While visiting my parents-in-laws’ house recently with my husband, Clifford, we spent part of an afternoon watching a network television show called “The Talk.” It’s a less than sly knockoff of “The View,” though without a host-type like Elizabeth Hasselbeck—who, in my opinion, is just a pain in the ass to listen to. I would rather have my teeth pulled.
During this particular episode of “The Talk,” host Julie Chen was griping about how Madonna, while during a concert, had exposed her nipple to the audience. To paraphrase, Chen and her studious cohorts seemed quite bitter that a woman of Madonna’s advanced age would have the audacity to reveal her lovely nipple in front of so many people. What would daughter Lourdes think? (Side note: If I worried about what my offspring thought, I’d stop writing).
Of course, a little later, when Tom Arnold was introduced onto the show to pimp his latest endeavor, “My Big Redneck Vacation,” he also made a comment about Madonna’s moment of sensual exposure. I think his simple word was, “Thanks.”
This prefaces a stark difference between men and women. While the bettys on “The Talk” ganged up to bash Madonna’s beauty—and by the way, we all know Madonna doesn’t need the approval of this show’s hosts for her personal and professional success—in strolls in Mr. Arnold, who applauds Madonna’s bared nipple with humble gratitude. I’m not implying that Tom Arnold owns some sort of collective male desperation, or that any man would and should be indebted to Madonna’s lovely nipple. What I’m saying is that men and women see an event like exhibitionism very differently. To the women on “The Talk,” it was a cheap gesture by a floozy who should be ashamed, because she’s well over fifty years old. To men—or at least, one man, in this case, Tom Arnold—that glimpse of gorgeous, ageless nipple was a wonder to behold.
But aside from Madonna’s nipple it wasn’t “The Talk” that made an impression on me. I was more interested in the commercials the network played. Every sponsor was either a pharmaceutical company, a manufacturer of cleaning solutions, or, as one commercial stated, aiming their hooks at women who might want to climb the social ladder of success, or to appear as though they’ve made it.
This commercial was a definite standout, a Shreve & Company ad for Baume & Mercier watches. It portrayed an older (60+) Caucasian couple, winding down from a day spent sailing their yacht in the San Francisco Bay. As the voice-over stated, by a female with a sexy, husky voice, she was going to dine with the Captain. Both were dressed in casual-chic, straight out of Bloomingdale’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
There’s a sense of high expectation and inferred higher class in network daytime television commercials. If one is a spectator of court television programs on UHF channels, the commercials tend to be all about vocational schools, aimed at listless people engaged in what I like to term, “Lackadaisy.” Just being an advertiser on a major network allows the commercials to rise to the top, instead of settling for the bottom.
I don’t give a flying fig about Baume & Mercier watches. I love my Timex just fine, because it’s reliable, and if I press the button, my sturdy Indiglo lights up, and I can read the soft blue face. In a pitch-black room, I will know the time, provided that I give a damn. The watch was purchased for around thirty bucks, and when I need a battery every three years, that costs me five bucks. And every so often, I buy a cheap watchband to replace a worn leather band, and that might put me back ten bucks.
But before I digress further, it was the teeth of the woman on the Shreve & Company commercial that made me do a double take. Her very teeth embodied affluence. When she smiled, open-mouthed in her enjoyment of the sun and the sea—and her sexy gray-haired Captain—her teeth were perfect, straight and white. If she ever had cavities, they weren’t evident, or else well camouflaged with porcelain fillings. Damn, she’s fucking rich, and that’s why she’s buying Baume & Mercier watches from Shreve & Company!
It took some time to remind myself that maybe the woman was an actress, not an actual rich person, and that her beautiful teeth were probably just the cost of doing business. If that’s the case, I’m betting she got a hell of a tax write-off.
Take it from me; I know when I see good teeth, and I’m well aware of what it takes financially to maintain them. I grew up in the era just before dental sealants were available for the freshly sprung adult teeth of adolescents. In fact, I recall dental sealants being tested in our elementary school, but because my grandfather was our family dentist, and maybe frowned upon this new-fangled epoxy, my parents wouldn’t sign the consent form to allow my use as a lab rat. As a consequence of old-time dentistry, the fillings in my rear molars top and bottom are absolutely huge and dark with aged silver fillings that have gained a black patina after forty years. I sing and I laugh without any thought whatsoever as to how they look, though when I consider it, the fillings scream “Blue Collar!” to the world.
After giving birth to four (lovely) children many, many years ago (in the olden days, commonly known as the “Dark Ages”), my teeth, fractured by nightly grinding and weakened by bone loss, had begun to wither away.
A couple of years ago, I was forced to make the painful decision about two molars on the top right side of my mouth. They were weakened from decades-old fillings, broken from grinding, and loose from what my dentist characterized as “bone loss.” I could either buy two root canals for one-grand apiece, and then get crowns for another grand apiece (totaling four grand, sadly money I needed to pay the IRS but couldn’t, and unfortunately not my dentist), or for two hundred bucks in cash, she’d pull them out.
Depressed for about three minutes, I faced the reality of being self-employed without dental insurance, and chose the low road. With skill, and several generous injections of Novocain, she coaxed those clunky molars out with her scary pliers. Afterward, I asked if she could box them up for me to take home, like a pair of well-worn athletic shoes.
For two days, I reminisced on my old teeth. I stared at those disgusting molars nestled in their tiny blue plastic box, and I recalled better days of teeth grinding, and the subsequent sensitivity to cold and heat.
And then, I labeled the box with this statement: MAGICAL MIGHTY MILF MOLARS.
That’s right people! I carry a box of ugly teeth in my purse, for anyone who wants to see—or get grossed out enough to lose their lunch. Yes-siree, I am the proud owner of two magical teeth from a mighty MILF (Mother I’d Like to Fuck, a statement about sexy cougars from the movie, “American Pie”).
Damn, I’m lucky, and I’ve got a little box of MILF teeth to prove it!