars?)

We all know I have a big mouth.  Well, turns out I also LITERALLY have a big mouth.  When I went to the dentist, the nurse was impressed that all of my teeth fit in my mouth.  Apparently it’s rare to have space for all of them.  After putting off going to the dentist since I moved to DC a year and a half ago, I finally went.  Being an adult kind of sucks when you have to pay for medical/dental bills.  I have to pay $588 to get some cavities filled.  I also have to start flossing.  (I have now flossed exactly 7 times in the past 3 days – ever since I went to the dentist.  That is approx. 6 more times than I have flossed in the past 6 months, hence the cavities.)  If you run into me, feel free to harass me about flossing, you will be doing me a favor.

In all seriousness, I feel pretty awful about my five cavities.  Yet I’ve always known that flossing is important, and still done nothing, because I am human.  That’s a lot of money.  I slightly ashamed to admit it, but I definitely walked away pretty upset and not sure whether I wanted to go through with filling the cavities and paying all of that money.  But then a funny thing happened – I filed my taxes and apparently by itemizing, I had overpaid my taxes by about $471.  Which will come out to about $400 into my pockets after paying for Turbotax & filing.  All of a sudden, it doesn’t feel so painful to take this ‘windfall’ $400 and put it towards my dental work.  And then paying the remaining $188 doesn’t seem as daunting to pay.

Money is money is money, right?  Except when it’s not, due to mental discounting.  It’s weird, but this tax return I’m getting feels different from the money I earn at my job – except of course it’s one and the same, it’s still money, it’s still mine.  If we get technical, I should be upset to get a tax return, as it means I’ve essentially given the government an interest-free loan, while they took my money away from me and kept it temporarily.  But [baby,] if it’s bad, why does it feel so good?  It’s because probably if I had gotten that $471 right away, I wouldn’t be writing this while 417 dollars richer.  So maybe it’s good that the government took my money away – to protect me from myself.

Alright, that last sentence was whack.  I like my personal freedoms.  But in this moment, at least, I’m feeling thankful that my brain is processing the tax return positively, and that it’s making it easier to part with my money to pay for my better health.  I’m hoping I never have a dentist visit that’s this painful ever again – good thing that’s largely in my control. 

I’m not enjoying being an adult this week – have you dealt with medical bills (and lived to tell the tale)?  Have any other costs of being an adult surprised you?  It’s crazy how expensive things can be (and how easy it is to be clueless when your parents pay for all of them).

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