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for August 4, 2004

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Adventures in Adversity
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love embarked on a bit of a personal adventure this summer: orthodontia. It doesnít sound like much of a foray, but you can rest assured it is. If you had braces when you were greasy kid stuff or if youíve always had perfect choppers, good for you! Isnít life rosy when your smile lights up the world? Here, have a super crisp slightly green apple, and try not to break a tooth while the rest of us chat.
Everyoneís face changes with time, wear and tear. Some of that wear does more damage to our smiles than genetics. Whatever the cause, sometimes we find ourselves sitting in a waiting room full of restless pre-teens and their distracted parents, waiting our turn to have professionals stick sharp instruments into soft tissues unnervingly close to our brains. The waiting is followed by the actual sticking and prodding, during which you might think ĎSure, Iím gagging on giant orthodontist fingers around my molars, the piercing pain now radiating down my spine sucks on a staggering scale, and I now understand why cranky kids shoot up schools. But hell, in eighteen months Iíll have re-straightened teeth and a Greco-Roman wrestling hold on my spiteful inner child.í
Eighteen months, in the life of persons eternally 29, is a drop in the bucket, though a month of mouth soreness teaches one to appreciate Jell-O. While Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, drug manufacturers and gym owners push exciting fat reduction programs, the adult orthodontia patient rapidly drops five pounds on the diet that drips from a straw. You think you can eat. You canít eat. You take a bite and try to nibble with teeth that donít hurt. After a few bites, you give up. Not that youíre hungry, because plenty of delicious things come in liquid form. Hollandaise sauce in a pint glass, for instance. Overcompensation aside, itís summer, and you go to barbecues because your friends offer to wire up backyard Cuisinarts and puree you some babybacks. Itís funny. You have to go. In point of fact, you eat spoonfuls of delicious seven-layer dip sans chips, knowing your digestive tract will hate that. You drink beer. You go home and stuff yourself with Advil LiquiGels.
You could be discouraged, but youíre not that kind of gal. When you break a nail, you cut the rest and round up your friends who bowl. Your teeth are the topic, so you revel in Discoveryís Shark Week. Youíre going crazy because flan looks like a main dish, but so what, there are new episodes of Mythbusters. Republicans gathered the signatures to get Ralph Nader on the Michigan ballot, so itís not you. Modern life is crazy. Might as well smile like you mean it.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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