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We went to the prom last week! Okay, we didn’t really go to the prom, but we dressed up like we did (this is a story you are going to want to read!). At Total Care Dental we have a tradition. We attend a wonderful, pump-you-up meeting every year in January with a big, fun group of dentists and their teams. This year we were in Nashville. The closing banquet always includes something a little crazy, and this year was no exception. The theme was “I am a 10″, so we were invited to wear something to the banquet that included the “10″ theme. Here’s what we did… we all wore our old prom dresses (or dresses from that era), hairdos that fit that year, and a sash that said “Miss 10″ and then the year we graduated from high school. The gentlemen were “Mr. 10″s complete with crowns and badges. It was hilarious! Some of us even wore the dresses we wore to prom years ago. They kind of fit – we couldn’t really breathe, but why would we need to do that??

We laughed through the night and were all on a high as we left the banquet. We were staying off site, and as we traveled back and forth to the convention center, we passed a Waffle House – a staple in the south. Our hygienist Dee had said she wanted to go to the Waffle House, never having gone before. Well, we got the crazy idea to go in our prom dresses. We all piled out and you should have seen the faces of those in the restaurant! As we walked in, the waitress asked what pageant we had won! A little girl in the restaurant was star struck and wanted our picture (I’m pretty sure she thought we were Disney Princesses!). We wanted to take a picture so we wouldn’t forget out trip to Waffle House on prom night, so we lined up, and that’s where my story really begins…

There was a gentleman named Ray working the front grill in the restaurant. Being a dentist, the first thing I noticed was his teeth – or lack of teeth. I could only see one tooth in his mouth and it was right in the bottom front. This didn’t stop Ray from smiling. He was thrilled to have us there, and anxious to learn more about what we were doing. As we lined for the picture, Ray jumped in, saying “I”m a 10 too!”. He knew he belonged with the “10″s even though I had thought something much different. Was he wrong, or was I??

This got me thinking about what it means to be a “10″. At the conference, we were asked “what number is on your forehead”? What number are you portraying to the world? The curious part about it is that no one can put that number on your forehead except you. You decide what number you are. Ray had decided. He was a ten – teeth or no teeth. He told us he had worked at the Waffle House for the last 28 years, and loved serving his customers. That’s a 10. He was happy and welcomed us with a smile. That’s a 10. Whatever life throws at Ray, he’s going to be a 10.

Have you ever said something like, “She made me so mad today!”? Guess what – she didn’t make you mad, you allowed yourself to become mad. No one can change you unless you let them. No one can tell you what your number is unless you let them. So I’m going to learn from my experience with Ray. The world is not in charge of my number. I decide what I want to be, I put it on my forehead, and then I try to make the world a better place because I’m in it. What number is on your forehead today? Did you decide or did you let someone else tell you what it should be? Think of Ray and be a “10″! You are a 10, so wear it and live it!

Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

P.S. Don’t forget to click on display images up above so you can see our photos!

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