I have my own "eff my life" story, a little gem from last night. I was cleaning out a container of stuff in the bathroom closet and I found my old retainer, which I have not worn with any regularity since at least 2005, when I met Jason and decided not to wear it anymore (because I had better things to do with my mouth at night). Not that I was supposed to be wearing it all this time, since I got my braces off in 1997, but my mother has always tried to scare me and my sister into continuing to wear our retainers. She'll bare her own somewhat crooked teeth at us and warn us we'll end up like her if we don't wear them (because she stopped wearing hers). It has been a fairly effective tactic over the years. My sister still wears hers from time to time.
I had braces from seventh grade to just before tenth grade. An eternity. Not only did I have braces, I had two different sets of braces. The first ones came off because we moved and got a new orthodontist who didn't use the kind of braces I had. Yes, apparently there are different kinds of braces. In between sets, I had an expander--a medieval torture device that expands your mouth by pushing your teeth outwards. I have a remarkably small mouth. Dentists have commented that judging by the tooth indentations on my tongue, it doesn't fit in my mouth properly (um, thanks?). And even post-expander they always end up using the child-sized trays and other accoutrements of dentistry. So... I am a dental freak.
The expander covered the entire top of my mouth and gave me a totally obnoxious speech impediment. Food was always getting stuck up in it. I had to stick a little key in it every night to click it one notch bigger. I was in constant pain. And did I mention that I had the expander the summer I went to smart kid camp? I could not have been any lower on the pre-teen totem pole. It was awful. By the end of the summer, I had a huge gap between my two front teeth. I browsed my old photo albums for proof, but couldn't find any pictures that showed just how bad my teeth looked. They were all either too dark to scan or I had my mouth clamped shut. This one from seventh grade (before I got the first braces put on) is the best I could find. I'm the one in the crown. Get a load of those snaggle-teeth.
The point of this story is that I put the bottom retainer in my mouth last night (the top one has long since broken). It hurt immediately. Instead of taking it out like any sane person would do, I decided I needed to wear it while I watched TV. I took a couple of expired generic painkillers ( I told you I was cleaning out the closet) and went back to the couch. I took it off to brush my teeth before going to bed. My mouth felt better right away without all of that pressure on my teeth. I took this as a sign that I needed to wear my retainer overnight, which I can do now since Jason is gone and I don't need to be, um, alluring (see also my unshaved legs). I downed another two expired painkillers (they're still good, right?) and got into bed, trying to figure out where to put my tongue with a hunk of plastic and metal taking up the lower portion of my mouth. I never did find a good place.
When I woke up this morning I felt like my lower jaw had been rearranged. I took one expired painkiller. I moseyed out to the kitchen to make some breakfast and absentmindedly stuck a crust of bread in my mouth before realizing that I couldn't chew.
Eff my life.