Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Embarassing Moment #1

Funny story...Bear with me while I give you all the background info first.

When I was about 10 years old, I was playing with my dog, Skipper, in the garage. I was lying on my stomach with my head propped up on my hands. We were wrestling around, and Skipper knocked my hands out from under my face somehow. I apparently I hadn't learned to hold my own head up without using my hands yet and my head slammed down into the concrete, face first, and broke one of my front teeth off. I have no idea why my parents did have me get it capped or something, but they didn't. I walked around the rest of elementary school and part of middle school with a broken front tooth. Yeah, I was attractive. Some boys even took to calling me "Can-Opener." I was mean though and could kick every one of their asses easily. They hadn't gone through puberty or started growing much yet, and I was a tall, skinny, tomboy, tough girl who had lived with a broken front tooth for several years. They didn't call me that very long.

The tooth eventually abscessed when I was in 8th grade, and I had to have a root canal and porcelain crown put on my broken front tooth. But not before my face swelled up from my nose down, making my face resemble an ape. I'm not kidding! I looked like I had my tongue stuck under my upper lip making a simian-like face. You know how you can do that? Go look in the mirror, stick your tongue up there and roll your bottom lip down. You'll look exactly like an ape. (See above picture) I looked that way for at least three days before the swelling went down, except I didn't have my tongue up there; my face was full of infection and puss. It hurt like hell too, y'all.

After a few torturous doctor appointments, it was fixed and I had a shiny new front tooth. No more Can-Opener.

Unfortunately, back then they used metal rods when they did root canals. Back in the 70s, the DARK AGES, before electricity and ...oh, wait. We had electricity. But it was before MTV! It was before computers! After many years, the metal rods broke down or eroded or something up in your gums and caused your gums to appear black and blue or bruised-looking. Okay, it was just a bruised-looking spot on my gums, but still. I was very self-conscious about this and tried not to smile too big and show my gums. Now I had a perfect front tooth, but there was a black spot glaring out at everyone just above it. Lordie, I didn't want anybody to see the black spot on my gums. How gross.

Well, when I was in my upper 20s somewhere, like 28 or so, I was with my two small sons and a guy I had just started dating. If I was 28, my boys were 8 and 6 years old. We were in Grandy's eating lunch when my youngest son suddenly shouted loudly, "Eww, Mommy! What's the matter with your gums? THEY'RE BLACK!!!!"

I thought I would die of embarrassment. I'm sure I mumbled some explanation and quickly changed the subject and acted like I wasn't embarrassed. I probably gave him the old stink-eye too. I could see him keep looking at me, trying to see my black gums again with a grossed-out look on his face. I have no idea what the guy I was with thought. He was probably trying to get a good look at it too. Or he was trying to make up an excuse to run out and never talk to me again. I don't remember. Or I've blocked it out.

I don't have black gums anymore. I had it fixed soon after that. No wonder I never go anywhere.


  1. Geez Loueeze! I totally forgot about your broken tooth! I never knew Mom and Dad didn't get that fixed for you. What the hell was wrong with them anyway. I had pimples on my face until I was 20 and went to the doctor and he gave me a simple antibiotic that cleared up my complextion in 2 weeks. Mom and Dad kept telling me to wash my face. Crap! I must have washed off the entire top layer of my face several times and..... oh yeah, sorry, I forgot this was your blog.... oh well, I'm glad you got your tooth fixed finally. What a story, though!!!

  2. Isn't the brutal honesty of young children SO much fun? Some days unconditional love is the only thing keeping them alive, huh?


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