Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What I Missed Out On in Middle School

I was a dorky, scrawny, flat-chested middle-schooler with bad hair. I had some good friends (who are now Facebook friends), but I was unpopular. I was smart, but not as smart as my older sister (Dr. Lynne, the college professor). I excelled at Art and Home Ec. That's funnier than you know.

I didn't make the cheerleading squad, for which I am now eternally grateful as I would not have met some of the best friends I've ever had who all would have shunned and pitied me. I didn't have Nikes when EVERYONE was wearing Nikes. I had really bad hair, curly that wouldn't "feather" if I'd been part bird.

I also didn't have regular dental visits, and thus when I turned 18, I had to have 4 fillings and my wisdom teeth removed in short order. I also didn't have braces.
Fast forward to January 2010, when I start to suffer some significant jaw pain. I honestly thought I had hit my head sledding, because I went from being pain-free one day to not being able to bite my toast the next. After 6 weeks, I mention the pain to my dentist who proceeds to take some of the most unflattering photos and molds of my mouth. He refers me to an orthodontist who does the same, even charging the same to analyze the photos and molds.

All of this culminates in my getting braces yesterday at age 43 to correct a malaligned bit. They are slightly uncomfortable and turn eating into a chore. Maybe I'll be able to drop those extra 20 pounds. I can't eat popcorn which is one of my favorite things to eat. I have to learn to talk without spitting. I will worry that my morning latte will stain my teeth, leaving a white dot on each one after the braces come off. I wonder if people will think I am vain.

The kids have been kind. They just tell me I look so different. Then Ben gets that gleam in his eye and wonders aloud if a Magnetix will stick. And so it goes that I become a science experiment.


  1. I did have braces when I was young and am eternally grateful, at the time my dad took me from Maryland to Pennsylvania to the orthodontist and on the way home I got an ice cream sunday because my mouth hurt so much, the pain in the long run is worth it though. I thought they had tooth colored braces nowadays? oh well what do I know. good luck with your bite.

  2. Boy, I could write pretty much this same blog! I was unpopular in middle school more for my rage and anger and smart ass mouth, but I had that same hair(mixed with east coast humidity) and teeth full of metal fillings which are now falling out and I am spending time at the dentist getting tortured with the drill weekly! Suffering artists is what we are, that's why we are so good!! :) You will have really pretty teeth when it's all over, hang in there!

  3. OMG I LOVE you!! So funny Kari from one flat-chested dork to another. (Except my hair did feather - that's ALL it does, still.) I have lots of friends who got braces in their 30s and 40s. You are not vain! But if you are, I am too. I have "polka dots" all over my body from my lupus - it's a fab look in a bathing suit and I am sure people wonder if it safe to be in the same water with me LOL. Glad the pain will be gone. Ask for the colored bands and decorate your mouth for the seasons!