by Mary from Oregon – ArchWired Reader
Everyone stresses if they should tell friends about getting braces or not before the day they go on. I agonized over this decision. I decided I would tell my closest friends and family. I did not tell my friends in my gym’s cycling class and that is where I went wrong! The “big day” came and went. I got them on a Monday and I spent a couple of days showing my closest friends and family. Of course it seemed like I ran into every old high school boyfriend that week! How could that be? I saw everyone I knew everywhere I went. I felt like I was on parade. I did the usual little “interview” each time when my braces were noticed. The usual questions about how long and why and if they bothered me generally followed upon meeting friends. I was nervous each time, but seeing people one by one made it seem easier.
By Wednesday, it was time to make my big debut at my cycling class. I had a great plan to avoid the class detecting my new braces all at once. It was a kind of “stealth” plan of sneaking in a few seconds before the class started, do the class and then casually show the instructor after while people were leaving. Perhaps fewer people would see them at first and more next class. I was confident that this plan would avoid a big embarrassing show where I became my own “show and tell” in front of an audience! I came into the gym and quietly beeped myself in at the front desk. Luckily, so far so good. As I came upon the room, I could just barely see my friends setting up the bikes and getting started. Perfect timing! What I didn’t know is that one friend of mine had “leaked” info to my instructor, foiling my stealth plan completely. “MARY… GET IN HERE… WE ALL KNOW YOU GOT BRACES! LET US SEE THEM! … COME ON… BIG SMILE!” the instructor yelled out the door.
Laughter was erupting and I thought… UGH! What do I do? My thoughts turned to hiding in the towel hamper as I turned a million shades of red. There was no escape. I simply pulled my hood of my Nike sweatshirt over my head and just ducked in the room walking backwards! This just made everyone laugh harder! The instructor teased on….”Come on. Let us see. Turn around, take off the hood. You can do it!” I just responded with “NEVER, No NEVER!”. I was still holding my head well into the safety of my sweatshirt.
She insisted, “We’re like family…. You can’t wear that hood forever!” I said “You’re right! I can also wear a paper bag!” We were at a stalemate. By this time everyone was in hysterics. Everyone was also cycling. I could not see to find my empty bike. I was like the phantom of the opera or should I say “of the gym”. The laughing continued to erupted at an alarming rate. What a scene! With each plea to see my braces I would shake my hood “No”.
As I came to the conclusion that one hour later the laughing would be continuing and someone might die from a Laughing “side ache”, I gave in. The instructor counted okay… “1… 2…..3 …!” and I followed her lead with the unveiling and a big braces grin. Everyone stared. My face was bright red, eyes puffy from laughing so hard, not helping my new braces look either!
Through the laughter I said, “Thanks a lot guys. SO NICE of you to pick on the ugly girl in braces in the back row! Just start pedaling… turn around now… nothing to see here (gesturing like a traffic cop)… nothing to see… move on.. move on!”
Even though this was most definitely, hands down, the most embarrassing moment in my new braces, it was also the most memorable. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. I felt silly and self-conscious and dorky all at once. We all felt like a bunch of silly 13 year old kids. Everyone laughed about it for weeks and didn’t let me forget it. It was one of those embarrassing moments that I will never forget. As for my cycling class, they all still love me braces and all!