This post is totally inspired by a quotation I received this morning to have my teeth (which are not so terribly skew, but which bother me) straightened. You see, years ago, a friend of my ex told me that I had such skew teeth, I would be able to simply hook them onto the edge of a cliff – no need for a grapple hook 😥 He was drunk, but a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts. Those harsh words forced me into action and I went from this:
My orthodontist is seriously good at what he does, I know!
I’m not a pretty woman. Fact. I think of all the women I know and at least 98% of them are more attractive than I am. Looks-wise I mean. And while what I’m about to say next may come across as arrogant, it is merely a statement of fact – my bubbly personality and generous nature make up for what I lack in the what-you-see-department… I may not be the most striking shell, but I have an appealing soul. So, please don’t think I don’t love myself. I do. Because if I don’t, I can’t expect others to love me, now can I?
One can still be a charming person, but it doesn’t necessarily mean one is confident. Having straight teeth made me confident. And with that confidence I felt a little sexy too.
The always-ugly-duckling had finally reached the elusive-swan-status. Years passed and because I thought I knew better, I stopped wearing my retainer. Subsequently I had to have my wisdom teeth extracted and as a result of the combination of the two, my top teeth have moved forward. Not incredibly noticeable according to my friends (but they love me, so they are don’t qualify as objective), there is nothing wrong with my smile. But. It. Bothers. Me 😦
I know I may get lynched here, but I feel that confidence comes from beauty and beauty, unfortunately for some of us, comes at a price, and ironically enough, the price at this stage of the game for Yours Truly is simply unaffordable, because I actually need to survive before I can think of anything else.
I was chatting to my childhood best friend two weeks ago during a visit to her and her husband and we were discussing income. Not exact figures mind you, but ball-park. When I told her the bracket my take-home income falls into, she nearly had a minor stroke. To add insult to injury, she nearly had a mini heart attack when I told her that I actually earn a damn good salary for the town I live in. She looked at me as if I’d been robbed of my senses and said, “So, let me get this straight – you earn ex amount of Rands – you have to pay your rent and your car. Necessities – without a roof over your head you’re screwed, without a vehicle you can’t get to work (for my overseas readers, South Africa has no public transport system in the small towns). Girl, that has already got to be at least half your income. Then you still need to pay for utilities and fuel – again, essentials. Clock another 15% of your income towards that and you’re left with 35%. I know you have a hospital plan (you need it…given your penchant for landing up in casualty), so assume another 10% for that. You mean to tell me that on the 25% that remains, you actually manage to still live?” I didn’t say anything – silence, in its own right is an answer (and besides, it is survival, not living). Many of my friends cannot fathom why, when I have an unexpected windfall (like my parents gifting me R700 recently), that I immediately want to spend it one something fun, like a visit to the circus, wine-tasting at a local vineyard or a massage. The answer is simple – it is because doing something out of the conventional hohum of survival is living. Memories are made when we do something out of the ordinary; they seriously aren’t made in the daily tedium of making beds, doing admin and watching TV.
I’ve heard of people that work in our town that don’t even earn half of what I do. I don’t know how they would survive if they didn’t have a spouse that works offshore. So yes, I should quit complaining. And besides, I’m getting off topic. Sure, money, or the lack thereof, contributes to the fact that I cannot afford to have my teeth straightened, but it is not the crux of the matter.
The age-old saying says Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Okay fine. So someone else may think I’m beautiful. But what if it is I who is the beholder?
Last night I had dinner with Marina and Elizabeth. We got to discussing clowns. Elizabeth said she watched a documentary about a guy who is a clown and how in actual fact his life story is extremely tragic (she didn’t go into detail, but the example is going to be useful to illustrate my point), but how it is basically expected of him to be happy all the time, because he is a clown. Two quotes immediately spring to mind:
“The saddest people sometimes smile the brightest…”
“All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are…”
Do I, like the clown, simply ignore the physical flaws that literally stare back at me in the mirror and pretend they don’t exist because it is about what other people see?
All I know is right now I had better start getting creative because I want my smile fixed. I want to be totally confident. I want to fall in love with my smile, like others have…