My dad hates dentists. He has these horrifying stories from his childhood that feature pliers, pain, and no novocaine. Maybe it is for this reason that it took my parents six years to actually take me to the dentist.
The first time, needless to say, I was horrified. The appointment consisted of tears, terror, x-rays, two cavities, and words that I will never unhear: "Mr. Thomson, your daughter needs braces."
That sentence was repeated twice a year for the next six years, at which time my mother finally took the referral and forced me to go see an orthodontist.
The orthodontist had even worse news than the dentist: "Young lady, you need braces...maybe even headgear."
I did not want metal in my mouth.
Definitely not headgear.
Never. I was an actress. Nope. Nope. Nopity-noooope.
So I did what any rational human would do.
Because of some complications between my mother and the orthodontic administration (okay, and because I wouldn't stop crying oh my god I was so dramatic,) I didn't get braces that year.
Three years later I had two teeth pulled. We all thought they were just stubborn baby teeth, but in reality they were fused to my jaw. Cue: the worst few hours I could have imagined.
My father was right, people shouldn't poke around in other people's mouths.
When all of my adult teeth were firmly in my mouth (about nine months later,) I had rubber donuts, known as spacers, squeezed between my teeth to make room for orthodontic anchors. They felt like dirt and I hated them.
On Halloween, I was fitted with a mouth full of metal.
That's right, Halloween, guess who was an unhappy Trick-or-Treater. Answer? Me.
I was lucky enough to get ceramic brackets, so they weren't terribly obvious, but nevertheless I felt like I had played spin the bottle with a Transformer.
I gave up taffy, caramel, whole apples, celery, bagels, uncooked carrots, gum, and popcorn (sort of).
I started going through a new toothbrush every month.
I learned to carry toothpaste in my back pocket, and that if there's a question of whether there spinach is in your teeth, there most definitely is.
I grew well acquainted with my orthodontist's nose hair, which he desperately needs to trim.
I heard "we'll have them off soon," regularly for a year and a half.
But finally, finally, after three and a half years, my mouth is metal-free and straight.
I can finally floss without having to thread between every bracket.
And I never need to have that god-awful putty in my mouth ever again.
So, I'm going to do what any rational adult would do.
I am going to cry.
Bring on the Laffy Taffy.