My orthodontist told me today that I frustrate her more than any other patient. I’M FINALLY THE BEST AT SOMETHING, YOU GUYS!
I probably wouldn’t have needed braces again if I had diligently worn the retainers my orthodontist handed me in a durable yet discreet carrying case from my first four-year stint with chains all up on my teeth with a warning to “wear these motherfuckers every night so you don’t waste your parents’ hard-earned money, you little weasel.” Actually, those weren’t Dr. Chu’s exact words, but if you had an orthodontist named Dr. Chu, would you remember anything he said? OR would most of your headspace be consumed with questions about whether he only chose his profession because of his last name or if orthodontia was a calling he decided to pursue after turning away from his real passion of selling refurbished Datsuns?
Also, I was 16 years old. I remember nothing from that time except that I wore this beige dress with a side zipper that my mother got from an outlet mall in San Antonio, and I forgot to zip it up before school one day and not one goddamn person told me until after lunchtime. I was sporting large comfort saggy-bottom underwear that day. And it was 88 degrees. I guess memories do come back in waves once you’re brave enough to break down the walls you’ve so carefully assembled to guard your fragile psyche.
Am I getting too deep? It’s one of my faults.
Laziness is another one of my faults. I stopped wearing my retainers because the durable yet discreet carrying case had a pretty tough clasp and exerting that kind of energy before bedtime is just not the kind of life I’d envisioned for myself.
I fought against remarks that my teeth weren’t “that bad” and “it’s only one crooked tooth” and “you’re so vain,” but vanity, well, vanity is also another fault of mine.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I have a lot of faults but my teeth are really fucking straight now, so who cares if I’m imperfect on the inside. Self-improvement is a beast. That’s why I’ve decided to only tackle the things you can see.
P.S. I just finished I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying by Matthew Salesses. I didn’t like it. I LOVED IT. I was unfamiliar with flash fiction before reading the novel, but it was perfect for my on-the-go schedule and my short attention span (another one of my faults). Salesses’s beautiful writing about a man who discovers that he has a 5-year-old son is honest and raw. Good read, y’all.
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images via Instagram (username: flourishinprogress)