“Just 10 more minutes”, I told myself. Just breathe through it all for 10 more minutes.
I braced myself for the big moment.
Today would not be the day I took home my new crown. It was just the “fitting” of it.
I wasn’t emotionally prepared for what this meant. I mean, I was excited to finally get it over and done with, so that I could flaunt my crown for the rest of my life, but mentally, I wasn’t ready.
I sat in my car, listening to music, until the very last moment before I had to meet the professional crown designer. I had no idea what to expect from this guy, as I had only met him once before. He is MUCH younger than I and I was slightly concerned about his lack of experience.
I mean, really, he looks like he is barely out of high school. What does he know about crown designing?
He lied to me. So did his partner. They said the crown would only take a short time to create, but they had to first give me a temporary one. A temporary, boring, plain crown. I was hoping I could miss a few steps and just take home the one I asked for.
They made me work for it. They made me suffer for it. I had been waiting for this day for the past month, after I heard that they would be giving me my crown, finally.
Damn it, I deserved this. I have worked hard and have been super patient waiting for this day. But there is always “buts” and “more”.
“You have to do MORE”.
“BUT, it won’t be ready until you come back in two weeks.”
So frustrating. I just want to walk out of this place with my new crown, and not come back. It doesn’t sound like that will happen. Not today.
What’s a princess to do?
“Okay, Christina, we just have a bit of work to do today, so you will finally be able to wear your crown” His voice grated on me like steel claws on a chalkboard.
Fine, I will put in more work, and I will put up with it.
I lean back, and allow him to work his magic. He has a helper beside him, and I can see, that even though they are very young, they work well together to get the job done. They are both over my head, tools in hand, not even speaking to each other as they prepare my reward.
And then, everything went sideways.
Suddenly a piercing sound and vibrations fill the air. I lay helpless, wanting to scream, as they dug away, trying to create the space for my crown. My head was full of over-stimulation while the sounds of the tools and the overhead TV filled the air. My very core shook, as I allowed them to dig, and measure, and take imprint after imprint of the spot my crown would rest on.
I wanted to scream, but then the helper touched me on the shoulder and soothed me, “You are doing just fine. Just a few more minutes.”
A shooting pain coursed through my face, and the master designer asks me if he hurt me. I try to nod, and he pulls out another tool to numb the pain. I can smell the soap he washed with that morning, as he leans over me. I fight to lay still and not fight back, as he chisels away to find the perfect resting place for my new “jewelry”. My body shakes as the tools come back, and I feel my mouth fill with liquid that doesn’t seem natural. I gag on the apparatus they forced in such a tiny space.
This is torture. But I have been waiting for this moment, and I power through. I tell myself again and again, “Just ten more minutes. You got this”.
The master asks, at various intervals, “Are you doing okay? Can you feel this?”
I don’t know how to answer, as I cannot speak. I need to nod and shake my head. I choose to blink instead, under the cover of my safety glasses. He seems to take the answer as “I am fine”. Just hurry the hell up, already. I want to be done.
Before each tool, he warns me what’s coming and I brace for impact. I try to tell my body to relax, but it won’t. It is arguing with my commands, and out of my control. The helper pats my shoulder, “We are almost done. You’re doing great”. I can tell she is forcing a smile behind her mask.
10 more minutes…..
The master leaves the room, and his helper remains beside me. She tells me that my temporary crown is all that’s left to do, and she works alone, filling my face with new flavors and sensations. My body finally stops shaking.
He comes back in, peels his mask away, and I can see once again, that he is much younger than I. He may be even younger than my daughter. I wonder how many crowns he has made in his short life, and consider running out the door.
I feel the spot where my crown will rest, and it is much smaller than I remember.
His helper puts the temporary fixture in place, and the two of them fidget around with new tools. It feels like I have been in the chair for hours. The ten minutes I had anticipated, turned into multiple blocks of time.
Finally, he tells me I am good to go.
“We will see you in two weeks, dear. You did awesome”. I shuddered when he called me dear. I am old enough to be his…… ummm, big sister. (Okay, mother).
“When you come back, you will have your new crown. Then you won’t have to put up with us anymore, for a while. In the meantime, no sticky stuff in your mouth and you will feel some slight pain for the next two days. Just take Tylenol for the pain. We gave you 9 needles, so you will have some bruising”.
I force out a thank you and feel slightly violated and ripped off. The helper walks me to the door and says, “I look forward to seeing you in two weeks. Let us know if you have any bad pain or discomfort. We can give you some meds for it”.
My face is frozen from chin to forehead, and my eyebrows don’t feel like they lift. I check the rear view mirror in my car, to see what they have done to me. A disappointed sigh emits from my mouth when I see it. It looks no different, but feels odd. I try to open and close my mouth and see in my reflection that I am, but I cannot feel it happening. There is a stranger in my mouth, and I haven’t made friends with it because it is only temporary.
I wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth, and drive away slowly, wanting to go home and sleep it off.
I text my boyfriend and tell him, “All done”. He is surprised that it took so long. So am I. I look at the clock and it has been over an hour.
They said my new crown will be ready soon, and that the next time will be much easier. I should be in and out in under 20 minutes. I feel shades of doubt, but will humor them, and go back for it.
Damn it, I have worked for my crown, and have put up with a lot of nonsense to finally wear it.
Ahh, the life of a princess.
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