Pushing Past Fear

It’s healthy to have some kind of fear; it keeps you on your feet. For me, it’s spiders. I know they eat other gross bugs but I am frightened by their very presence. Lurking in the corners of my ceiling, sneaking along the edge of the tub, even crawling behind my workbench in the garage: I don’t want ‘em anywhere near me.

I also have a pretty healthy fear of the dentist. For a long time, I figured it was the tray of sharp tools next to the chair or the anticipation of having someone dig around in my mouth. This fear has mounted into utter despair as of late. My dentist just told me I need to have five teeth pulled and then have braces slapped on my mouth. Seriously?

Getting braces at twenty-six, are you kidding me? You should have seen the waterworks after that consultation. It’s enough that I need all my wisdom teeth and a reluctant baby tooth yanked, but braces? That was fifth grade for me and it seems shitty that I have to revisit it.

braces

So yeah, I came into work with tear stains on my cheeks that day. I’m on TV (sometimes) and I have to parade a smile around customers. My body is something I’m always critiquing, so having braces would just be another thing to bring me down. Never mind avoiding mirrors, I would be self-conscious just laughing. I already don’t fully smile in pictures. Seriously! Even in my wedding photos I refused to show teeth.

dani and her birdesmaids

But tears eventually run out. What then? I could continue to cry, but time keeps on ticking. To be bogged down by the very thought of having braces would eventually make sporting them a total nightmare. I’d have to ease myself in as soon as possible. Cue me Googling celebrities who had braces late in life (What up, Gwen Stefani?) and blog pieces from other adults with braces (specifically 20-somethings).

I’m still scared of getting braces because of how I’ll look at myself, not how others will view me. Most people won’t even bring it up. To be honest, they’ll probably notice it, make a mental note and then move the hell on. I know this and I’ll just need to remind myself: no one cares. Everyone is too worried about their own shit to even give the smallest crap about me.

That’s totally fine with me. Forget about me and my metal mouth. And to be honest, if someone brings it up and won’t let it go, I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with them anyways. Shallow in one way, shallow in a bunch of ways.

The tooth armor won’t arrive until the winter and may only last about six or seven months. However, spiders are forever.