when i was a kid i vowed that when i grew up i would never, ever do anything i didn’t want to. cruel, cruel reality. turns out being grown-up means doing things you don’t want to with a smile.
case in point: my teeth. as a child, i had what orthodontists thought was a small palate. for me, this meant the attachment of a medieval torture device designed to expand the palate one crank at a time with the turn of a key. don’t tell my mom, but i promptly “lost” the key behind my dresser after a few weeks of cranking and pain caused by the outward expansion of bone that was quite happy where it was. that didn’t stop the orthodontist from thinking i was making great progress every time i saw him.
well-paid sadist orthodontist was satisfied i had made enough “progress”, he installed more torture devices known as braces–the kind with brackets around teeth and little rubber bands and everything. then we moved across the country, and another orthodontist declared that these were installed all wrong and re-installed another set. then we moved again, and–you guessed it–another orthodontist decided those were wrong, too, and i got a whole ‘nother set.
over the course of four years, i had one appliance and three–three!–different sets of braces. after that we moved onto a retainer, of which i am still the proud owner. and here’s where i’m the fool: after wearing my various teeth-adjusting torture devices for a combined 14 years or so and vowing never to use them again, i am now eating my words. my upper palate has expanded, just not on cue (call me a late bloomer), and my teeth are slowly moving away from each other. i asked my dentist about that neat invisalign thing, and was quickly cured of any delusion of being able to afford it. so last night i popped on my old retainers–albeit rather painfully–just in time for april fool’s day. big sigh.