Day Two – You’re so pretty when you smile

I must have a permanent scowl glued to my face, because I’ve received some jarring comments about myself over the years.

One of my high school friends once told me that before we met she thought I was a total b—h since I never smiled when I passed people on my way to class… OUCH!

Whenever my paternal grandmother used to visit she would always kiss my cheek and plead, “Smile, Giselle, you’re so pretty when you smile.” I’d then give the obligatory grin and she would beam back at me, “See!”

I do admit I carry myself with purpose and assertion. I’ll also admit that I rarely smile at strangers. Although, I like to make the excuse that both of these actions are products of my confidence, I now think it’s exactly the opposite. By closing myself off from inviting friendly advances from strangers, I’m protecting myself from my fear of talking to those people. There is nothing I hate more than making idle chit chat with a stranger. It just feels so awkward and forced to me. I need to get over this, because making new friends is a crucial part of this adventure.

These days I totally regret not smiling more in my teens – my teeth were damn perfect by the beginning of my junior year. Three years of braces and headgear will do that. However, when the orthodontist removed the braces and handed me two retainers with the advice to wear them every night, I decided that subjecting myself to those ghastly contraptions would not be part of my nightly to do list – stupid, Stupid, STUPID! Apparently your body makes a lot of this relaxin hormone when you’re pregnant to allow your joints to loosen as you grow and carry more weight. If your teeth are prone to movement (like mine clearly are!) then this hormone is not your friend (unless you are in the midst of orthodontic work). So I will try to pop those retainers back in and hopefully make some progress in this mouth of mine, as I fear the label of snaggletooth.

Oh god, there’s more. Here comes the big embarrassing reveal… I’ve only been to the dentist once in the last nine years… GASP! There are many ridiculous reasons for this, but I will not try to pretend this is reasonable in any way. Never had a cavity before, but I’m not hopeful for my next visit – let’s just say the floss and I are barely acquaintances.

So there are two aspects to solving this problem: simply smile often, and take care of my teeth.

Guess we all know who I need to call next week – ugh!

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