When I was in middle school, everyone had glasses and braces. Everyone, that is, except me. I desperately wanted them – both – so desperately, I continually asked to go to the eye doctor and the dentist.
My mom wouldn’t take me to the dentist. I told her my teeth hurt so bad and I thought they were moving. I wanted braces. I wanted the colored rubber bands! Unfortunately, she could see my teeth, see that they weren’t moving, that they were still perfectly straight. Curses!
But she did take me to the eye doctor. I would tell her I couldn’t see the blackboard in school, that I was getting a headache every time I had to try to look at it. Alas, 20/20 vision. Why, god! Why me? Why can’t I just be like everyone else! Foiled again!
Let’s fast-forward to eleventh grade. I had a toothache. For real. I called my mom from school crying because it hurt so bad. She didn’t believe me at first (she has an amazing memory). But I think my crying convinced her that maybe I wasn’t making this up. She took me to the dentist and there was something wrong with my perfectly straight teeth. It was time for my wisdom teeth to come out. But, there was a problem. One of them, the one on the bottom left side, was blocked by a bone and wasn’t coming up and out. That was the source of my pain. Tooth vs Bone. And for the moment, the bone was winning.
The solution? Braces! Suddenly, I wasn’t excited about braces anymore. They had to break the bone and put three brackets of braces on my teeth to pull the tooth up at an accelerated rate. Excuse me? Break the bone? I had never had a broken bone in my life! And, I’m a klutz and a tomboy! You want my first broken bone to be forced and on purpose? No friggin’ way!
But, yes way. I went to the orthodontist and he broke my jaw bone. Then he put braces on. With rubber bands. They hurt. Every day, my mouth hurt. I wanted to rip the off. They hurt at night and I couldn’t sleep. They hurt in the day and they hurt when I tried to eat (which nearly killed me!). I had to basically stop chewing on the left side of my mouth. Screw this braces shit. About a year later, they came off. The bone healed and about a year later, I had my wisdom teeth pulled out. Finally, my mouth was back to normal (perfect) again.
Then, a few years later, in college, I noticed I was really having trouble seeing the board. I went to the eye doctor and guess what! I needed glasses. I was super excited! Finally, I would be able to see what everyone else could see! But it didn’t happen that way. I hated the glasses. I hated them because I could not remember to put them on. I hated them because I had to put them on. I hated them because they didn’t do what I thought glasses would do for me. I couldn’t see into people’s souls. Glasses did not give me the answer to all of life’s questions.
About three years ago, I got another check up on my eyes. They were bothering me, even though I was trying to wear my glasses every day. Bifocals. WHAT! I felt like I was too young for bifocals. I mean, really, aren’t bifocals for grandmothers? I’m not even a mother!
So I wore them. All the time. Even with bifocals, I couldn’t see into the souls of others. But I still wore them every day.
Then I stopped. I didn’t really make a decision or anything, I just stopped wearing them. About two weeks ago, I got a headache, and it would not go away. I took ibuprofen. I drank more coffee. I could not figure out why I had such a horrible headache all the time.
A couple mornings ago on my way to work, I noticed my glasses. They were lying next to my iPod in the car. I picked them up and put them on. Not suddenly, but within an hour or so, my headache was gone. It was pretty amazing. I’ve been wearing them every day since. This is amazing! I can see! And I don’t have a headache! Wow.
We had so much fun, the movies were great. And I could see them with no headache!
It’s been a long time since I have wanted something just because everyone else had it. I do wish for things, but they are for me, because I think I may like them. Not because it would make me something I’m not, give me a super power, or any reason as adolescent. As I have reflected on this, realizing that I have indeed gotten what I once wished for, it makes me wonder, do I have a super power? And if I do, may I give it back, please?