I remember when the very first person in my year at school got braces. It was 3rd grade. Word spread like wildfire. She suddenly became very popular.
We all wanted to see them. It was the coolest, most fashionable thing in the world. No one else had them.
We would stare at this lucky girl with jealousy when she talked. Humble bragging about what a pain it was to have braces. Her mouth slightly more pronounced, her words taken more seriously because of that elite shimmer of silver.
It was the equivalent of a grill nowadays.
I asked my mom if I could have braces and she said I didn’t need them. I made her take me to the dentist to get a professional opinion.
I needed to find another way. At the point where most children give up, I got to work.
How could I get my own braces?
I suddenly remembered that earring backings kinda looked like brackets. Promptly, all my silver earrings were dismantled.
The rest was easy, I just needed a standard paper clip.
The next day at school, I managed to fool several people into thinking I had braces.
About an hour later I caved and shared my trick since everyone wanted braces, too. Besides, it wasn’t easy to keep them in place while talking.
And, what do you know? The next day several girls showed up with “braces”. Terribly executed, by the way. Nobody could straighten a paperclip like I could.
People in the neighboring classroom learned the secret, and soon, more of us were all walking around with wobbly, fake braces.
Eventually that phase ended and years later puberty hit. Braces became uncool and ugly. And right when school started having mixed dances… that friggin’ dentist told me I needed braces.
I was already in a very awkward stage…
It was two years. Both my 8th and 9th grade school pictures were horrific while that one lucky girl who got braces back in 3rd grade was the prettiest of the whole yearbook. With her perfect, white smile.
Nowadays, I don’t think braces are uncool, it’s actually pretty awesome they can fix teeth… But, I’ll never understand why I ever wanted them. As much as I wanted a toy or a bike.
I was a strange child.
Did you do anything crazy like this when growing up? Do tell me.
Thanks for reading,