Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why My Orthodontist Is A Hero

Bless my heart. My brother Chris and I may have parents with the good fortune of excellent health into their golden years (Diddy is 86, Mamer just turned 84 on Thursday), but unfortunately, we both ended up with Evelyn's teeth. As a late bloomer, I couldn't get braces until 15—and even then I had to have baby teeth yanked out of my head to make room for the permanents. They simply refused to give way.

The day I got my wires was a blessed event. I loathed my big buck front teeth and was masochistic every time I went to get my braces tightened: "You can do more, Dr. Pillis," even though I then couldn't chew solid food for two days. I also had to wear the infamous night brace to push those bucks back in my head. Half the time, I'd wake up in the morning and find it on the other side of the room, having sprung it in my sleep.

In all, I wore those babies for a year and a half. My ortho took them off the day before my junior high school prom, as a special favor. To this day, my heroes: Casey Kasem and Dr. Pillis.Young Charles, fifth grade.Still young Charles, seventh grade, probably my favorite school picture ever, despite those buckeroos.Ninth grade. Chris, 3 years older, already had graduated past braces.Junior prom, with my girlfriend Sarah Sprinkle. Yes, we're wearing matching mint green. You got a problem with that?