Posted tagged ‘braces’

“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie.”

April 9, 2017

My skepticism is draining away. Perhaps spring really is here as today is another sunny, warm day, a lovely day. It is already 57˚, today’s high. Gracie and I slept on the couch last night. She had such a difficult time with the stairs yesterday morning I didn’t want to put her through that again. The rest of the stair treads should be here tomorrow so we can move back upstairs. She went outside with me helping her down the stairs. I waited, but she disappeared from view. All of a sudden she reappeared from the other side of the deck. She came up the easy stairs. That’s one smart dog.

Tonight is game night. We’re having pizza and playing Phase 10 and Sorry. We’ll watch The Amazing Race recorded the other night. That’s been a long time tradition.

When I was going through catalogs the other day, I saw jelly nougats for sale and a memory jumped into my head. When I was nearly 8, I started wearing braces. Back then, braces were not all that common. I remember closing my mouth for my school picture so you couldn’t see the braces. I was a bit self-conscious. There were only a few orthodontists. The office I went to was in Boston on Commonwealth Ave. My mother had to get a babysitter for my two sisters then she and I would walk uptown to get the bus to Sullivan Square then the subway close to the office. The office was on the first floor of a beautiful old house. It was a living room with comfy sofas. The nurse’s desk was there, and the doctor’s office was behind a door in the front of the room. His name was Dr. Nice.

After my appointment, we’d backtrack to Sullivan Square. We had to walk upstairs to the bus station. Right in the middle of that station was a news kiosk. It sold papers, magazines, and candy. My mother often let me choose a bar of candy. I remember picking the jelly nougat. I liked the colors of the jellies, and the way they looked in the nougat. With tightened braces, the nougat was a bit tricky to eat, but I managed. We’d get to Stoneham, and sometimes we’d stop to buy my lunch to take to school. I remember the bread was toasted. My mother would then walk me to school a few blocks away from the squar

I always liked the before and after of those appointments. I got to be alone with my mother, ride the subway, be late to school and eat a lunch bought from a restaurant. The day would have been perfect if we took away the orthodontist.

Tom Cruise has braces now, too. I’m right in style.”

August 9, 2012

It’s back to hibernation I go. The day will be hot and humid, mostly humid. I turned the AC on last night so the house is now quite comfortable. Gracie rang her door bells at 8, and I let her out, waited for her and then went back right upstairs to bed. I woke up at ten. I was surprised.

Some commercials are now filled with back to school clothes, school supplies and happy kids. I don’t get the happy kids part.  A new pair of pants or a shirt just isn’t enough to make up for the end of summer. The school year looms and it’s always long. Summer is a mere 9 or ten weeks and school is eons, months and months. I never thought about them until I was older: school pictures. They take them early in the year, and I finally figured out why. If it were later, not a kid could smile.

My first grade picture is of a little girl wearing a white blouse and a skirt with straps. My hair is long and curly at the ends. I have crooked, buck teeth so in the second grade I had started to go to an orthodontist, not so common back then. There were none where we lived so my mother and I had to walk uptown to take the bus to Sullivan Square where we took the subway to Kenmore Square. I remember going to see Dr. Nice. His office was in one of those grand homes along Commonwealth Avenue which are still beautiful today. The waiting room was a big as the downstairs of my house. It had couches and lovely lamps on the tables. His receptionist sat at a giant desk, or at least it looked giant to me. Dr. Nice wore a white jacket with buttons on the shoulders like Dr. Casey’s later on TV. Dr. Nice was an old man with white hair. His office faced the street. I didn’t see much of it when my mouth was open. All I saw was the ceiling. I liked Dr. Nice.

I went through all the stages of braces. Early on my teeth were covered in metal. I looked like Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. No one else I knew had braces. Some needed them but going to the orthodontist as a rite of childhood was off in the future. I was embarrassed by those braces. In my second grade picture I didn’t smile. I hid my braces. It is not a pretty picture.

“Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.”

September 23, 2010

The last two days have been magnificent, coffee and papers on the deck mornings and lazy in the sun afternoons. This morning two nuthatches reprimanded me. They weren’t at all pleased to find the feeders empty. Feeling guilty, I went to the car, brought in the new bag of seed, filled the feeders then cleaned and filled the birdbath. The birds arrived in droves, and I went back to my coffee and papers.

I have odd memories of events which happened when I was really little. They seem to have no context and stand singly. One memory has to do with a pond and a half submerged row boat. I remember water lilies and leeches and my mother screaming. I can still see white Adirondack chairs standing by the water, and I have a hazy memory of my father’s aunt. I don’t remember my great-grandmother, on my father’s side, but I can still see the narrow wooden stairs in her house which connected one floor with another. I do remember my great-grandfather, on my mother’s side, who used to sit by the giant heater in my grandmother’s living room. He scared me, and I’d run by him as quickly as I could. I didn’t remember why I ran until my mother told me he once took my Easter basket away.

At 37 Washington Ave., the stairs had a landing. I remember playing there with my dolls. I was probably no older than five or six as we were still there when my sister, five years younger than I, was born. 16 Washington Ave. was where we moved shortly after that. I always think it funny that the houses are remembered by their numbers.

I have tons of memories of Christmas though most of them have jumbled together over the years. For some reason, though, I remember the ice skates. They were old ones, the kind that buckled to your shoes. When I first woke up, they weren’t under the tree. Later that day they were. When I asked my mother, she told me I must have missed them, but I knew I hadn’t.

My last memory stills make me laugh. I wore braces for years, including the ones where tiny elastics were stretched from my lower to my upper braces. I remember sitting behind my father in the car and talking when one elastic flew  out of my mouth and hit him in the back of the neck. He swatted his neck like he’d been bitten by a wasp. I suppose I must have said something, but I don’t remember it. Maybe I just laughed.