Most people who go through a mid-life crisis want to go live in Europe for a year, buy a Maserati, go see Oprah. Not me. I want braces.
Let me re-phrase that: I want the benefits that braces can give me. So, yes, at my ripe old age (and you don’t need to know what that is), I’ve decided to get them. It’s been a long time coming. I should have had them when I was a kid, but coming from a household supported by a restaurateur father and a garment factory working mother, disposable income did not flow freely. And even in adulthood when money wasn’t as significant a factor, I needed time to think about it.
A turning point for me was during one of my final “fireside chats” with my dying father. He said one of his greatest regrets was that he was never able to pay for braces for me, and he broke down and wept. Wow. That’s when I seriously started to consider it, but still, I was not ready at that moment.
Ironically, the primary reason I am getting them is not even for the aesthetic benefits, although I know I will be happiest with that outcome. Because of our family’s finances growing up, my oral hygiene practices as a child and in my youth did not include regular dental visits. But one day, when a filling came out, I had to cave and go see a dentist. Three gum surgeries and many new fillings later, I saw the light and became semi-obsessed with my dental health (and with my child’s).
While everything’s improved and been very stable, I was asked again to re-consider braces because of the vulnerability of my gums in a crowded mouth. And this time, the decision came quite easily. I plan to stick around for many more years, so why wouldn’t I do this for myself at this age? And frankly, I’m too old to care about how I will look to anyone else anymore. Mind you, DQ’s a bit concerned about what her friends will think. Oh dear. Already, I will become the mom her child does not want to be seen with! My biggest concern will be the new limitations on what and how I can eat. No more popcorn?! I hope I can make my way through Christmas turkey: will I have to throw it in the blender?!
The journey begins in a week. I may have some interesting stories to share, once I learn how to eat again. Bring it on!
If you have any advice on how to cope during the first few weeks, please share it with me!