When I went to see my would-be oral surgeon, first we addressed the issue of my wisdom teeth (decision: take the bastards out) and then he discussed what to do about my vestigial baby tooth (see Impacted Wisdom).
There are three possible solutions:
1) Leave it, let it be and pray* it doesn't lead to pain, misery and loss of other teeth further down the road; 2) while I'm under having my wisdom teeth out, he can take that one out too and then eventually when the baby tooth rots away we can stick a fake one in its place; or 3) I can see an ortho, have the baby tooth removed and then pull the correct tooth into place with braces. Yes, braces.
The latter, Doc explains, is the best solution for my teeth. The best solution?! See, I have a hard time seeing that because (and I'm about to reveal one of those universally known but seldom voiced truths): Adults with braces are the saddest, most hated minority on the planet**. Adults without teeth are less embarrassing to look at.
And while I'm not judging any of you out there that, as adults, have had braces, I will say this: I hate you.
Let me try that again: being around you makes me uncomfortable. And it's not just me, it's everyone who has any ounce of self-respect. If you are over the age of 18 and you have braces, every other person you encounter feels sorry for you and wishes not to be near you. I didn't want to have to say it, but if I didn't, who would? I know it hurts to hear, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Perhaps my hatred of adults with braces stems from the fact that when I was younger my dad's mistress (in her early 20's) got braces. And of course, I had to see her every week in church with those ridiculous metal scaffolds in her mouth. Perhaps that's the root of all this venom, but I don't think so. I think that just allowed me to tap into this, perhaps, single universal truth: Adults with braces are to be hated and scorned, pitied and possibly even shipped off to special colonies for as long as they have braces so as not to expose any regular people like you and me to the horror.
I tell you, if an adult with braces were a circus freak, I would actually be so repulsed that I'd skip their cage and spend twice as long looking at the more dignified freaks. Like Lobster Boy or the Human Torso.
The idea that I might have to be that pariah walking around with metal on his teeth who's unable to eat Peanut M&M's for a year has me reeling. I would sooner vote for President Bill O'Reilly, Vice President James Dobson and their Chief of Staff Toby Keith than get braces.
Part of that may be my vanity. Despite the fact that I'm a bizarre looking man with the physique of an orangutan who lacks the ability to properly dress himself, I'm still a very vain person. I can handle knowing that I'll never have any sort of muscle tone or even sleeves that fit right but the idea that I might have to have braces is just too much for me.
Seriously. Braces?! There is no god.
* I wanted to interrupt him and say "Thank you sir, but I am not a praying man," but the way he kind of sneered when he said it made me sort of love this man. Ironically, of course, this is the course of action I ultimately chose.
**and I say that being a member of at least one other hated minority.