Toss the Floss

Every once in a while, I come across information that I wholeheartedly embrace simply because it espouses a “truth” I want to believe. I don’t think I’m unusual in this. But before you blow this off as just another political rant, let me explain.

I have always hated flossing the way some people hate exercising. I will sit at the computer, head bobbing towards the keyboard as I doze off in my chair, long past my target bedtime, just because I’m procrastinating.

I know I must floss, my dentist tells me so. Her adorable hygienist points out the places I’m missing when she scrapes and polishes the coffee stains off with a rabid passion, and gently asks me if I’m flossing regularly.  Before I spent my nieces’ inheritance on my for-display-only, front choppers, I admit I was not conscientious. But now that I have a significant investment at risk I am devoted to the practice.


So imagine my delight when I read that there is no evidence to prove that flossing has any benefit AND it may even be DANGEROUS to some people.

That article, coupled with a recent discovery that the Glide dental tape I like is coated with a chemical (also used in most packaging, non-stick cookware, and practically everything you have in your house) is a known carcinogen, may just free me to slip drowsily into bed without the onerous task of flossing. I just hope I don’t read anything disparaging about G.U.M. rubber tooth picks because I love sitting at the computer picking my teeth.

I leave you with that appetizing visual image.


Living Among the Great Unwashed

Listening to David Sedaris’ description of his life in Tokyo, (   I came to the conclusion that I could fit in seamlessly into Tokyoian society, at least on a very superficial level.

The living habits of that city are not all that dissimilar from those of my Dutch ancestors in the Mid-west. For instance, we were taught to remove our shoes outside the door. We didn’t have the sanitary, little slippers in a basket, in various sizes for guests as they do in Japan; socks were considered sufficient. In my thrifty family, those socks might be darned toe and heel, but they were always clean.

When I moved to California, I found that people looked at me oddly when I removed my shoes before entering. And eventually, someone explained that the oils from one’s foot dirtied a carpet worse than a street-soiled shoe. In southern California, people commonly wear sandals without socks. I don’t know whether shoes or feet contribute more to to dirty carpets but when in Rome… I still remove my shoes in my own home which results in socks covered in pet hair.

One of the habits of my fellow Californians that puzzles me is (well okay, I’ll be honest, ANNOYS me), is how they feel entitled, when in a public place, to leave a mess for someone else to clean up. I’ve seen adults make a huge, wet mess of a lavatory faucet and mirror and walk away. Do they assume the restroom attendant will pop in behind them to spare the next person having to wallow in their swamp? Hello, it’s Costco, dimwit, not the Ritz-Carlton.

Another thing we were taught as children is that our freedom ends where our neighbors’ sensibilities begin. In other words, don’t speak loudly in public where you may annoy someone else; don’t drive your car in a way that shows disregard for another’s safety; don’t allow your dogs to bark incessantly; keep the exterior of your house tidy; spay and neuter your pets; and generally be considerate of others, even those you don’t really understand.

So, I go through life wiping down faucets, picking up trash, adopting discarded animals, and generally trying to be the change I wish to see in my fellow man, all the while shaking my head and grumbling under my breath, “What slobs!”