L.A. Affairs: I had a crush on my new dentist

There was a time in my life when I wanted to be loved more than anything, even though I wouldn’t admit it. My mother passed away on my 16th birthday, and I haven’t seen my dad since I was 4 – after my parents divorced and before he went to jail for drug-related crimes. I think being loved heals the pain and makes me feel like I’m not being abandoned because I don’t deserve to be loved. I look for love wherever I think I can scrape it up, like the chewing gum on the sidewalk that I tried as a kid.

When I was in college as a hairstylist, I found a handsome dentist in an ad in an LA gay magazine called Frontiers. I am very worried about my teeth and have to clean them every two months. Knowing the dentist is gay and cute was enough motivation for me to schedule my first appointment with him. I told myself I was too young and skinny and didn’t want him to be cute, but that didn’t stop me from dressing a bit shabby. (I was wrong before.)

I wear a fitted, unbuttoned navy blue shirt that I bought recently at Melrose Avenue, along with fitted Diesel jeans, black Frye boots, and an innocent smile. I’m polite and don’t talk too much (so not me). When he finished checking my mouth, he lifted my back from the chair and said, “I really like your shirt.” Scored. The shirt is worth the money. “Who’s the designer?” he asked and proceeded to check my card by looking at my shirt.

“I do not know.” I was shocked and proud that he felt comfortable prying underneath my clothes.

“Krush,” he said after finding the mark. “I bet a lot of people have a crush on you.” He smiled and looked into my eyes.

Any mismatch of his looking down at my shirt was justified by the idea of ​​him – who I thought had nothing to do with me – assuming I was likable. I blushed, stepped out of his chair, and quickly scheduled the next clean up.

“Hey, your next date is on my birthday,” he told me after hearing the reception announce the date.

My heart pounded uncontrollably as I left the office and headed for the parking structure. How can I make his birthday as special as he made me feel? Sweet Lady Jane. I’ll bring him a three-berry pie. No effort needed. Who doesn’t love a birthday cake from Sweet Lady Jane? The hardest part was waiting two months for my next appointment. And, of course, I need another cute shirt.

I live on the USC campus and decided to go shopping at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. I walked around every luxury store and came to Gucci. I found a long-sleeve t-shirt that, almost perfectly, fits well. It’s black, my second favorite color after navy. If it helps me fall in love, it will be worth every penny – 40,000 in all. I bought it.

A week before my appointment, I ordered a cake. It was $65. I bought high-quality disposable plates, napkins, and flatware – pale, plain turquoise, and a fun card. I had to have a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. Everything must seem very normal. If my mission fails, only I will know the truth and then being able to leave is sweet – not despair.

I was both scared and optimistic when I brought that cake to his office. Yes, it’s an expensive gamble, but if I don’t gamble with love, I will pay more. I gave the cake, utensils and card to the receptionist, then waited for the cleaning staff to call me.

When I finished cleaning, the dentist came in. He had even teeth, grinning from cheek to cheek. Surely he loves the cake and will soon love me.

“Hey,” he said. “Thanks for the cake. How do you know it’s my birthday? “

“Oh, you mentioned it the last time I was here,” I said. Stupid.

“I love sweet Lady Jane,” he said. Who doesn’t?

“It’s okay,” I said. He was so great. Why doesn’t he look down at my shirt? That’s Gucci.

“Your teeth look great. See you guys next time, and thanks again,” he said.

That’s it? Where is my Meg Ryan moment? I think he was just as worried as I was or needed to stay professional. I told myself he could call after work, and he would tell me how much he loves me and ask me out. We will love each other. Sweet lady Jane will bake our wedding cake, and we will retell the cute story of our encounter until our friends want to vomit. The roughly $600 that I spent would be well worth it.

He never called. His patient friends told me he had a boyfriend.

Dreaming of a love match is fun. I had a story to tell and kept telling him until he tried to sell me unnecessary dental work for $5,000.

I can’t make love happen, especially at a one-time $600, and I’m not defective or unable to love. My mother did not die because she did not love me; She fought a long and difficult illness, but her body eventually died. My father had his own problems, and I had better stay away from him. I had so much love to give and take; I just need a sane way to express it. After many adventures in love, I began to exert myself more like when I was a dentist. I find an unconditional love inside of myself, even when I wear a white Hanes t-shirt.

I also discovered Sweet Lady Jane’s cherry pie – and found someone to love.

The author is a writer and photographer with an MFA in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from the University of California at Riverside. Find more of his work at treyburnette.com. He’s on Twitter and Instagram: @writer_trey.

LA Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its splendor in the LA area, and we’d love to hear your true story. We pay $300 for a published essay. Send an email to LAaffairs@latimes.com. You can find submission instructions here. You can find past columns here.

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2022-04-29/la-affairs-may-1-2022-trey-burnette L.A. Affairs: I had a crush on my new dentist

Russell Falcon

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