As I brushed my teeth this morning in front of the bathroom mirror I noticed the metal crown on one of them and thought about its genesis. I had this put in in December 2014
and at the time remarked on the pain free nature of the surgery. But what interests me now is the choice I made and why I made it. I had had the option to have a filling or crown or whatever it is that would look more like the natural colour of my teeth, but that would have cost another £500. At the time Catie was pregnant and we were two months away from our first child being born and I felt unsure about my financial future. Obviously things were about to get a lot more expensive and I had no guarantees of what our income would be and I’d just had that disastrous Fringe where I’d lost £45000. At the time I had the money to pay the extra, if my vanity were to get the better of me, but would I need that £500 in a few months. Did it really matter if one of the teeth towards the back of my mouth was silver rather than enamel coloured? I think twelve months earlier I would have thought, fuck it, get the more expensive one, but I decided now, as an imminent dad, that I couldn’t fritter my dwindling money away on something so trivial. It was one of my first acts of parental responsibility and an act of love for someone that I hadn’t even met yet. Even though it turned out I was being over concerned and the next few years would allow me to work off my debts and generally speaking get to a place of relative financial security (as much as I ever can be in with this job, which means not having to worry too much about where money is coming from for the next year or so, barring disaster), I am glad I made the decision.
Because every now and again that silver tooth reminds me of that time and of me making a decision not for myself but for someone else and is a little monument to the love I have for my daughter. If I’d gone enamel I wouldn’t even notice it. I am pretty sure that in the last five years nobody else has cared about or even noticed my tooth,. It still works as a tooth. And I have £500 more than I would have had if I’d gone for the other option, which might still come in handy. If I die with £400 in the bank, I can rest assured that that is all down to my silver coloured tooth.
And it connects me to that terrified younger me, worried about my responsibilities but doing my best to cope with them.
I think he partly liked the idea of looking a bit like a partial robot too