Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In praise of beauty

Since yesterday evening, the most transformative realisation has occurred. As of 2pm today I find it impossible to not smile. Why? Because I have teeth again! After 4 days of hiding my face from the world, practicing my seductive "Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen lips closed and slightly upturned at the corners" smile, discovering what the strong silent types might experience in their daily life, and cancelling all unnecessary appointments, I am confident to again walk down the street, flash my pearly whites and engage people in conversation.

So the realisation is that it actually doesn't matter how you look "oh, your missing teeth are barely noticeable," what's important is how you think you look. Today as I walked down the street, I wanted to grin at everyone, I wanted everyone to notice my smile, I wanted to bare my teeth just so people would stop and say "are those new? how lovely." Of course, the reason I want to do this is because they look like they were never broken and so no one will notice they aren't mine. For the past few days, I've huddled in my corner office avoiding human contact, and to be perfectly honest I've been quite cranky. I blame my crankiness at least partially on starving (liquid diets work so well, I've discovered, because they cause you to lose weight regardless of whether that is the primary goal or not). Today I finished every sentence with a smile, if I forgot to smile I played with my teeth until I remembered how nice they were and smiled. I wanted to speak with people, to be in public, to smile!

So for everyone who is debating a new haircut, or whether to join the current decades' fashion trends, or to get braces, my advice is to do it! You may not realise just how cranky you currently are, until you rise above yourself and can't stop smiling with inner joy at how lovely you think you look, even if no one else agrees.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Of teeth and frisbees...

Years ago in University I took a course called Mammalogy, the study of mammals. As part of this course we analysed different mammalian skulls; beavers, coyotes, moles, etc. and we learned to identify animals down to a species sometimes based only on the teeth. Teeth are pretty special.
Years ago in University I also started to play a sport called Ultimate Frisbee. Yes, this sport, so misunderstood and never heard of, is actually one of the best sports in the entire world. I would know this because I've played most sports in the entire world at least once. At the same time as I played Ultimate I also played Ice Hockey and Rugby. Of course every time an injury happened it always got blamed on rugby, but it was generally the fault of ultimate. My rugby and hockey teammates would laugh at my third sport, but in all honesty I truly find ultimate more challenging in many ways than hockey or even rugby - minus of course the continual fullbody contact.
Most of you have probably never seen a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Most of you, in fact, likely associate frisbees with dogs catching them in their mouths at a park. Well, if I had in fact made the connection between my study of mammalian teeth and the differences in capabilities between said teeth, I might have averted a disastrous mistake.
This past weekend, I went to an ultimate tournament in Bridgeport, CT. My team was a random assortment of random players from random teams, and we decided that we didn't want to win the tournament since it was cold and we would have then had to play an extra game. So we enjoyed our spiked cider and played as hard as we felt like playing. Two of the guys on my team loved to huck (that means to throw the frisbee really far) and I love to run deep (that means to run all the way to the other side of the field) and catch, so we made a great team. Our final game was against a team even less competitive than we were; we at least had talent which we decided not to use whereas they had no talent and tried to use it. Final point of the game, as I ran to catch the frisbee, the girl defending me decided she didn't want me to beat her and instead pushed me. This resulted in the frisbee being caught not by my hands, but by my teeth.
This is where mammalogy could have been useful. Apparently dogs have much stronger teeth than humans. I fell to the ground and realised I had tooth pieces floating around inside my mouth, and carefully spat them into my hand. The doctor on my team informed me that these should be stuck in a container of cream (like strawberries and cream?). I traded a cup containing teeth for a cup containing ibuprofen. I think I got the better deal.
In the meantime I've discovered lisps don't really get you anywhere, it is not cool to show up at work looking like a jack "o" lantern, and front teeth are really useful for chewing. I've also discovered why liquid diets are so great for losing weight. Should I ever need to lose weight in the future I'll just ask someone to chuck a frisbee at my front teeth and wait a couple weeks before getting them fixed.