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Secret Prejudice

12/08/2021

As a rambunctious six-year-boy, I cracked off half of a front tooth, earning the nickname of “snaggle-tooth”.  As my mother told me, if you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter, and I honestly didn’t mind.

For many decades, my wife encouraged me to have cosmetic dentistry, including expensive veneers, which I ignored.  However, when she said it was important enough to her that she wanted ME to get cosmetic dentistry as a birthday gift to HER, I realized then that it was something I needed to do.   Afterwards, I was not surprised it looked so good, because I had paid so much.

It was also a learning experience.  Before my cosmetic dentistry, I never heard other people ridicule the teeth of those without expensive cosmetic dentistry.  Afterwards, I did hear lots of unkind comments about those people.   At first, my attitude was “who cares – its only teeth?”

Since I had spent all that money for dental work, my “new” teeth qualified me as an “insider” — who could be trusted with hearing unkind comments from those with good teeth about those with bad teeth.  I heard jokes/prejudices I never heard before.

It made me wonder how many other secret prejudices I haven’t noticed and realized it is unknowable.  Who cares?

The existential viewpoint would be that it is absurd to confuse vanity with chewing.

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