Dentist Offices and Wine Tasting – What Do These 2 Things Have in Common?

April 26th, 2011

Did you know I applied to graduate school?


I did.

And I got accepted!

And ever since that fateful moment, I have been in a twist to make up my mind whether to actually go to graduate school or not.

Should I go?

Should I?

What about the four sons, three of which are on the cusp of college themselves?

What about all that tuition I am going to be paying in just a few short years?

What about my job at the Garden Center, that I love very much?

What about my blog?

And most importantly, whose going to keep Pie Near Woman going, if I go back to school?

These are the things I have been thinking about.

I applied to the English graduate program at K-State.  They have various tracks including English Literature, Cultural Studies, and Creative Writing.  I think they all sound very interesting, but I kind of think that getting a Master’s degree in Creative Writing is like getting a Master’s degree in flying on a unicorn.  It just sounds like way too much fun and sort of like moving permanently into a dream world inhabited entirely by characters from Winnie the Pooh, Nancy Drew books and Colin Firth.  So I had already crossed Creative Writing off of my list.  And then I attended a luncheon with some graduate professors and students and potential students like me and one of the professors turned to me and said, “So Rechelle… what track are you considering?”

And I said, “Uh… well… I like several of them… maybe English literature?”

And he said, “We think you should do Creative Writing.”

And I was like, “Uh… flubber, flubber, flub, flub flut, floo.” For some reason, I couldn’t seem to form any coherent words.  My mouth suddenly seemed to be full of gigantic wads of cotton candy surrounded by caramel apples surrounded by melting chocolate and rainbow lollipops the size of my head and a roller coaster and a water park and a trip to Hogwarts on the back of Harry’s magic broom!  This man had just handed me a golden ticket to DREAM LAND!

But I still can’t decide whether or not to go.

Maybe I need two golden tickets.

Maybe I need three.

Maybe I just need to stay the course and keep right on keepin’ on.

I have a good life.  It’s FINE!  It’s GREAT!  I have children and a garden and a job and THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH!!!

But what about that ticket to DREAM LAND?!?!?!?!?



In other news…

We went to a wine tasting party…

At a dentist office…

When I RSVP’d to this party, I did not know that it was going to be at a dentist office.

I thought it was going to be somewhere fancy.

Like maybe a big fancy garden… or a big, fancy house…. or a big fancy anything that WASN’T A DENTIST OFFICE.

So half way there, I turned to my husband and said, “So where is this wine tasting party located?”

And I guess you can probably figure out how he answered.  But in case you are coming off a bender he said, “It’s at a dentist office.”

And I said, “It’s at a what?”

and then yada, yada, yada… we went back and forth for a while as I tried to comprehend that I was attending a wine tasting party at a dentist office.

So then I began to make deals with my husband…

“If we are having a horrible time, we are just going to leave.  We are just going to walk out. I don’t care if it is weird for us to leave, we are just going to leave!  I don’t want to spend the whole afternoon at a dentist office drinking wine!

The Country Doctor reserved the right to remain silent.

We arrived at the dentist office.

I was given a glass of champagne.

Then a glass of white wine.

And another glass of white wine.

It was about here that I began to have the time of my life.

Followed by three more glasses of wine and then at the end we got to have more of whatever we liked the best and I chose another glass of champagne because it was delicious and people just don’t drink enough champagne do they?  At least I DON’T!  And that is when I decided that I LOVE DENTIST OFFICE WINE TASTING PARTIES!


Big fancy houses are TOTALLY OVERRATED!

Over and Out,



  • roz:

    go back to school… an adult u will have a wonderful time and enjoy the education more than when you were a teenager……

  • Skattebol:

    GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! Can I say it loud enough??? My doctoral program has been so fucking difficult and stressful, but it has also been incredible. I love being a student. When I finish this degree, I am planning to go back for another master’s degree – in public health. Education forces me to continue to learn. On my own, I am way too lazy (and I am not suggesting you are, as you educate yourself all the time, as evidenced by your thoughtful posts); a syllabus, required reading list, and assignments thrill me most of the time. When they do not, I know they are stretching me intellectually, making me think, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the written word.
    Rechelle, you are so incredibly intelligent and have such a gift for the written word. You should take this opportunity. I surmise you will still have time for your family, garden, blog, and PieNear Woman. Take your time and enjoy the journey, the process of learning. An education never goes away; you do not need to finish in a year or 2 or even 3.
    From a doctoral student in the trenches of a dissertation, thus, it may be very well that I am speaking after completing my required coursework and comps, so everything is downhill now :-),

  • Skattebol:

    BTW, I forgot to mention, being so excited for you about grad school, that the wine tasting party at the dentist’s office sounds fabulous. If my dentist and FP offered wine for health promotion visits, I may go more often.

  • GeoLee:

    I work as a hygienist at a dental office and my boss takes his employees on a wine tour twice a year. It’s my favorite job benefit.

  • LucyJoy:

    By all means! Go to graduate school! What an opportunity for you. It’s one thing to have the cojones to appy, but to be accepted; WOW! What a compliment to your talent! I say, step out of your comfort zone & go! What an amazing opportunity! Can you tell by all the exclamation points that I’m thrilled for you?

  • Go to grad school if it’s what your heart tells you to do. From my own experience? I did it…it wasn’t all that I thought it would be. But mine was engineering. And more research than I care to remember. Then again – there was a great deal of hockey playing and whiskey drinking. So maybe it wasn’t quite as horrible as I like to remember either. : )

    As for the wine tasting. I’ll have you know my Easter dinner featured a mimosa bar. Including 3 bottles of champagne, pomegranate juice with cherries, orange juice with oranges, and pineapple juice with pineapple bits. It was awesome. If I’d known your fondness, I’d have invited you.

    Also…I’d have sworn I saw the CD at the JW Marriott in LA last week. You didn’t decide to randomly take in a Lakers game now did you?

    • Rechelle:

      Unfortunately no, we are stuck in Kansas… our feet mired in the cold mud of Spring.

  • Martha in Kansas:

    Yay! Congratulations! I think fate has already spoken about what track to follow. You really didn’t have a choice.

    Think of the possibilities. You can create the first Barbie-theater thesis ever.

    • I think that’s great. Go back, I am too in Library Science but you could do an awesome Woman’s barbie book on PW or the church or something like that. It would be the “far side” of Rechelle. Ooh, a cookbook with Barbie as the main player.
      As for the wine tasting, are you sure you still have all your teeth? I love wine but I’d be a little suspicious plus even my daughters will tell you after 3 glasses I just topple over on the couch. That’s the only way they can beat me at monopoly:)

      • Hooray for Library Science and Librarians!!!!

  • Valerie Prilop:


    Seriously consider the financial ramifications of going before you go to grad school. I’ll be graduating with my second master’s next month. I got my first in 2001. I’ll be starting a new job in June that I couldn’t have without one, or maybe both, of those degrees, but I couldn’t tell you with absolute confidence the my student loan bills are worth it.

    If you can pay for it up front, or take out minimal loans, go for it. But be realistic about the return on your degree and if it is worth it to you.

    Sorry to be Debbie Downer. I might have better things to say AFTER I graduate! :-)

    • Valerie Prilop:

      Okay. I feel bad about my downer post!

      I will also say that my first time through grad school was life changing and I’m super happy I did it. It was a huge part of making me who I am today. It kicked my butt in the best way possible! So I would do that one again.

      • Rechelle:

        It’s okay Valerie. The money is a big part of the balk for me. I am not sure that a Master’s degree in Creative Writing will ever pay for itself.

        • km:

          Rechelle, these days I’m not sure any degree pays for itself fully.

          Do they have Grad Assistant slots. Maybe you could win a slot. I did this for the last 2 semesters of my degree. You do all the prof’s research, proctor exams and fill in if someone is sick or has to go to a conference etc. for X amount of hours a week. Then they pay tuition. Other than that it’s just some phone work/collating etc etc.
          Fill out a form, who knows????

          Then after that you get a fulltime job at the college and all your kids go for free and it’s just the best thing that you ever did. The End.
          See, I’ve solved everything.

  • Mo:

    I knew my internet crush on you was not in vain, this is wonderful! In my opinion, there is a terrible lack of highly skilled unicorn pilots in the world and you would make an excellent and worthwhile addition to the bunch. Congratulations on getting accepted and thank you for sharing the news and good luck with whatever you decide.

    LOLOLOL: P.N. Woman, Ph.D.

  • km:

    Grad school was the absolute best thing I ever did. What an example you’d be for your kids who are heading off to college themselves.
    Do it !!! You’ll never regret doing it, but you would regret NOT doing it.

    Our state allows seniors free tuition in state colleges. As soon as I’m 65 my friends, I’m right back in the classroom again. I love to learn. It keeps me alive!!!!!!

  • action squirrel:

    Go! You’ll hate it, you’ll love it. You’ll be inspired, bored, irritated, amazed. You’ll laugh, cry, freak out, and feel high all the time. You’ll find direction, probably indirectly.

    If you DON’T go, you will be preoccupied the entire time and forever more with the milestones of “your” graduating class. Like “Oh I would have finished my first semester now.” And “oh I would have already graduated by now.”

    Time flies, might as well do interesting things with it.

  • Marie:

    Go. I have regrets in my life. It seems to me that you more than likely would not regret going! As above, with all those boys to put through school, finances may be an issue, but somehow I think it will all work out for you. We will love to hear your adventures in grad school.

    • Marie:

      Oh..a wine tasting about anywhere sounds great to me.

  • Go! Go! Write! Write! Creatively! Creatively! (Totally jealous!)

  • Holy crap Rechelle! So excited for you! Totally take the ticket to unicorn world! You are a great writer and I love reading all your satirical and serious stuff. In my experience, don’t put it off Rechelle, or you’ll never do it. There’s always a reason NOT to do something. So, if your heart’s telling you to do it-do it!!!! And if dentists offered wine at every visit, it would be a much less stressful experience!

    • I just was thinking, the only downfall is it’s at K-State. I know your boys bleed the crimson and blue!

  • Alison:

    As the wife of a wine sommelier–you must always SPIT! It’s a marathon not a sprint LOL. We go to industry wine tastings with thousands of wines being poured. We spit there and get drunk later. Well, some of us do. It’s always enlightening to see a 40 year old guy in a three piece suit yacking into the bushes at 3 in the afternoon. And I agree with your champagne comment. If hubby and I go out for a nice dinner I always start with champagne. Sometimes we’ll just chill some down here for us just because we can. Love it. Try Ruinart–oldest champagne house in France–good stuff.

    Congratulations on grad school! Part of me agrees with the previous commentor that there will always be a reason NOT to do something but another part says holy crap, the bills, the debt! But really? DO IT!!

  • Kelsie:

    If you’re going to pursue an MFA in creative writing…GET A FELLOWSHIP. Don’t pay for the degree, because it probably won’t ever pay for itself. As far as having the time, space, inspiration, and support to write the best work you might ever write, YES…getting an MFA is very much like taking a ride on a unicorn. It’s incredible.

    But…the two years I spent getting my MFA were also the loneliest, most hungry years of my life. For a few months, I survived on one bowl of rice/tofu a day…

    However, you’re an adult with a family and such, so I doubt your MFA experience would be as dire as mine. :) GO FOR IT!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Go go go! Ride that fabulous purple unicorn!

  • I am so excited for you Rechelle. I sure hope you jump on the back of that Unicorn! I vote YES!

  • km:
    This is a sign.
    You should go for it.

    • Rechelle:

      That was a sweet story. Good for her.

    • susan:


      that was a really sweet and inspring story. i wonder when trying to manage going to class and home life would become difficult she wanted to chuck it. that would be human nature wouldnt it but then she would see the curio cabinet.

  • Spinny:

    That sounds awesome!!!!

    Graduate school, I mean. I’m irrationally jealous of the wine tasting party at the dentist office because my dentist is Mormon. Not much chance of a wine tasting party there.

    • km:

      This cracked me UP !!!!

  • Brenda:

    I say go for it! I went back to grad school at 39 and it was the best decision for me. Mine major was probably the polar opposite from yours (I’m a Physician Assistant). But I do love my new career and wouldn’t change those stressful, financially challenged, wonderful two years for anything. You do have a gift for writing and it would be a shame for you to say “what if” in 20 years because you didn’t go.

  • Congratulations! I say do what makes you happiest!

  • Kiara:

    I think you should go for the creative writing! You are an amazing writer :)

  • km:

    And then you write a book about this redefining of yourself and all the moms who would love to have your courage would buy it.
    Oh, the places you’ll go

  • Nanc in Ashland:

    Go for Grad School but listen to your guts. My advisers kept trying to steer me into creative writing and after the first term I switched to a general humanities track. And today I make an excellent living writing collateral for technology companies which, ironically, requires lots of creativity and storytelling! I’m guessing what KS calls Cultural Studies is the equivalent of general humanities. If your guts are screaming for literature–listen to them.

  • Jan Blawat:

    I’m not convinced that an advanced degree is actually a benefit to most people. I do a lot of editing in the education field. Some of my clients have had PhDs in English, and their writing skills were rudimentary. I have seen aspiring writers benefit more from writing workshops and critique groups. Some people need school to give them focus and others are so driven to write school is only a hindrance. You will ultimately know what’s right for you, but it seems to me you already have the skills and the enthusiasm, you just need a sense of direction.

  • Go to grad school! You deserve it and the they (school, faculty, students) deserve you.

  • Congrats on being accepted, Rechelle!!
    Though going back to school sounds like something you really want to do, I also hope you’ve thought about the money side of it? For example –I obviously don’t know anything about your finances– is it something you’re willing to go into debt for? And if so, how will the degree help you pay off that debt? In how long? Will it be soon enough to be able to afford the boys’ educations comfortably when the time comes?

    I’m super excited for you and I hate that I brought this up, but I feel like a lot of people suffer unnecessarily from school-related debt. Of course, if money isn’t an issue go for it!! Sounds like a blast, and hey, unicorns pooping rainbows is something not to be missed in a lifetime. Congrats again!

    • Aaaaand I just realized someone else mentioned the money thing before. Sorry for not reading before posting :(

  • Roxi:

    Definitely go back! I think that is wonderful! Seize the day, right?!?!? What I wouldn’t give to be able to write creatively, let alone go back to school. You have a great talent for writing and I think you should be able to go to “Dreamland” after all the things you have had to deal with. You deserve it!

  • nanne:

    go to graduate school, get a degree in creative writing…enjoy yourself.

    a dentist’s office is a great place to drink wine—red wine teeth? no problem!!


  • MichelleG:

    Aren’t you already writing creatively?
    Heck, that’s why I’m here…this is the most creative blog I’ve found.
    You could probably teach the professors a thing or two.
    I say unless you are looking to start a career, don’t waste your money or your time!

  • JJ:

    Get a glass of wine after getting some dental work done? Sounds like a great sales/promotion plan!

  • km:

    can we live blog the Royal Wedding????

    • Rechelle:

      How does one do that and does this mean I have to get up at 3:00 am?

      • LucyJoy:

        I think it does, Rechelle…It’d mean getting up at 1:00 am for me (or not going to bed). I’d love to see it live, but because I’m training for a 1/2 marathon, I have to be up at 5:30 am to get ready for a scheduled 11 mile walk tomorrow…I’m just gonna have to watch highlights.

  • GA in GA:

    GO BACK to SCHOOL for yourself! And pursue the graduate degree you desire. Life will happen regardless of what you choose to do, you should enjoy the time you’ll put into the program.

    And while it will cost you money, it will be worth every penny to face the challenge and succeed. The boys – all of those males that share your home – will learn to do for themselves and to be supportive of your endeavors. Their future spouses will thank you!

    Oh, and . . . Congratulations!

  • maryanne:

    1) I agree with GA in GA. My mom went back to school when I was in HS and my younger siblings were in grade schoolish years. No matter. We were so proud of her when she graduated and we learned to be pretty self sufficient. Sometimes she missed stuff. Sometimes life was a little messy. But we’re all adults now and guess what? We can deal with life being a little less than perfect pretty well. I don’t think she meant to teach us all that, but life happens.
    2) Could you teach school (public school only, duh!) with a Masters in Creative Writing? Could you teach at a Community College?
    -Ma in PA

    • Good point about the kids being proud of mom’s accomplishments! It sets a great example for your kids about the importance of education, no matter where you are in life.

  • Jennine:

    Your writing on this blog has inspired me, challenged me and made me laugh out loud. I think you’re an incredible wordsmith with or without a Master’s degree.

  • Rechelle – you should absolutely go! I went back to get my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS – I get FOUR letters!) when I was 36. It was worth every hour I spend and every penny I’m paying back in student loans. I love the job I have, and never would have ended up where I am without going back to school.

    I’m going to parrot what many on here have said – you have a wonderful talent for writing, and should go for it!