Mundanities: A Letter in Two Parts; Part Two

Sunday evening

Today I sat at the dining table for roughly three hours running my tongue over the wires around my teeth while I graded papers.  I am finally, after three long weeks, done with the first batch of Senior essays and this week’s think piece writings.  But don’t worry; the sophomores hand in a new batch of essays Monday first thing.  I’ll have plenty to keep me busy between now and the next set of Senior English essays next week.  I do so hate to be “bored”.

In a distracted moment, I thought (for about the 10,000th time this week) how weird it is to not have spaces between my top teeth.  The spaces are all gone.  I can still whistle, but to my ear, the tone has changed.  All last week, I felt I was lisping (this happens from time to time, but isn’t a constant in this experience that is braces). I tried to demonstrate the voiced “th” and the unvoiced “th” to students last week, and all I could do was laugh because it was physically impossible to get those sounds out from between my teeth properly.  Very briefly I wondered if I would need someone to help me relearn little things like making the distinct sounds of “th”.  On consideration, I decided I could probably handle it on my own once everything is where it’s going to end up.

Last Saturday, the orthodontist got all the bottom teeth wired and banded to move them back behind my top teeth where they are supposed to be. There are little wires hiding out all over the place that my tongue and everything I eat get stuck on. I can’t exactly tell a difference in overall position of the lower “pearly-whites”, but I can feel spaces opening up around the spring in the back. (The apparatus in my mouth really is a small, unmotorized machine – ahem — of torture.)  On the top, she finally lassoed my remaining wisdom tooth to move it up into the spot where the molar that I broke used to be.  That move has left my whole upper-left jaw pretty sore. That baby has to travel a long way — the full width of the tip of my index finger – 100s of miles in tooth-speak. I’m still taking one ibuprofen nightly more than a week later. Besides ibuprofen, I pray for that tooth to stay healthy so it can do the job we have in mind for it.  And because I’m down to just 26 teeth.  I need to have an even number of teeth (this is just random LD-ness, not anything the orthodontist or the dentist have said).

Eighteen months down, eighteen to go. HALFWAY.  I’ve promised myself a wardrobe makeover (or at least a groovy new outfit or 4), makeup, mani-pedi day AND a fancy schmancy photo shoot once they come off.  Saving my pesitos to fulfill that princess prize.

Speaking of princesses, I’ve enjoyed the new weekly to bi-weekly tradition of fresh cut flowers in my house.  I’ve never claimed to be much of a flower-person, but they’re nice to have around, and I can buy the cast-off bouquets from the local HEB for a bit less than 5 USD. Six roses of some variety: this week they were white roses dyed salmon pink; one zinnia (zinnias are the most amazing): this week scarlet; and a handful of wonderfully weedy-looking wildflowers.  Or in a pinch they throw in the little tiger lilies that won’t last long enough to be sold, plus the inevitable greenery.  Every one is on its last stem, but the flower food that comes in the bouquet helps them stretch out most of the week on the corner table of my dining room, and I try to find the ones with a few unopened blossoms; they seem to last longer. I have wished several times since the beginning of this trend that I had thought of it sooner.  Maybe I did, but it seemed frivolous at a time when money was very tight, or I was being rebellious and difficult when someone who loved me suggested flowers.  Sounds like me. (Love you, Carol Jo.)

I have a thousand things to say tonight, but in the interest of having something to say next week, I think I’ll close here.  Maybe by the next time you hear from me, my recently sown basil and serrano pepper plants will have sprouted and I can shoot you a photo.  That would make me happy in pretty much every way.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the moments that life presents you, even when they aren’t always what you might wish for or aren’t what you expected.  Big love to my dear family and friends, and great appreciation to readers who aren’t personally known to me.   See you here again in a few days. ~LD