I lost a front tooth last week. And it was every bit as demoralizing as it would have been when I was, say, twenty-five. We really never know how vain we are till these moral tests come at us. So if you invited me to an event and I said I had something else on, I LIED.
I’d like to be able to tell you that I rose above this moment like a spiritual champion. But actually, I cried right before the dentist yanked the tooth. I put the vanity above the hideous pain, yes I did. Then I cried when I got home and had to show my gappy mouth to my family. And when my husband went and bought me a very sweet gift to show me he still thinks I’m purty, I accepted it like the gimme girl he has come to know and adore. (In my defense, I waited till we’d been married fifteen years before telling him that he needed to kick his gift giving skills up a notch. So he had all that time to save up.) And finally, while drinking my meals over the past few days, I said some very disparaging things to anyone who chewed on solid food in my vicinity.
But hey, if anyone around is judging, I have an oral surgeon who looks remarkably like Sweeney Todd whom I can direct you to. I promise you’ll be as gorgeous as I am when it’s over.
The plan is to get a fake tooth in next week. Either that or the old tooth might be bonded back in. Isn’t that something? A tooth that was too far gone to save is now potentially safe to put back in my head. The mind boggles. The other option is to wait six months then do an implant, but since that costs about the same as a two-week summer rental on the Jersey shore, the dentist and I pretended I never said WTF when he mentioned it.
What does any of this have to do with autism, I hear you ask? Well, here is a little nugget of info: the tooth originally started acting up because Baby A was in my arms over a decade ago, and his bobbly baby head crashed into my chin and that’s when this all began. He is my pumpkin, and he’ll never know that his tough nut did this, but that’s okay. I love him anyway. Some days, that’s enough. For now, I’m keeping my face away from his coconut skull, don’t need anymore endurance tests, and when this wait of shame is over, I’ll get to kiss his sweet little cheeks again. I see him peeking at my gappy smile. He probably thinks it’ll grow in like his teeth are.
If you see me in public and I scurry away, now you know why. And if I do get stuck chatting, it’s a good thing I’m a lot taller than most of you, so I can turn my face up and pretend to be a snob. When I’m done skulking, let’s go out for a bowl of gruel. I do miss you, even if I’m too whiny and gappy to admit it now. Till then, I clench my jaw at you, dear friends. Mmpmmbmmmmm. That means May Your Teeth Be With You.
P.S. I just realized it’s my 100th blog post. I want to thank every single one of you who has been following, reading, commenting, PMing, and just making sure to be in our lives. You all make this worth doing, and I am infinitely grateful for your love and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.