Friday, August 10, 2007

What a Dork

As if my last post didn't out me as a complete dork for not having had an iPod, this one surely will do the trick. I have an orthodontic appointment on Tuesday to get fitted for braces. Yes, braces. As in, the ones that go on the teeth of a teenager, except that I'm 31-years old.

You see, I had a baby tooth - the upper-right canine - which didn't come out as it was supposed to. Not to be delayed, the permanent tooth grew right in above it, making itself quite at home and leaving me looking like a human can opener. I was horrified by the dental nightmare taking place before me during my middle-school years. Kids are awful by that age, and nobody hesitated to call me "vampire" or some other hideous name. Eventually, the permanent tooth kicked the baby tooth out and took sole reign of the gumline. This wasn't any better, however, as it lingered there prominently. An eye sore all in its own right. Until, that is....until my mom married my stepdad, who's a pharmacist. Her new..ahem, financial situation allowed for the expense of finally - FINALLY - getting the monstrosity extracted. Once it was pulled out, I was thrillled! My smile almost looked kinda normal, but with a little gap off to the side. Even then, the high school hellions couldn't resist. They wanted to know where the "beast" was. Did I have it mounted? They suggested I drill a hole in it and wear it on a necklace around my neck as if it were a trophy from some big kill in the African Sahara. [Can you tell high school sucked for me?]

I trooped on through life, gap and all, always a bit self-conscious every time I smiled. I even forgot about it most of the time, until I'd see a picture of myself. A picture of me is a rare occasion, though...Once I became a mom, pictures of me pretty much went away. But even now, when I see a picture that I'm in, the hole in my toothline is the first thing I notice (unless I'm not wearing makeup or I'm having a bad hair day).

So, upon my discovery that our graduate student dental plan actually includes orthodontic coverage for ADULTS, I couldn't help but wonder....Does this mean I might be able to afford braces?? Finally?? Hubby and I talked about it, and he absolutely understands how much it means to me. The plan has a flat price that you pay, which is $2100 for adults...Not bad at all compared to the $3500-$5000 we'd be looking at if I didn't have the coverage. The orthodontist has payment plans, but I think we'll pay for the whole thing at once (courtesy of the Fall financial aid refund, of course).

Is this bad? Am I a horribly vain person for wanting this so much? Am I a making an incredibly stupid financial decision to use financial aid for this purpose? This is the only time in my adult life that I've *EVER* seen orthodontic coverage for adults, so I don't get the impression that we'll get this opportunity later. I still feel guilty, though, thinking about what "emergency" we could use that money for later. We'll have no credit card debt and both vehicles are paid off and in decent condition (knock on wood). I just know I'll feel even worse if something happens the day after I get braces and we're SOL on the money front (we wouldn't be completely SOL, but you get the point).

Also, there's the whole issue of being on the job market next year with "clear" braces....Great. Just what I need. MLA with braces!! That would be like high school all over again, except worse because now I give a shit. I just hope I'm making the right decision.


supadiscomama said...

It's great that you're doing this thing for yourself! Yes, you will probably feel self-conscious for a little while, but you'll get over that. Plenty of adults get braces, so you really have nothing to be embarrassed about :) Just make sure you get your fill of corn on the cob before the big day!

Sarah said...

I'm actually jealous! I have crooked teeth and I have always wanted braces but something always stopped me. When I was a kid I got fitted for braces but before they put them on, my parents decided my brother needed them more--the sibling rivalry goes way back. Hubby wants braces, too. So we both sympathize and think it's great and I plan to do it myself one day. And I don't think that anyone will think twice about it at MLA--since the clear braces came out, lots of adults have gotten them.

M said...

Get them, girlfriend, and do not feel guilty. I have a flaw in one of my front teeth (that I know only I can see) thanks to an ***hole dentist who didn't do what I asked. If our insurance covered fixing this flaw, I'd do it in a minute!

wwwmama said...

you're not a dork! (unless you want to be...)
I say get the braces. I know 2 adult women who recently got them and have somehow managed to make it cool. Almost a "don't you wish you were like us?" kind of thing. Basically you just have to own it and rock it out, whatever that means. Use it as evidence that you care about your self-presentation in a good way.