I'll be smiling at you in oh, about two years.
Currently I am trying to learn how to talk with aligners—Invisalign—in my mouth.
Apparently, I’m supposed to practice reading articles or books until I get used to them. It feels weird. I feel like I’m talking through cotton wool. I’m second guessing what I’m saying. I’m tripping over my sentences.
They weren't comfortable at first. And they’re annoying because I have to keep taking them in and out every time I want to eat. Given that I’m from New Zealand and I can’t go more than half an hour without a cup of tea, I’m having to change my lifestyle considerably. I’m also getting aligners at a time when I wear a mask while out in public. So theoretically, very few people are getting to see my teeth improve micro-millimeter by millimeter, and won’t for quite some time. On the other hand, maybe strangers are appreciating they don't have to see my rubber bands. They are kind of gross, after all.
Is the timing great? As a solopreneur, my business is now online, where I don’t have to wear a mask. Trying to woo clients with a mouthful of plastic, holding webinars or doing live Q&A’s is a little trickier.
And yet, here I am.
I am getting aligners because I believe in two years (yes, it could take that long) I will see a positive difference. I believe in 24 months, my teeth will be improved. I will like my smile better. I like it now, I'll like it even more then. Is this vain? Possibly. Is it something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time? Absolutely. Do I care what anyone else thinks? No. People have told me they love the gap in my teeth. I don't mind it, it's the little vampire fangs on either side and a few other quirks I won't miss.
I have always wanted "American teeth." Brought up on British and American shows in the 60's,70's 80's it became readily apparent that generally, Americans had much better teeth. Not having had braces as a child, I’ve always been very keen to straighten the ones on the bottom that can make me look a little bit like a slightly bewildered Bichon Frise.
In two years I will see a positive difference. And I believe that is exactly true of America. I'm hopeful about the vaccine, for one thing. Mind you, I'm in the minority, I've had an OK 2020. Feel free to throw something at me, I know friends who can't wait for the year to be over and they have had it rough. Still...
BLM? I’m grateful it's raising awareness in a way that is unprecedented.
The elections? And as I write this, it looks like we have a new President here in the US, but the other one is still arguing about it. I know people on both sides (not popular to admit in Seattle) and I can't vote. All I can say is whatever you voted, you had your reasons and I support your right to choose. I'll listen while you tell me why.
Covid-19? I've been very fortunate. I'm low risk and very safe where I live. There's only my husband and me and we are both super careful and minimize contact. Maybe I’m burying my head in the sand. I know I lead a very privileged, sheltered life. I live in Bellevue, in a wealthy area where yes, we did have riots, but I'm loved, fed, watered, housed. As soon as the fires hit Australia I started donating and I didn't stop. There's a lot of great causes that need money and I have some to spare. I'm learning how to be a better ally and advocate, I'm trying to educate myself and I'm focused on appreciating the hell out of what I have.
And in two years I will be able to take off my mask and smile at you and I hope we all like a little bit more of what we see in the mirror.
Photo by Hana Lopez on Unsplash
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