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Welcome to my little corner of the ether. This is where you will find information about my books and musings on life and love in New York City. To stay in the loop about all things ADR...

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Calm down. I'm not pregnant. I don't even want to be pregnant. Imagine that. Progress, no?

But there is something I've been keeping hush hush. Last November, I got braces. Yup, 'tis true. I didn't just get braces. I got Incognito braces. How Bond of me, huh? Call me superficial, but I wasn't game for sporting metal on the outside of my teeth, so I opted for these, which are hidden on the inside. Hidden proved to be a relative term;  If you looked directly into my mouth, you could definitely see the metal brackets and wires - I think most people with whom I talked probably noticed them, and fast. More of a giveaway? The slight speech impediment these braces gave me at first, a lovely lispy thing that lasted for months. I literally had to practice speaking, standing in the mirror repeating some weird thing called the Rainbow Passage.

Anyway, it was all worth it. I'm happy to report that I got my braces off on Monday. Even though it's only been 10ish months since I got my them, my mouth felt weird sans metal. But the important thing was, and is, that my teeth are now straight! Now I have the distinct privilege of biting into a plastic "positioner" for the next several days. Said positioner is a contraption that makes me look like I am hoarding my kids' toys in my cheeks and, while I'm wearing it, prevents me from eating and drinking. Oh, and speaking. I'm not going to lie; my girls seem a little befuddled, perhaps even alarmed. At least their mom will have more perfect teeth when this is all over, right?

And that brings us to the most interesting question here, I think. Why would I elect to fill my mouth with metal, compromise my ability to speak normally and eat certain foods after upwards of three decades on this planet? My teeth were fine. Not bad. When I was a kid, an orthodontist told my parents that I didn't need braces. Sure, my front two teeth overlapped and my bottom teeth were battling for space, but so what, right?

The truth is that my teeth bothered me. They were something I noticed in photos, in my wedding video, when I looked in the mirror in the morning. And I decided to finally do something about them. And I am so happy I did, but I am still left wondering why I went through all of this, why I am sitting here typing while my teeth, now straight, are shrouded in a thick plastic torture device.

And why didn't I tell you guys about this before now? Was I ashamed of my vanity? Was I self-conscious about my decision? Did I feel guilty somehow about being able to afford my somewhat narcissistic adult dip into orthodontics?

I don't pretend to know the answers to these questions. What I do know is that I am a fan of flaws physical and other - in the characters I read about and write about, in the people I know and love. What I also know is that I am less forgiving about my own flaws, and my own faults. Somehow, they are less endearing, less okay.

Part of me worries that once this final positioning process is over and my teeth are free and straight, I will miss my old teeth, my old smile, that I will long for the crowding, that chipped front tooth my doctor fixed on Monday when he was plucking those brackets from the backs of my teeth. Part of me wishes I was better at embracing my own imperfections, that I could see them for what I intellectually know they are: beautiful, unique, distinctly mine.

Alas. There is no going back now. ADR has straighter teeth. And the more shallow side of me is super-duper psyched even if the deeper side of me is a bit disappointed that I thought to call the ortho in the first place.

(Thanks, Doctor Andolino! Oh, and thanks Doctor Malpeso for your pre-braces AOO gum surgery which worked to expedite this process. This is a whole separate story with lovely details of face puffery, black-and-blueness, and one very frightened Starbucks barista!)

And here it is, the big reveal... {How bizarre and unsettling are close-up mouth photos by the way?}

 Now is when you tell me that my new teeth look fab, that I am not excessively vain, that I am not a drama queen for giving this post its title. Are you forgiving of flaws in others, in yourself? Did you have braces as a kid or as an adult? And if so, do you remember getting them off? Are you keeping any secrets these days, online or off? {Feel free to contact me with any questions about my gum procedure or braces!}

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