When I was a child I both wanted to be invisible and also I wanted to be famously paid attention to in a “OMG isn’t she fabulous and beautiful and don’t you just want to be her friend!” sort of way!!! There came a time in my life when we came back from summer and all of these kids had silver mouths. They all admired each other’s braces and there I was with my stupid back brace that mostly made me look as if I had a stick up my ass. Also I didn’t actually want anyone to know that I had the fucking thing. But these braces everybody had them. Damn me and my straight teeth and crooked spine. It wasn’t until I went to my friend’s house and saw her headgear that I got tremendously jealous. Here was this poor girl with pulleys and belts and a horse-drawn carriage connected to her teeth trying to pull them straight, which probably hurt like hell, and there I was thinking “Where can I get me one of these attention seeking contraptions? Holy fucking wow! That thing is massive and so hard to ignore.”
I have said it before and I will say it again being an attention whore is sort of a gateway to other types of whore and so I should have been wiser about not falling into “You can dance on this shiny pole and people will give you money!” type of bogus claim. But I was so super jealous of all of these kids walking around with their braces and smiling at one another. I was buying it. I needed braces so that I could fit in.
They were all so cool and had so much to talk about with each other. They even had their own language:
“I can’t even chew gum anymore!”
“I’m not supposed to have chips but I do!”
“Do you use the wax?”
What? What are you talking about? I want to fit in. I want to be a part of the “can’t chew gum and chips and waxing something” club! Instead I am in the “back brace is digging into my skin and I have developed bed sores from the fucking thing” club for one. Yup! One member of my stupid club or at least the only one I knew of. Crooked teeth is more socially acceptable than crooked spine so there may have been more but we didn’t go around flashing back braces and talking about things. “I had to learn to breathe again because my rib cage doesn’t move in and out anymore!”
“I can only sleep on my back!”
“I am allowed to take mine off for one hour a day!” Yeah, no! No one was walking around talking about their scoliosis with great gusto and detail.
I eagerly tried to fit in. Here I was listening and not knowing what to say because I didn’t have braces. I actually didn’t fit in before this but I definitely did not fit in after everyone came back with their tinsel smiles. I was sitting at my desk in class and I was looking at the paper clip that my teacher had dropped on the floor.
Kids if you are reading this, just know that this may have been the absolutely dumbest fucking thing I have ever done. Ugh, I can’t believe I am telling this. Okay I picked up that paper clip off of the school floor. (If you want to know what a school floor is made of I think it is 60% dirt, 10% disinfectant and 30% salmonella) I unwound the paper clip and I put it in my mouth to make it look like I had braces.
I wore that thing outside and I was talking to my friend who didn’t always have to wear her headgear. She said “Oh My God Becki what is in your mouth?”
“I got braces!” I said while swinging
“You didn’t have them this morning.” she said, *which was true but God Damnit be cool for like one fucking second okay?
“I don’t always have to wear them.” I lied.
“When did you get them?” other kids trying to poke holes into my already implausible story. No, not that thread bitches, this is going to unravel rather quickly.
“I’ve had them for a while.” I say and look away with my best Farah Fawcett face. Because she was the coolest of all the Angels.
I walk away quickly before they can ask me anything more and also I was choking a little bit on the paper clip I was trying to pass off as braces. I went over to the merry-go-round and the lady who yells at everyone at recess was heading my way. Fuck me! What do I do? I can’t take the paperclip out now because the nosy girls are looking right at me.
“Becki, What do you have in your mouth?”
“Nothing!” I say through pursed lips.
“Are you picking on the girls with braces?” She asks
“No! I am not picking on them….” I started to explain when my ‘braces’ decided to go shooting out of my mouth and hit the yelling lady in the stomach.
“What is this?” she asks. She picks it up and loudly asks “Did you have a paperclip in your mouth this whole time? Do you know how dangerous this is?” She yelled at me all the way into the principle’s office. There I was waiting to get yelled at some more when one of the boys that also was in waiting for the principle looked at me and asked what I was doing there.
I was about to tell him some cool story about being a badass when Miss Recess Yeller said “She was pretending to have braces by putting a paper clip in her mouth.”
Where the fuck did she come from? Goodness lady be fucking cool would ya? I don’t really want everyone in the school to know how lame I am. The boy looked at me and started laughing.
As if that wasn’t bad enough we had to have an assembly about not putting sharp objects that we could choke on….because one of our students had been on the playground with a paperclip in her mouth…..fucking come on I just wanted good attention. Never mind invisible would be good right now.
Moral of my story: Sometimes you get what you wish for! I wanted people at the school to notice me…and they did. But I also wanted to fit in….and I didn’t! I now know and understand that the recess lady was really looking out for my safety. I just wish that public mocking wasn’t the way that she taught me my lesson. A quiet, “you are beautiful as you are!” would have done wonders. As an adult, I try to be more encouraging to others and especially young ones because I remember how humiliated I felt. A lesson doesn’t have to be humiliating to be effective. I learned that lesson the hard way so You don’t have to. For anyone out there that needs this today, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST AS YOU ARE. YOU ARE SO LOVELY AND WORTHY!
Until next time! 🙂