I was very nervous the first time I met my girlfriend’s parents. In fact, I was so nervous that I forgot to pack certain items before we left the house, one of which was a toothbrush. This became a bit of a problem when I tried to brush my teeth that night. I was forced to ask my new parent’s in-law if there was a spare toothbrush I could borrow for the weekend (which there was). This would not have been such a big deal if I had not made the exact same mistake when we visited again a few weeks later and had to ask the exact same question.
I think this is the reason why a few months later I opened my very first present on my very first real Dutch Sinterklaas pakjesavond to discover my very first tooth brush of the evening. It was a very nice brightly coloured tooth brush with a rubber zebra head on the end.
I say my very first toothbrush of the evening because it was not the last. Later I opened another gift to discover a very pink tooth brush, later still a blue tooth brush, followed by a small toothbrush, a stripy toothbrush, a sparkly toothbrush, then another with a rubber monster head on the end.
I was starting to wonder if Sinterklaas had set up a sponsorship deal with the tooth fairy or if the old man was really that concerned about my dental well being from the alarming amount of pepernoten and chocolate letters I had been consuming.
Eventually I received a gift that was very obviously not a tooth brush. It was far too big to be a dental hygiene implement. I believed this fact so adamantly that I announced it very loudly to the room using words such as, “Thank god,” and “finally” with a smirk. I eagerly tore the paper apart to discover; a toothbrush. A toothbrush concealed with-in an elaborate cardboard construction which had been created to hide the fact that it was a toothbrush. The packaging on this one (the real packaging not the fake “I’m not a toothbrush” packaging) claimed that it lit up and played ‘nighty-nighty music’ while the user (evidently a small child) brushed their teeth.
All these toothbrushes came from my girlfriend’s family along with much roaring laughter. By the end of the night I had received at least one tooth brush from each member of the family (along with other non-tooth related gifts of course) and I had learned several new Dutch words such as; Tanden, Tandenborstel and Tandarts.
I enjoyed my very first Sinterklaas pakjesavond a lot and found the toothbrush surprises very funny. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I plan to enjoy it even more with my revenge which I’ve had an entire year to plot.
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