I have startlingly different thresholds for pain depending on where I am and who happens to be standing next to me. I realized this yesterday when I went to the dentist to have a few cavities taken care of.
My dentist, Dr. Joe, deemed me "an exemplary patient". This is because I did not complain, squirm, flinch, attempt to talk, require a break, get my tongue in the way, make horrible pained faces, kick my legs, pee my pants or ask for laughing gas during the entire two hours he was drilling, sucking, chipping at, filling, filing and sealing my teeth. I was a model of stoicism, virtually a practice mannequin (if dentists had any such thing) and I smiled and cheerfully waved goodbye as I left.
In contrast, I was the most high maintenance and annoying roommate in the history of the world once I got home 10 minutes later. I kept up a constant stream of whining from 6 pm until I went to bed at 11: "Wah, I can't feel my face, my lips don't work, I can't drink this milk, I spilled pop all over myself, I can't chew spaghetti, just give me a bowl of sauce, the sauce is spilling out of my face, ow! the numbness is wearing off, my face is throbbing, I want ice cream, I need aspirin, how will I ever get to sleep like this? boo hoo hoo, bitchmoanwhinecomplain......" I was every girl in Lincoln Park at once and a strong reminder to the bartender that having children is not all it's cracked up to be.
The moral of the story is it's better to be my dentist than my friend because you don't have to hear me whine and I'll give you all my money.
Please enjoy this far more amusing account of a trip to the dentist from Bill Cosby.