It's only fitting that the time in which we as humans feel the most awkward in life (what the shit? How do I have growing things on my chest?) we also must endure the time honored and humiliating mouth ware: braces. Gah.
Allow me to back up a bit. I first had a lip bumper in preparation of the braces. (Think Bubba in Forrest Gump). Then came the braces, which were put on me the day of a friends birthday party at a fancy restaurant, so I was the girl in the corner stuffing her face with the fried mozzarella and not speaking. I was in too much pain. Then came the piece de la resistance: head gear. Yup. I had head gear. Thank baby jesus i didn't have to wear it to school, but I was that chick who rocked it at slumber parties. I mean really--I almost think that these things were created so that as adults, we can say we survived.
The thing that really was the worst for me out of all of this, though, was the retainer. That fucking thing was the root of all evil. food would get caught in it, it was too easy to play with in your mouth, and you had to take it out when you sat down to eat lunch. On one such day, I made the ghastly mistake of throwing my retainer out, and didn't realize it until about an hour after lunch had ended. By the end of the day, I was a wreck trying to figure out how the hell I was going to tell my mother that I had thrown it out.
The final bell rang, I proceeded to my after school activities, then later that afternoon, I walked out to my mother's green station wagon to deliver the news. I told her what had happened, and she simply said, well...let's find it. Huh? What? Did you not hear me? I lost it! I threw it out in the trash! As she unbuckled her seat belt, I realized that this was actually going to happen. She was going to go hop in the dumpster of my middle school. As I sat there praying to god that I would either die or magically transmogrify into an insect the size of a gnat, she was calling from the dumpster: WHAT WERE PEOPLE EATING YOU WERE SITTING WITH? (brown bags and apple cores are at this point can be seen being thrown around).
At this precise moment, the vice principal of my school walked by, and the look on his face was so stunned, I can only imagine that was the kind of expression he had on when he found out he was going to be a father. My mom popped her cheery little midwestern face out from the dumpster and explained the situation. Oh! he said. I have a meeting to go to (yeah right, dude) other wise, I'd jump in there with you! While he was conversing with dumpster diver I mean my mother, the boys soccer team just happened to run past on there warm up lap around the school; their heads all turning left as they ran past. Yup. I would have chosen death over anything in that moment.
She did not find my retainer that day, so I had to order a new one. I have since learned what the cost is associated with all that oral mouth gear, and holy christ is it expensive. Truth be told, I can now understand her ferocious drive to find the thing, but at 12 years old? Hell. Sheer unadulterated hell.
Turns out, my bottom teeth are crooked again. And they're staying that way, dammit.