I feel so old. I wrote a check for $900 today. To the orthodontist. Suddenly I’m the mom complaining about doctor bills and driving her to the appointment. Standing on the edge of lectures full of latent mom guilt – “listen up, girl, i didn’t just pay $900 for you to sass me with that little mouth of yours” – or tea and sympathy – “honey, i know just how it feels. you can do it. be brave.”
It’s twenty years later, but the same music plays over the speakers. Apparently guilty feet still got no rhythm and Phil Collins is still looking for one more night and Richard Marx still isn’t in jail for that killing down by the river. Black and white photographs of faces with big-toothed grins smile down at me as I wait. I feel that awkward junior high feeling wash over me as the smiles mock me with their prettiness. I bet those beautiful people never had to “avoid sticky foods and gum!” I remember the awkwardness of having to wear braces, and, yes, even the headgear. Snapping rubberbands popping off my teeth and flinging themselves across onto cute Greg’s desk.
She walks down the hallway with her cute pigeon-toed steps following the nurse. I sigh and settle in with the month old magazine. Nothing makes me realize time is passing faster than I’d like more than the orthodontist’s office.