The Dentist and The Purse

I like going to the dentist.

I don’t know what all the fuss is about, you people.

I sit in the chair being happy: That someone is taking care of me. That someone is grooming me. That someone is trying to be gentle with me.

For me, it’s a lot like the pleasure I take in getting my hair done. The injections of Novacaine? Big deal.

Oh, Calm Down. Grow a Pair. (Of Breasts, Of Course. Woman Up!)

My dental student at UCLA this past year, Daramin, has been wonderful. He has worked around my mid-divorce scheduling craziness, and tolerated my miserable self-pitying ramblings. He has gone to bat for me with the school’s financial office.

What is perhaps more important—my teeth are in the best shape they have ever been. I am the proud possessor of a total of five new caps that are a perfect match for my originals.

Hot? Or HOT?

Beyond all this, I have enjoyed Dara’s company. He is a sweet young man who has revealed a strong moral core.

I try to figure out what small token I will bring to our last appointment to show him my appreciation of the time I have spent in his company. However, in the hectic two weeks leading up to the appointment, enmeshed in the viscous murk of my divorce, I entirely forget.

I show up with absolutely nothing, shaming myself. I am further shamed when Dara presents ME with a gift.

I Really Hate the Box.

And then, I feel even worse. Dara has given me a quite expensive gift card to a department store—one at which I normally can’t afford to shop.

Dara says that I am a very good patient, and he appreciates that. (I wonder what a bad dental patient is. Do some of us bite?) I am embarrassed. But not too embarrassed to use the gift!

Months prior, my years-old purse had finally taken that long journey to the land where old purses go to die.

Unsurprisingly, Some Aged-Out Professional Models Wind Up There, As Well.

I had shuddered at new purse prices—what is wrong with women, throwing away money like that?

I had travelled to the nearest discount department store (it rhymes with “FLOSS”) and bought the least expensive plain black bag I could find. I had also bought a cheapie wallet.

Although the wallet had survived my typical rough treatment, a few weeks later every thread of the FLOSS handbag’s stitching had broken.

Thanks to Daramin’s gift, I now headed off to the better department store (it rhymes with “BRACIES”). They were having a huge sale. I had Dara’s card and two coupons.

Get Out of My Way.  I'm Ready to SHOP.

Get Out of My Way. I’m Ready to SHOP.

I am now the proud possessor of five new caps on my teeth, and one ridiculously-overpriced handbag for which I paid only a pittance.

Thank you, Dara! I will think often of my student dentist and the dental school:

Every time I drop my FLOSS wallet into my BRACIES handbag.

The Perfect Place to Tuck Those Yummy Caramels!

A BRACIES Bag Bonus: Serves to Discourage Any Would-Be Pick-Purses.

This post is dedicated to:

The real Dara (he knows who he is), and
Dr. Alex Daneshvar, the best dentist in Culver City.

Leave a comment


  1. suspicious stare I’ve heard of people like you but I honestly thought they were urban legends. The only time I’ve ever come across another indication of the possibility of your species was in a scene with a VERY young Jack Nicholson in Little Shop of Horrors. Humpf no wonder you got a pressie from the dentist – you must have made his entire career worthwhile.

    Oh am glad you found a good bag, they really are ridiculously expensive. Last time I was in Brisbane mine just died and I wanted to check out the seconds store to see if they had some good designer bags cheap. Mum texted some friends and one sent us back a msg saying there was a fantastic shop in Racecourse Road, which was just down from where we were eating.

    We took ourselves off only to find the bags in question were designer and were second hand but they were big time designer and even second hand were priced at $800 ($2000 new). Needless to say there was no purchase.


    • First, thank you so much for the Like. Second, yes, awesome nerviness to charge what they do, and bully for your snob-snubbing. Last, this was drafted in ’09 and that expensive bag did NOT hold up: Its black dye rubbed off on all my clothes! I moved cross-country right after purchase and was in post-move post-divorce new-destitution trauma, or would have taken it to BRACIES for full restitution. Have since been using a lovely non-outwardly-labelled Laura Ashley (all black, like all my bags) gotten at a thrift store. She is doing well, even on her second owner : )


      • Oh – oops on the drafted in 09 – and sorry for the demise of the bag. Seconds stores (not the one I went to obviously) are a great source of bags and belts etc for me.


    • Y’know, Jenni, just realized had totally ignored the first part of your comment (which I had laughed at, BTW). Sorry! Regarding your suspicions, what I claimed is true. For me, there are no worries as long as the dentist is not too rough (and–duh–doesn’t keep asking: “Is it safe?”)


  2. I shall refrain from commenting on you attitude toward dentistry. Suffice to say I was raised by the motto if you cannot say anything nice, etc. However, I will tell you that the last time I was in the dentist chair, he asked what I thought about botox!


    • Interesting. Was that with the intent of paralyzing you to reduce his fear of injury from YOU, or because he was concerned that your mother was correct and your face might stay contorted from your fear of HIM?


  3. Har. I’ll pick door number 3, Bob! That somehow he forgot that his office was not in California, or Hollywood, but in southern Ontario where noobs like me barely know what the term botox means!


  4. Looking forward to your next post on how awesome DMV lines are…
    You’re a weird duck, lady. And consider the source when I say that.
    Was it DOSS?


  5. franv32

     /  2014/03/26

    Strong moral core? That got me thinking (bad thoughts like ‘how did Outlier Babe TEST Dara’s moral core? Did it waiver? Is that why he bought her a gift? And other such smut).
    Just perhaps,
    He is a decent guy who had a charming(ly innocent) exchange with his patient.
    I just wondered…
    What does your doctor give you? Laugh.

    Great post. I’ll be back soon.


    • You are a bad, bad woman. I like it. All was innocent, however. He was very young and, to him, I quite ancient. As for how he revealed his moral core, our conversations were wide-ranging. He educated me about his family’s history and his perspective on the war we were then waging in his home country. I educated him about nothing, for without a book in my hand, or the great and powerful google nearby, I am as ignorant as the next average American (!).


    • Oops–and thank you so much for the “great post”! I thought it was only okay, but now will go around strutting!


  6. M-R

     /  2014/08/28

    I like this very much – although I would NEVER put myself in the hands of a trainee dentist: I don’t have the courage. Takes bravery, that ! Goodonyer !


    • Thank you very much!

      Would love to take the admiration, but it is undeserved: It was a decision of the pocketbook. The school offers procedures at deep discounts.


  7. Paul

     /  2014/08/29

    I can empathize. I once fell asleep in the dentists chair. Another time my dentist was on vaycay and his stand in read me the densist notes: “Patient has good attitude and can be very funny by times.” What? I thought I was funny more often than that! Ha! That same (female) dentist was busy working on me when a woman in the next treatment room (there were two that shared a doorway but had a divider between them) started cursing and swearing like a longshoreman. Whew, the language. I won’t repeat it here but it went on and on at the top of her lungs. I looked at my dentist and raised my eyebrows. She turned all red and told me that some patients come out of gas anethestic doing that and not to worry. It died down quick – either they hit her over the head with someting or the effect wore off.
    I don’t get exactly the feeling you do aorund dentists but I do when getting my hair cut – I love it.

    Great post OB


    • Thank you very much for the “great”! Happiness, here!

      All those stories you have, Paul…when is that book coming?

      It’s not just city GIRLS, by the way. When my boys were toddlers, we were spending the morning at Santa Monica beach the same day a behemoth of a male sea lion was as well. He had come up just at the surf line, a bit west of the pier, and was humped over angrily, glowering toward the land and we bathers. Every so often, he’d shout an angry bark at us to emphasize his mood.

      He, like your moose, was likely hurt, but certainly wanted no human help.

      But to some, apparently his sounds meant, specifically “Come cuddle me, and I will heal.” Dozens of crystal-worshipping mostly-vegan leather-ok-but-not-fur P.E.T.A.-supporters–your typical Santa Monica morning beach crowd–began to approach and encircle the beast with their loving arms (channeling the Goddess and Her love).

      Until a lifeguard yelled to them through his bullhorn:

      “Move away from the sea lion! He’s on the beach because he’s sick or injured. You don’t want to be anywhere near an injured 800-pound male sea lion!”

      Silly people. I reserve my own cuddles for 40-pound creatures who hunt in packs.


    • Anonymous

       /  2015/02/06

      Hey, Paul, BTW, your great moose story comment has been deleted by WP at some point–along with many other comments by you and others on other posts. The WP people have not deigned to reply to me re: this. Irksome, to say the least!!



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