Now that I am "old and gross," as my aging and decaying friend Suzanne Ecklund likes to put it, I have what my dentist calls "food traps" in my oral Stonehenge.
When I was young, I almost didn't know what toothpicks were for. Now that I get something stuck in my teeth nearly every time I eat, I make toothpicks out of everything around me: receipts, business cards, paper clips, safety pins, lengths of tape, pointy knives, you name it. It's dangerous, and it's disgusting. Like me.
Aging (and grossening) has its compensations, in this case, an important psychological insight:
But when I finally get the food out, I find I miss it—miss having the problem to solve with my tongue and my makeshift toothpicks.
And the longer it was in there, the worse I miss it.