There are few experiences in my life as insultingly infantilizing as going to the dentist.
The hygienist asks me questions as her hands and sharp tools are in my mouth. My responses can only approximate those of an infant who hasn't yet mastered the contours of his own palate and tongue.
She tells me things I already know. "You grind your teeth when you sleep." "You breathe through your mouth when you sleep." "You have geographic tongue."
Seriously, there is such a condition. It's one of those things that I am proud of, like Gilbert's (JILL-bairs) Syndrome, something that's slightly exotic and really pretty much harmless. As with Gilbert's Syndrome, I've known that I have a geographic tongue for going on 20 years now--and I also know that it is not, pace her opinion, caused by tomatoes or other acidic foods--so it's a lot less exciting for me than it is for her.
She tells me that I have plaque. That is really why I'm here, I think. She tells me that although I floss pretty well, I could do better and suggests which fingers to use.
In a world that constantly strips away at our dignity, I think I ought to be treated as an adult when I'm paying for healthcare, but then I do get grumpy.