This blog post is from September of 2016 and was originally entitled: My Second Adolescence. It was a lighthearted piece about my decision to get Invisalign braces.
One month after I wrote it, Donald Trump was elected POTUS.
In his stand-up special, Kid Gorgeous, comedian John Mulaney compares the Trump Presidency to a horse running loose in a hospital. It’s a pretty good analogy. Mulaney says he never paid much attention to politics during the Obama presidency because it felt safe – like leaving your baby at home with your mother. Why would you need to worry about your baby if it was at home with your mother? You wouldn’t. Now that Trump is in office, though, it’s like leaving your baby alone with Gary Busey; you’ll be fucking rushing home at the end of the day to make sure your baby is still alive.
I feel the same as John Mulaney; now that Trump is president, I am fucking paying attention. I know who my state representatives are and how to reach them. I listen to podcasts about US politics on a daily basis. I voted in the primaries and told everyone I knew to do the same.
Now that the most vulnerable people in this country are under extreme threat from a government full of white supremacists, I can better understand what it means to have white privilege. When I was writing My Second Adolescence it never once occurred to me how different my life would be if my parents could not afford to take me to a dentist when I was a child. I would have 8 extra teeth in my face right now. EIGHT!!!
If I had 8 extra teeth, I would:
- Smile less and be perceived as mean or unfriendly (even more so than I already am due to RBF)
- Appear less intelligent – this could have prevented me from finishing college and getting my master’s
- Have much lower self esteem; if my self-esteem in High School had been any lower, I would probably be dead in a gutter somewhere
- Be significantly less attractive – my now husband would not have even given me the time of day
- Suffer from oral health problems – gum disease, infections, etc.
It’s really humbling to think about this. I invite everyone to do the same.
Original Post: My Second Adolescence
My teeth are relatively perfect. When I say relatively, I mean relative to what nature gave me. In fact my jaw bone is not big enough for a normal set of human teeth, and that is a recipe for one fucked up grill. Just take a look at what’s inside my tooth box:
It’s horrifying. I have had 16 teeth pulled – note the ones with visible roots. Half of them were adult – including my wisdom teeth which are not pictured here. My wisdom teeth were taken out when they were tiny little buds, so the oral surgeon had to break them up and dig them out, which was actually more painful than it sounds.
Safe to say I have had extensive orthodontic work in my lifetime – teeth extractions, lip bumpers, spacers, braces, rubber bands, headgear and retainers. After all that work my teeth were very straight.
But then came adulthood when I made bad choices, like not wearing my retainer, and worse choices, like getting my tongue pierced. Twice. As the stress of adulthood permeated my soul, I began clenching my teeth at night. This chain of events has led to something my dentist refers to as “orthodontic failure”.
My bottom teeth have been going to hell for a long time now, but that never really bothered me. Only recently has my upper left lateral begun creeping sideways. Now whenever I look at a picture, it’s all I can see. Just look at it. Slowly turning sideways and ruining my whole life. It’s time for Invisalign.