So here is my entry for the 2014 EBWW competition. Hope you enjoy.
Learning to Smile at Sixty
I want a smile that says, “She’s a nice lady” instead of a ssmile that says “She’s the wicked witch of the west and she has come for your ruby slippers.” I have neither. Instead I have braces at 60. I have upper teeth that moved west while I was facing north. I have an empty bank account. I have a mortgage on my mouth.
I thought braces were the way to go. I didn’t realize there’s more to a smile than straight teeth. I thought smiling was a natural thing. How was I to know I would have to practice with my new teeth? About a month before the Invisialign were due to come off permanently, I began to smile at myself in front of the mirror. The first smile I made screamed, “Mug shot,” and I wasn’t in jail. I tried again.
The second smile was that of a hyena accompanied by the sound of its laughter. I scared myself so bad I caught up with myself running down the hall.
Day after day I stood practicing in front of that mirror. I smiled like a braying donkey. I smiled like a chimpanzee, my lips touching my nose. I smiled until I wanted a refund for the braces.
I saw the “Joker” smile a la Jack Nicholson who was also responsible for the “Shining” smile. I saw the “Chucky” smile, the “Gary Busey” smile, the “Jaws” smile, the “Bozo” smile, and even one that resembled Freddy Krueger. All that money spent for straight teeth and I couldn’t smile showing them without being arrested. I went through so many smiles my face cracked. I was a smile failure.
I smiled for my closest friends. They laughed so hard one snorted and I think the other one peed her pants. I tried smiling for coworkers. They laughed showing their teeth. Evil witches all of them!
If I couldn’t smile for myself in the mirror, my “after” photo the orthodontist would take would scream, “We’ve finally got her?” Someone call the police to take her away.
I took fashion magazines to the mirror flipping from page to page, smiling again and again. None of the smiles were my smile. Could I simply adopt one of the magazine smiles and be done with it?
I smiled while driving. People ran off the road when they saw me.
I smiled while cooking. My family thought I was going to poison them.
I smiled during sex and gave the wrong impression.
Today I smile MY smile showing my teeth, the smile that screams, “Hi. I’m the wicked witch of the South and I have come for your 3” heels.”
From the life and mind of Wanda M. Argersinger
© 2014 All Rights Reserved