One of the best and worst weeks of my life was the week I got my wisdom teeth out.
My mom thought it would be great for my brother and I to get our wisdom teeth out at the same time. It meant no extra time off of work for her and she could take care of both of us.
My brother was a trend-setter–in sixth grade. He wore orange shoes once to church and then everyone had orange shoes. That’s one of my favorite things about Kyle. He is unassuming and original in his style, and it works so well for him that everyone else can’t help but want to follow him.
I, on the other hand, was still wearing overalls–in high school. Our recovery processes mirrored our levels of “coolness” perfectly.
I got sick because of the anesthesia and couldn’t keep any medicine down. My cheeks ballooned out like a fat chipmunk. Chipmunk cheeks aside, I was already feeling a little bit self-conscious about my appearance. The week before, my hair had been dyed an unfortunate construction paper black. My stylist forgot about me while she was “washing the color off of her hands” (Read: chain-smoking in the back of the salon) and meanwhile my lovely chestnut brown color turned into a flat, gothic, black.
Black hair looks stunning on many people. Their ebony, shiny locks make their eyes stand out and show-off their olive complexion. Not me. There is nothing olive about my complexion.
In the past I’ve used words like porcelain and ivory to describe my complexion (Many cosmetic lines try to make white people feel better about themselves by doing the same thing), but my dead-of-winter skin looks ghostly white under normal circumstances and looked even more so in contrast with my black hair. I looked like I could’ve been one of the Cullen sisters from Twilight.
But back to the scene at hand.
Because of the lingering confusion from the anesthesia, I looked like a drunk, Betty Boop that had gotten punched in the face from a nasty bar fight. As I lay pitifully on the bathroom floor, crying because the anesthesia made me sick, my brother played video games, laughed at his own speech impediment because of residual numbness from the surgery, went to a photo shoot (?!?) with his band and went on as normal with only minor swelling. He could have at least faked that he was feeling poorly, so I wouldn’t feel so bad.
I remember telling my dad that I wanted to die because of the pain at one point. I think he responded with a compliment about my levelheaded reason.
The best part of getting my wisdom teeth out was that I could eat some of my favorite foods over and over again without fear of judgment: pudding and mashed potatoes. I love pudding. Before you start in on me listen: I know that the chocolate is fake, I know how artificial it tastes but I still love every bit of it, even the crunchy part on top when you make it on the stove (thanks Grandma). I’m pretty equal opportunity with flavor too.
Betty Crocker mashed potatoes are one of my most guilty pleasures. I remember skipping a class in college to watch episodes of LOST with a friend and eating a container of instant mashed potatoes. I felt guilty that day (and rightfully so), but with a recommended food list in hand from my oral surgeon, I had my golden ticket to pudding and mashed potatoes the whole week.
That’s when I first realized that I may be one of the happiest, most content old people around.
I love bingo (I got a nice set at age 10, move over playstation, bingo wins the day), people-watching, pudding, brooches, milkshakes, and discounts. Some people are holding onto their 20s and I’m looking forward to my 80s for many more reasons that the superficial ones here. (read this article about beauty in old age for more consequential ones)