It took me much too long to find a dentist in LA. Like I just found one, and I’ve been living here for almost eight years. I would always just make appointments when I would go home to Oregon. I put off finding an LA hairdresser, doctor, car repair shop, eyebrow threader. Finding good service people is just as difficult (IF NOT MORE) as finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. You have to make sure you vibe, be sure to take things slow, and feel as though they don’t just like you for your money. It can go south very quickly. But, just like a boyfriend, when it goes well you RAVE about them to your your friends and family and make them promise you’ll always be their favorite.
Speaking of friends and family, you remember Joe, my boyfriend? I’ve always been very adamant that he is Caroline’s boyfriend I am not Joe’s girlfriend. So much so that, when I introduce myself to his friends, I say, “I’m Joe’s girlfriend, but I am so much more than that.” Typically, the other person then stares at me as if I am an insane person. Because only an insane person would say that.
Joe is an Australian who has been visa-challenged for the past year or so. He’s been in and out of the country on short-term visas ever since I’ve known him. To his credit, on our first date, he told me this was the case. Then I said “Okay” and “You have no visa? You should try MasterCard!!!” Because it was a first date and I’m FUN and CHARMING.
Then we started dating, I had to quit with the jokes (lol never), and my new boyfriend was in and out of the country.
Back to the dentist, because I ended up finding the perfect one. Her office is right next to my place, it’s clean, and… MOST importantly, it is open on Saturdays. That was a must. As a writer, I always feel like I shouldn’t ask for time off for things like dentist appointments. Show-writing gigs last around six months so the feeling is always: Get your appointments done before and after you’re working. You’re not here for very long, there’s no need to take time off for anything non-time sensitive when you’re gonna be done here soon anyway. But, if you’re lucky enough to work on shows back to back, you’re in a pickle. I was in a pickle. And my teeth were getting fickle. (lol kill me)
But my dentist office is only open one Saturday a month. Which means that all of us patients are fighting to the death for those appointments. I’ve been trying to get an appointment for so long. October had no openings. November? No go. December? No go. January? One spot open. I TOOK IT, obviously. And celebrated. With red wine and popcorn, because I wasn’t headed to the dentist for a very, very long time.
Joe thought that his visa was going to come through early this month. He was in Mexico, so I was going to drive down to snag him and drive back up together. That’s right. We were gonna do a ROADTRIIIIIP! MUSIC! SUN! SNACKS! GAS! PRICES! HOPEFULLY! DON’T! GO! UP! I called to cancel my dentist appointment. But, before they even answered, I decided to just wait and see. With my and Joe’s luck, something was going to go wrong and our plan was going to fall apart. After all, this appointment was harder to get than my college degree. (This is me reminding you that I’m smart and have a college degree.)
If you saw me in the past year while I’ve been with Joe, I probably bitched about immigration to you, because it just felt like it was never going to happen. Things always went wrong. And it did this time, too. His visa didn’t come through and my Mexico road trip was cancelled. Yep. CANCELLED. I mourned the loss by going to Cabo Catina on Wilshire and drinking 16 margaritas to dull the pain. Don’t worry. I was not alone. My friends were gonna meet me there! But they never showed up, because I never invited them.
I was so fed up with him not having his visa that I started to tell him and everybody else that we were just going to have a green card marriage. I mean, I love him!!! I’m in it!!! I am determined!! I am doing this for my man!!! But then… his three-year artist visa FINALLY CAME THROUGH!!! Thank God. I was so happy for him. For us. Truly. I only shed one tear when I deleted my Pinterest page of wedding dresses.
So Joe completed his interview and was to pick up his passport from the embassy on a Thursday. He had a flight booked back and everything. It was happening. I was ready. I hadn’t seen him in a month. I was going to pick him up from the airport right after work. In a dress, so that he would remember that his girlfriend is a ladylike bitch. With kneecaps!!
I wanted to spend the weekend with him without interruptions or early morning appointments, so I called my dentist to cancel. A dentist visit in the middle of our romantic weekend!?! Hell no! But could I get another appointment in the next few months? Hell no! Turns out, my dentist’s door is truly the hottest spot in LA. I remembered that my mom had a sign in our bathroom growing up that said “take care of your teeth or they’ll go away” and my teeth were about to run for the hills if I didn’t get in soon. I told the receptionist that I would keep my appointment. I would just have to leave my newly American boyfriend for a few hours. It would be fine. Maybe I’d even make him come hold my hand while I lied about how much I floss.
Thursday came and I got more ready before work than I ever have in my life. We’re talking perfume. It was a BIG DAY. The dress was on!!!! My boyfriend was coming back into the country!!!!!!!!
Then Joe texted me while I was at work. He said that the embassy didn’t have his passport ready and he was told to come back next week. Without a passport, he couldn’t fly. Without flying, he wasn’t coming back to LA. Without him coming back to LA, my perfumed kneecaps were to be enjoyed by nobody.
I was pretty devastated, understandably. On the bright side, I didn’t cancel the dentist appointment, so I still had big weekend plans.
That next night, I was going to a Shabbat dinner with my new Birthright friends. Joe was invited, too, since he also went on the trip. But of course, after the recent set back, he couldn’t make it. He went to the embassy in Mexico on Friday hoping he could get the passport back earlier than they originally thought, but texted me that it didn’t work. Instead, he met some guy and they were going to go to a circus show at a castle. I didn’t ask a lot of questions because wtf kind of questions do you ask about a circus show at a castle. It was weird. But also, Joe’s weird. (FYI, I’m not.) (Meow.)
I went to my dinner with my prepared dish. I had attempted to make potato kugel. By attempt, I mean that I did in fact make it but also nearly sliced my thumb off in the process. I put a bandaid on it and then sat on my hand all night to make sure nobody noticed that part of my thumb was missing and the kugel tasted vaguely of it.
I put my purse and coat in a closet. The only person I would be texting that night is Joe. And he’s at a circus at a castle. Cause he’s weird. I figured it would be fine.
We ate dinner. We sang songs. We gossiped about Ellen Pompeo. Then around midnight, someone asked me where Joe was. I told them, then proceeded to explain that in my relationship, Joe is the “reacher” and I am the “settler,” when…
JOE. WALKED. IN.
I was so shook. Clearly. Because, as we all know, I HAD A DENTIST APPOINTMENT THE NEXT MORNING THAT I COULDN’T MISS!!!!!!
Yep, he surprised me. Do not worry, I still made it to the appointment. And Joe is back in the country for at least three years!!! He got his passport that day like he hoped would happen, went to the airport, go on the first flight to LA, and Ubered to the dinner where he knew I was.
Also, we’re not engaged. My friend Jay S took those videos and was also clearly swept up in the moment. AS WE ALL WERE. DID YOU SEE ME LICK MY TEAR?
The most upsetting part of this whole thing was that the circus at the castle was all a lie. He could have either gone to a circus at a castle OR surprise me and make me so happy that I cry? Dunno if that was the right call. I mean, there could have been a trapeze act.
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Even if you used to get them, put your email in again. I somehow lost the email list because technology is CONFUSING.