I’m lying in bed, pitch black, trying to sleep. It’s well after midnight. I hear frantic rooting around in the master bathroom cabinets. I do mental gymnastics: my children are grown and asleep, my cat is old and not capable of this …what the heck?? I get up to discover it’s my husband in his jammies on all fours, frenetically looking for something with the finesse of a raccoon foraging through a metal garbage can.

“Hon?” I ask.

“Where are my flossers?” he replies.

“You don’t use flossers.”

He thinks he has some. And he does. We have about 20 very gently used packages of pokey thready things. I’ve put them away with all the keepsakes of yore, aka things we rarely use and/or don’t know what to do with but can’t bring ourselves to throw away.

My husband visits the dentist twice a year. His process includes a trip to the drugstore after his check-up where he purchases a new special Kapam-Kapow toothpaste that will re-enamel, super-sanitize, and laser-brighten his teeth and gums. And there will be all kinds of new contraptions purchased, too: new flossers, tiny bristled brushes, and big brushes. He will use them for 2 days and then return to his normal routine.

I remark, “Visit the dentist, eh?”

“Yes!!” he says, like I’m some sort of sage.

“How are your teeth?”

“Fine,” he says. “No cavities. She told me that I would have less bleeding if I flossed.”

Now it all makes sense. I say, “If I go find your flossers, would you actually use them this time?”

“Yes. She’s convinced me.”

Of course, I am curious. “What could she have possibly told you that would convince you to change your habits now?”

“She said, ‘You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep.’”

Lesson of the day: only take care of the things you want to keep. And go buy some flossers, people. Or I can mail you some…