When your Mouth is Open… anything can get In as well as Out

There isn’t much about life, people, myself, about anything or anyone else which surprises me enough to cause my mouth to drop open and my chin to hit the ground.

It does happen but it is very rare.


awkward phase


I’m not bragging, in fact I’m a bit annoyed about that as I like being surprised even when I don’t.

My friends still find it hard to cope with my cynicism, especially as I’m quite optimistically cynical which can be unnerving and confusing – we’re all gonna die, isn’t that good news!




Don’t ask me to explain that… seriously, don’t! My friends regret doing that… yet they’re still my friends in spite of it… perhaps because they’re fairly certain that I’m a no bullshit zone, even though I’m not so sure about that.




Physically my mouth is more often than not tightly shut at all times and has limited movement even when open, except when guffawing with laughter in a most unseemly way (at sometimes very twisted things) which sometimes surprises others – they really don’t want to see that much of my teeth and mouth.

Especially my teeth which are a ruined wreck due to clenching and grinding them since I’ve had them – my mother used to bitch about baby me gnawing the corners of my security blanket until they looked like anything but corners.

I do it even when I’m asleep, mostly when I’m asleep.


teeth - awkward yetiI have no idea what they’re saying, but… they’re talking teeth talk!


That’s a condition known as bruxism from which many people suffer, often in silence due to not being fully aware of it (this – Bruxism (TMJ) – is an intriguing perception of it. Please be aware that this site keeps rearranging itself and often kills its links in the process) because some dentists don’t seem to know about it – one dentist told me I was brushing my teeth too much and told me to stop brushing my teeth, another lectured me on acid erosion (because that was the memo of the moment) – neither diagnosed my condition correctly (because they didn’t really care to do so), neither listened to me.

They saw themselves as experts on my teeth even though I was the real expert on my teeth… but I wasn’t allowed to be that according to them and their credentials – their expert lack of ability to listen and other stuff didn’t make my mouth drop open or my chin hit the ground at all.

That’s humans for you.

Humans are more interested in themselves than others, even if their job requires them to be interested in others. It’s just a job… do the minimum required.

Since I’m human too… I know what humans are like, as I’m often like that too.

We’re all potential flies who see an open mouth as an invitation to pop our words into it and not heed anything which comes out of it.


Minion humor


The only thing which really surprises me enough to completely relax my jaw muscles is…

Human kindness.

Genuine human kindness rather than that other kind of kindness which is designed to elicit an effect, props up a persona, creates an illusion, et cetera…


posting problems...?


That kind of kindness which has no ulterior motive… it just is what it is and makes no sense at all but is rather lovely… that really is jaw-droppingly awesome, in all definitions of the word awesome.

You take my breath away… luckily it’s not fatal or I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the inspiration of it!




Thank you!



  1. Dear Ursala- we seem to travel a similar path many times I’m my fantasy I get to visit w you and have a good stiff drink and swap stories. In the fantasy I see you nodding YES I’ve had that happen too -just as I do when I read your blog

    I had the same dentist for 20 years. He retired and I’ve had a dentist I’m not too keen on for 7 years. All of my molars are crowned due to grinding.- 9 teeth total I She’s done at least 4 and they all have a space between them

    Last week, I woke up choking on the filling from the remaining molar. Not a surprise. I was having a new roof put on and that’s a big expensive clenched teeth event

    I went at noon for her to check my tooth and she tried to sell me a bite guard before the procedure but I am a poor sleeper and can barely sleep let alone withsomething strange in my mouth She didn’t like that I refused that.

    I asked her if she could patch and replace my filling and I could crown it later this month as Contractors had just starting ripping off my roof that morning to install another one off. I didn’t want to be gone too long ( or spend $1200 that day).

    I came back at 5:45 pm as she suggested. It was late, I was exhausted and had a headache from between the banging on the roof and waiting but I didn’t want to cancel and inconvenience her. I wanted it behind me

    She kept telling me wow you are doing great. Good job. Good girl

    I was fine until the last few minutes of the filling about an hour in where I gagged twice. My mouth had been open for along time stuffed w instrument and I felt anxious

    She said ‘ Whats going on’. I said I’m sorry, I’m a gagger and I’m ‘just a little tired and of course probably anxious bc it’s now close to 7 pm

    Before she even finished my treatment she said ‘maybe you should find another dentist where they can KNOCK YOU out. I can’t do my best work when people are anxious or swallowing

    I said,( with all that crap in my mouth,) I’m sorry but gagging is a reflex action and I am sure I’m not the first person that’s been anxious at the dentist.

    She said well ‘when you’re anxious anything can happen. You could faint or have a heart attack in the chair’. Oh nice chair side manner You should try to find some place else where you’re sedated. You might want to try someone else. (Okay I get it -I’m fired for being human )

    I don’t want to be anesthetized or knocked out for a filling. Seems a bit much

    (it wasn’t like I was retching over the side of the chair, I iust had to pause swallow twice) but mostly didn’t want to be reprimanded In place where I thought it was okay to be uneasy

    Ok – I was finally speechless. I know dentists have a high suicide rate, are perfectionistic and two of her hygentists are actually my practice so it was embarrassing to be dismissed right then and there in Front of one of them before my procedure was even finished

    I was crying in the car. Like omg-even my dentist doesn’t want to work w me. my dentist fired me for saying I was anxious. I didn’t know that was a bad thing

    May I ask, do you have these kinds of experiences? where you’re in a place where the absolutely unthinkable occurs ? Like you are in a parallel universe Here someone is supposed to be taking care of you and some how you are at wrong and dismissed once again.

    I just keep thinking what in the world is wrong w me? Why does this stuff happen to me.

    It happened a week ago and I’m still thinking of it. Plus I’m due for my cleaning and now need to find someone else

    Are you the one that the unimaginable happens too?


      • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

        I’m sorry that you had such an unpleasant experience, the last place we want to feel vulnerable and misunderstood is at the dentist, and the last person we need to lack empathy towards us and not care about our concerns is our dentist.

        The two dentists I mentioned were both in bad moods before my visit. One of them spent most of my visit bitching about the dental practice and how badly he felt treated by them. The other was stressed out by an overloaded appointment schedule. So I knew why they were being the way they were. People usually tell you everything you need to know about them, and if they’re in a bad mood about their job they’re probably not going to do a good job.

        It sounds to me as though your anxiety affected your dentist, it triggered an insecurity about the work she was doing, and she reacted badly as we all tend to do when we feel that someone has poked us in an overly sensitive spot. The way you describe her reaction, and her lack of empathy, towards you comes across as though she felt criticised and she lashed out rather than deal with it in a logical manner. My guess is that it had been a long and stressful day for her too, and she was tired and cranky. That doesn’t excuse her behaviour, that was bang out of order, but it may explain it, and alleviate any concern you may have that it was somehow due to you.

        There is nothing wrong with you.

        You’re human, and so is everyone else, and humans are complex systems which blow fuses very easily due to high levels of sensitivity. We’re all very sensitive about ourselves, and we also mostly see things from our point of view. I find it helps to keep in mind that other people have a whole world of life story going on inside of them just as I do, and that sometimes our respective stories collide and that can cause shocks and surprises. That often when someone has a problem with me, it’s not really me who is the problem, I’m just a link in a problem’s chain, and if I have a problem with them, it may not be them who is the problem, they’re a link a a problem chain I drag around with me.

        I do sometimes feel as though I’m in a parallel universe. I think most people experience that because we’re all unique and have our own concept of what reality is and should be. We don’t tend to notice it when we’re around people who have a similar version of reality as ours, when we’re all agreed that things should be a certain way, but when someone we think is on the same page as us ‘acts out of character’ or when we encounter someone who comes from a different experience of reality to ours, we get a culture shock of sorts. When our version of reality clashes with someone else’s, when we experience cognitive dissonance or some other jarring psychological phenomenon, suddenly everything can seem momentarily unreal.

        The unthinkable is basically something we haven’t thought of yet because we didn’t need to know about it, but once it enters our consciousness we add to our database.

        For me the unthinkable tends to be positive as I’m prone to imagining worst case scenarios, and I have quite a large collection of terrible things which could happen and awful ways that people could behave (not all of which are things I’ve experienced personally, many are from the experiences of others, and from the history of the human race), so I tend to usually only be discombobulated by something good happening and people being amazing. When something bad happens or someone behaves badly, I don’t tend see it as unthinkable even if it is new to me. With humans – expect the unexpected, but realise that mostly it’s just the same old stuff recycled.

        If I was you I’d see this dentist debacle as an opportunity to free yourself from seeing a dentist you’re not keen on and find a new dentist whom you will be keen on. You may end up wondering why you put up with her for so long when you find a really lovely new dentist.

        Sounds to me as though you’re making some positive changes to your home, improving the roof over your head – perhaps the connection between that and what happened at the dentist is copacetic. Time to make improvements in all areas, create a better home in all ways. Why put up with something which doesn’t offer you the shelter and care which you deserve. πŸ™‚


    • Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      I’m guessing that you’re talking to Sbw about the dentist?

      I think the most jaw-dropping story about teeth I’ve heard was the Martin Amis one, especially as the media whipped up a froth of toothpaste over it and it became a bit of a telenovela.


      • Oh oh. Did I post it in the wrong place? If so, I’ll never find her again to give her the message. I hadn’t heard about Martin Amis’ teeth. Kingsley Amis was one of my favorite authors in college, but I’ve never read anything by his son. I did Google his teeth, however. The British are famous for their bad teeth. That seems to be a part of the body it is totally acceptable to neglect in Britain. No wonder the press was so scathing about his extensive dental work. My mother, too, had to have all of her teeth pulled and nearly bled to death in the process. I’ve never asked why this was necessary and now I can’t as she is long gone to this world.


        • Hi. I did see your post. I don’t know if she’s a bitch but I certainly know she was in a bitchy mood and acted like a bitch

          And it was very unprofessional to chastise someone for a reflex action in front of two other people. I think that had a lot to do w my strong feelings

          I do know that even if she didn’t feel she could do her best work on me, she charged me full price. $320 for a filling

          I asked if she could patch the broken part of my tooth and wait a week till I had more time and she said oh it can wait a while the way it was. — broken bc She was going on vacation and couldn’t complete the job for a few weeks

          I just received my records to take to the next dentist and she had a lot of personal comments c.ya. (Cover your ass ) comments about me not reflecting what she said exactly or what transpired including that she suggested immediate crowning to avoid damage even though she had no time to do that.

          But one of her critiques of me was my need to ‘swallow’.

          I guess that absolves her of responsibility in case it wasn’t her best work.

          Thanks for your comment


          • I think there are places to rate dentists and give comments online. I would certainly do so in her case. May be other patients have had the same experience. What happened to the customer is always right???


        • Oh my goodness, your poor mother! You could probably find the answer in her medical records as a dentist wouldn’t do that kind of procedure without a valid reason (or so we would hope).

          I think a lot of the obsession in the media with Martin Amis’ teeth had more to do with the huge advance he got for his new book at the time which broke a barrier and record in the publishing world.

          The British dental care system isn’t as bad as the US stereotype likes for it to be. The ‘famous’ bad teeth is mostly a thing of previous generations. Britain went through prolongued rationing and other things connected with WWII which may have affected the health of teeth. Since dental care is part of the free healthcare system, things like cosmetic dentistry are extra and come with extra costs. Most dentists don’t recommend them as if your teeth are okay there’s no reason to put them through a process to prettify them for others to see when you smile. In recent years things like whitening and veneers have become more popular, but they cost quite a bit and… it’s rather nice to see people’s real teeth when they smile, it adds character. I’ve been looking into it getting veneers, but I could spend that money on rent and food. πŸ˜‰


          • Thanks for the thorough analysis of my rather offhand statement! Actually, this is my favorite way of collecting information–mouth to ear, or I guess fingers to eye, since I’m reading it! I used to know a very attractive British lady who had the most extensive and expensive wardrobe and jewelry collection but incredibly wine and coffee-stained teeth. Since it wasn’t a matter of money, I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t notice the contrast between her terrible teeth and the perfect rest of her. It just seemed to be something she totally overlooked. Perhaps she never smiled at herself in the mirror? At the same time she was probably trying to decide why I would spend so much money on my teeth and then ruin the effect by being overweight! Ha. Different societies stress different things, which is what makes travel and life interesting, I guess! When I was in Australia, I had a friend who was a dentist. He told me that Greek and Italian immigrants would bring their daughters in to have all their teeth pulled (and dentures made) before marriage–that it was a tradition to do so so the new husband wouldn’t have the expense of maintaining their teeth. Of course he always refused to do so. I’ve never heard of this since, but it seemed an incredible custom. I’m sure my mother must have had a medical reason for having her teeth pulled and I’m astonished that not one of her three daughters ever asked why. If your mother is still alive–ask a million questions! You’ll be sorry later if you don’t. Thanks for your response.


            • Sorry about that, I can be very annoying sometimes πŸ˜‰

              Many years ago I came across a book called ‘Useless Information’… it started a ball rolling which has yet to stop. I have yet to learn when to shut up and when to speak up. Still practicing and getting it wrong!

              My MBTI is INTP… we’re a type which is a pain in the information overload patootie for others sometimes. What’s your MBTI?

              I agree that word of mouth (very clever reference, btw) is a great way to learn. I love learning from others and about others, about the world, from stories told from a personal angle.

              That’s a great story about the elegant lady with the stained teeth, she’d make an awesome character for a book! You could actually make the story of her teeth a central plot device because of the incongruity of it – the incongruous is a gold mine for the imagination and the creative. And teeth tap into the collective psyche, especially now. We’re all a bit obsessed with teeth at the moment, including vampire teeth, so stories about teeth neglected would tap into the obsession with perfect teeth which seems to be so important in the now, and the seeming fear of teeth which are imperfect. How much do our teeth reveal about who we are – if we cosmetically enhance them, are we covering up something about our character which we don’t want to ever be revealed? And if we don’t hide the natural state of our teeth… what does that mean?

              My mother is what is now known as a ‘malignant narcissist’. My entire existence as her child was all about knowing every little detail about her and her life, while having myself and my life dismissed as inconsequential. So… I know TMI about her. I know all about her teeth and their history better than I know mine.

              When I fainted as a teenager and accidentally chipped my front tooth because of it, she made it personal to her, about her – I had ruined my perfect smile, and therefore ruined her claim to having a child with a perfect smile. She actually said while I was recovering from the incident on the night of it – You’ve ruined your perfect teeth! – and she said it with a very accusatory and angry tone as though i had done it on purpose to cause her pain. I was actually quite relieved that I’d ruined my perfect teeth because it finally freed my teeth from being under her ownership. She was and is a peach!

              Life and people… so many stories!


  2. Funny that I’m reading this the day I open a book called The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci. ;’D I think you might like it. But true kindness is simple and doesn’t need an incentive to act with kindness.


    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      I checked it out on goodreads, sounds very interesting, and I’m intrigued by the fact that he is an Italian psychotherapist. I’ve lived in Italy and kindness towards others is often expressed through food.

      I agree that true kindness is simple. It is often subtle and may not come with the label ‘kindness’, but could be someone cutting you some slack when you’re in a bad mood, understanding that you’ve had a bad day and letting you get it out of your system without making an issue of it. Or a driver letting you into traffic. A neighbour who accepts a delivery for you. A stranger who gives you directions. It is in everything and doesn’t need to forced, it is natural.

      It just makes life so much more livable, and its fun to be kind. We’re kind to ourselves when we’re being kind to others, but it does have to be genuine, natural, rather than something people do because they’ve read or heard or been told to do it, and do it obviously, to get something they want from it. I know quite a few people who get angry because they’ve gone out of their way to ‘be kind’ and they didn’t get any thanks for it, or what they wanted to get out of it, so they’re annoyed because they didn’t really want to do it, and they may get vindictive about it.

      I once heard someone get annoyed at someone else because they wrote them a thank you note and didn’t get a thank you for sending a thank you note, and they decided that the next time that person wanted something they wouldn’t give it to them to pay them back for the perceived slight.

      Life is a strange mix!

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