Page 1 of 3

First time I've felt embarrassed....

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:15 pm
by Lisa65
I've had braces for just over 2 years now, and I've got so used to them that I never think about the reactions of other people anymore. Plus I've only ever had either interested or positive comments.

But tonight, we went out for a curry because my husband is going away tomorrow for work until the end of Oct. The young Indian waiter (he was about 20) looked at me and said
"You've got braces on"
"Bit late, isn't it? Don't people normally get them when they're about 12"
"Well, my parents couldn't afford them when I was 12"
"Yeah, but it would've been free on the NHS, wouldn't it?"
"Well, when I was 12, braces were pretty much unheard of...."
"oh, I guess you're talking about like.....ages ago......OK" and off he went.

I am 43 but look maybe 35 in a good light. But it made me wonder, does everyone in the UK who notices braces on an adult think "They are wasting their time and money at their age?"

I'm not good at thinking up witty remarks and he caught me unawares because people normally do not comment at all.

So was he just exceptionally tactless and am I just being exceptionally insecure in letting what he said get to me? Or was he saying what most people think, but are too polite to say? It just made me wonder, that's all. :? I'm doing this for me, and I'll have a nice smile at the end of it (I hope) but I don't want to be a laughing stock while I'm in the process.

I guess I'm just extra sensitive cos of hubs going away.

OMG! What a JERK!

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:24 pm
by lindesd
No, I do not think that you were being over-sensitive. He was being a disrespectful little jerk! I hope that you didn't tip him!

My parents couldn't afford them either and I have always hated my smile. I don't care how old you are. If it makes you feel better about yourself than go for it. This doesn't just go for ortho treatment, going back to school, plastic surgery, etc... It is an individual's right and choice.

So, chin-up! You will love the end result and that is all that matters!


Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:48 pm
by timsmith
Hi Lisa,

Tactless little j..k, I trust he did not get a tip. As an ex pat from the UK now living in Canada for the last 11 years, it is noticeable that the worst teeth usually belong to a Brit when you look at professional people that have made the move to Canada. I am in a similar position to you, when the time was right for me to have treatment in the UK, circa 1972, braces were not that common and my dentist never referred me anyway despite my parents asking for such a referral. They could not afford private anyway so there it stopped.

I went for treatment here in Canada to solve a persistent headache problem and as a bonus I should get a new smile as well. So I am now 50 with braces for the last 18 months and new this week, elastics, whoopee!

Here, my braces only get discussed when I bring the subject up or with people that have been following my progress.

Another thing I notice about North America as well is that in general, people are more polite that I was used to in the UK.

Do not feel upset by that experience, you will have the last laugh in the end.

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:00 pm
by BracedVeryLate
Hi Lisa,
wow, that was nasty. Honestly, I would have been caught SO off guard I wouldn't know what to say.

Maybe he had a problem working that night and seeing you and your group having a fun time caused him to react that way. I usually assume that someone rude is having a bad day, week, month..... life.

I have been OK with my braces since I got them 3 months ago. Then, suddenly last week, I felt really really ugly. Not sure what brought it on, but it was a few days of feeling sorry for myself and really wishing the braces were gone.

I live in Southern California, and it is very common for all ages to have braces, so I haven't really experienced age-related comments yet. I think I would just smile and say absolutely nothing.

Sorry you had to endure this little rude boy.
take care!

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:07 pm
by PuppySmiles
BracedVeryLate wrote:Hi Lisa,
wow, that was nasty. Honestly, I would have been caught SO off guard I wouldn't know what to say.

Maybe he had a problem working that night and seeing you and your group having a fun time caused him to react that way.
take care!
Seconded! What a little so-and-so. It's nothing wrong with the braces, and nothing wrong with you. Just a nasty impudent kid.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:21 am
by saycheeese
Ok now, thats what I call a major jerk :x Who said that you HAVE to wear braces when you're around 12? Why do braces and getting your teeth straightened have to necessarily be associated with adolescence? I keep seeing more and more people my age (21) or much older wearing braces, its no longer an unusual occurence. I've had a few 'why didn't you get them when you were younger?' type comments, but most people have been supportive and are obviously empathetic enough to realise that not everyone has the financial means to get braces at 12. I know its hard to ignore such comments, and I would have been offended and hurt too, but I would try and not take it to heart, as the person who made such a comment clearly lacks both manners and intelligence, and isn't worth questioning your decision to get braces.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:41 am
by Clo
Hope his whelps, when he has some (if he ever gets that far ) have teeth just
wonky enough to look bad, and not wonky enough for a free ride, so he has to
Hihi, oh dear Meryaten. What wicked thoughts you have there in your head. You are so
bad. Good bad I mean. I love it this way !

But, you are wrong here. When he says this to every girl or woman :
oh, I guess you're talking about like.....ages ago......OK
Then I am sure he will never find someone to make this whelps in the first place ...

That, I think, was the worst thing he said, Lisa. Very tactless. I would not worry about
all the rest he said. What does he know about braces, TADs, retraction, malocclusions
and so on. BTW Lisa, that is more than a month without hubby. Of course you are now
extra sensitive. That is way too long !

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:07 am
by kittenmaisey
I think that Guy.. was insensitive alright. However, maybe you came across confident talking about your braces, more than you think, therefore, he felt ok talking about them to you.. albeit in his jerk style!

I think most people in Britain would prefer to walk around with unsightly teeth..than do anything about them! Many people believe the cost of braces is too high. It's not a cheap process by any means. However neither is constantly paying out for several holidays a year, constantly updating tv's mobile's, and clothes.. all to keep up with the Jones's!!

I love seing adults in braces.. I think good on you!
Just ignore the ignoramuses.. and let them hide behind their wonkey teeth.


Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:47 am
by Lisa65
Oh wow, what a lot of supportive comments! Thank you everyone for being angry on my behalf.

In the cold light of day though, I don't think he was deliberately trying to be rude. I think he was younger than the 20 I originally said. He might have only been 16 or 17 (it's a family business so he was possibly a younger brother helping out). He was chatty and cheerful when he came back to bring our meals, and later to clear the table.

It was more as if was genuinely surprised. Chances are he'd never seen anyone my age in braces. Heck, I actually check out people to see if they are wearing braces, and I've only ever seen 2 adults in this town. Like most non-brace-wearers, he no doubt thought braces are purely to improve the appearance of the teeth, and knew nothing of bite issues, TMJ, or other reasons people might need them when they are older than 12.

At 12 my dentist made me a removable brace, like some of my classmates, but nobody at my school wore full bands or train tracks. It really was unheard of. To have that kind of work done, you'd have needed private treatment with a proper orthodontist, and I doubt there were many in High Street practice outside of London. Somebody I work with had full bands as a teen, but her parents were very well off, and sent her to Harley Street for it.

Ignorance of the factors doesn't excuse this boy's tactlessness, but might help explain it. And when you're 17 years old, somebody in their 40's (even if I do look a little less than my age)......well, I remember thinking the same when I was 17. Anyone over 30 was "old"! :lol:

We did leave a tip, but only a little one. The chef deserved it, even if the waiter didn't.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:17 am
by joney
Hi Lisa

I've had similar comments and one such comment from a woman the same age as me (43) but most people have said that they'd love to do something about their crooked teeth but aren't "brave" enough to wear a brace. I really think they must be very insecure if they think wearing a brace is brave.

Remember the end goal. I finally got my bottom brace off today and what a great feeling. Not long now for you and you'll be so happy you've done it.

As mum of two teenagers I must say that I think you're right that teenagers think anybody over the age of 30 is ancient. I suppose we were all like that once.


Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:17 pm
by Lisa65
ooooh Joney, what great news! Have you posted pics?

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:38 pm
by catfish
Hi Lisa65, I won't comment on the waiter because enough has been said. But I wanted to say that I get what it's like when hubby has to leave. Lonely, plus the extra work! (It's probably a good thing that I notice the extra chores that fall to me when he's gone - keeps me appreciating his contributions!)

Sorry you have a lonely month ahead of you, but you have your friends at AW to keep you company!

dont worry bout that waiter

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:15 pm
by maytp18
I disagree ur not being extra sensitive! He was tactless and mean. I am 25 and I have had people say similar things 2 me here in the US. To think people think thats too old for me! My parents couldn't afford them either...

Naturally you will come across rude people like him from time to time.
My boss actually said something to that nature jokingly b/c she got her's when she was around 14 (she's 28 now). And i work in a private school, so I walk around with my braces among many youngsters (as young as 9 ish) wearing theirs, and sometimes I get strange looks because they know who I am and that I am older than they are wearing braces as well, and alos looks b/c they are not sure if I am a new student getting a tour or something b/c I look like I could be attending their school. But i find comfort when I see parents in braces as well in their business students some w/ attache cases.

Like i said...that dude was a jerk...just take solace in the fact that they won't be there forever..

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:50 am
by Beckster

I just thought I'd echo what others have said--if you need someone to keep you company or just need a good laugh(I can send you one of my funny videos that I have in my favorites links), let me know! :) I too know the feeling of what it's like when the hubby is out of town...a few days is a-ok but after a while it gets rather lonely! Take care, and let me know if you need anything.


Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:59 am
by Lisa65
Becky - I still laugh when I think about Peter Popoff! :lol: