Of Novocaine and Dental Savings and the Aphorism “The Show Must Go On”

I've experienced more New Year's eves than I care to count, but I suspect my last day of 2013 takes the cake -- in terms of dollars saved, spent, and earned. My tale begins the previous night.

As I sat for what my dentist believed was his last appointment of the year at 8:00 PM, he reviewed my X-rays, turned to his assistant, and said, “Jenna, what are you doing tomorrow?” Of course she thought he meant tomorrow night, replying that she’s spending some quiet time with friends.

“No, no,” my dentist said. “Do you want to work tomorrow?” Jenna said sure. He then turned to me: “If you're available tomorrow AM, I'm willing to open the office for a marathon session in your mouth. You need a bunch of work. I can save you money and at least 3 additional appointments. Are you in?” As a side note, my dentist was an economics major in his undergrad years. Never one to pass up savings, I myopically said, “You're on.”

Blinded by the savings and the idea of avoiding having to make three separate trips for treatments in the first week of January, I was in the chair from 9 AM to 2 PM the day before New Year’s Day. Two root canals and three temporary crowns later, I left with a new appreciation for the cost of saving. You're probably thinking I went home and took a nap. No such luck.

In addition to spending 60 hours in a typical week with my laptop and phone at Spend Matters, I'm also a musician in what is best described as a club band. And we were playing New Year's Eve at a private mansion party. I went home to practice and discovered how bass notes can significantly rattle one's teeth as the Novocaine wore off, ironed my tux, passed on supper, loaded up my gear, and headed out for a night of blues, jazz, and rock & roll.

There's a lesson here from the entertainment world for us corporate types. The show must go on -- lest you be sued for ruining an event that hundreds of people were counting on. Sniffles, headaches, flat tires, and even extensive dental surgery are not on the list of tolerable excuses. But I digress. My band mates were duly awed by my tale and appreciative in their own ways that I was on stage at the appointed hour. And when I came to on New Year's Day, I felt quite pleased to have had run my own personal marathon and closed out 2013 with some savings, augmented my dental health and 2013 deduction, and got paid for doing what I love most -- not bad.

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