From Whom Would You Accept A Lecture?

I’m an adult. And I have been for a while now, despite evidence that may suggest otherwise. This status eventually comes to us all, and it entails certain privileges. When you’re in the club, for example, you don’t have to

eat Brussels sprouts if you don’t want to




abide by anyone else’s rules, because you’re probably under your own roof



be home on time. You can stay out until 10, or maybe even 11 pm.




But here’s the really cool thing:

You don’t have to accept lectures from sanctimonious professionals.

Several years ago, while I was in a dentist’s chair, it dawned on me that the dentist wasn’t going to call my parents because I hadn’t been flossing behind my molars, or something like that. Whatever it was, I was being lectured as if I was a schoolboy.

As a public-service announcement, here’s what you can say below to avoid being lectured by a dentist.

ME: Did they teach that course in dental school?

DENTIST: What course?

ME: Lecturing adults as if they were kids?

As you can imagine, that was the last time I got lectured there. Not that she wasn’t tempted. On a recent visit, I was respectfully asked, do you grind your teeth in your sleep? I replied that I didn’t think so, but who knows what goes on while I’m asleep? She then cited some circumstantial evidence that I may be grinding and asked, again politely, if I’d consider wearing a mouth guard. I came back with a witty rejoinder: Nah.

But the uptake is that she asked, rather than ordered — or even worse, lectured.

After that, I became drunk with power: Which other bossy professional can I try this on? How about a doctor?

One doctor hounded me about getting another colonoscopy. I told him I didn’t love the first one.

After I asserted my adulthood in unambiguous terms, he retreated and settled for the test that comes and goes in the U.S. Mail. Make your own joke here, but the bottom line (pun intended) is that it’s better than the hiney cam.





And those are just the medical professionals. Can you think of anyone else who tends to lecture adults? Anyone who could stand a comeuppance?

WARNING: Exercise extreme caution if you try this on your boss.

I’d love to hear your stories of how you exercised a belated-but-rightful adult assertiveness with a bossy pontificator.



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