My son turned 14 and I am wearing braces.

There are 6 teenage boys now in my house and they are staying overnight until tomorrow noon. Sleepover is a misnomer: there will be NO sleep involved. They will be up all night, taking over the house while I hide in my locked bedroom. Fortunately my boy runs with the nerd crowd so give them each a Wii remote control and time flies, as they say, Mario Cart style. Of course, when the sun comes up tomorrow, I will be ushered into the Dawn of the Dead (Tired): these teenagers, being outside of Asia where the Tiger Moms roam, are untrained in the Tao of Midnight Oil Burning (“OMG. The teacher gives them so much homework. My son spent TWO HOURS last night doing his math homework!” Yah… I bit my tongue for that one.) They all talk a big game, and yet we know, tomorrow they will be complaining about headaches and extreme exhaustion and whimper like little babies. Thank goodness tomorrow also happens to be my least favorite day of the year – I have a slogan for it too, Spring Forward My Ass –  so I am actually one hour closer to liberation.

Hurrah!

The lady brigade suggested lots of booze to help me survive the Night of the Undead. When in doubt, add Vodka. And sometimes, bacon. Unfortunately for me though, I have something in my mouth which, actually, is one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life, I am convinced.

Last Saturday, I got Invisaligned.

Oh no no. Taking these suckers out is NOT an one-handed job. *He he. Rim shot?* All the glossy pictures featuring beautiful people do not show you the “anchors” on my teeth to secure the braces. These bumps make me look like a vampire (of the non-sexy variety) and make it a pain to take them out, and that means I basically have only limited windows every day to eat and drink. On the first day, I tore the bottom liner out of frustration and panic when I was dizzy with hunger. “What if I cannot take these things out and I have to stop eating for the next 12 months?!” On top of the dreadful task of taking the liners out (which reminds me of the first few days when I got my first contact lenses), I am also very very lazy, and I do not like the thought of having to brush and floss my teeth AFTER every bite or sip before I put the liners back on.

This is torture for a grazer. In this past week I have experienced thousands of moments when I thought about eating but could not. It’s revealing because, if not for my inability to do so, I would not have even given it any thought before I polished off say a whole bag of Sun Chips, or ate half of the strawberries while cutting them. Gone are the days to hold a cocktail giant beer glass and sip my Cranvodka the whole day night. No more lounging at Starbucks for hours. (Ok. Fine. I don’t get to do that anyway… But you get the point) I feel unsettled and restless the whole day, like something is wrong but I cannot quite put my finger on it. The promise of losing weight from this self-enforced starvation? Ha. I am half-starved for the past week but still managed to gain 5 lbs. HOW? Because when it comes time to eat, I eat like a starved person, like someone who has no idea when they are going to see food again. I now eat appetizers, main courses, AND desserts. After I am done with my meal, I survey the pantry and the fridge to find all things that I think I may have a cravings for later during the day and I shove them into my mouth.

At the same time, I also got a raging case of pink eye and was therefore rocking my geek-cred thick-coke-bottle glasses. Along with new braces, my weight gain, and the telltale rash around my waist band…

Liz Lemon: God, three weddings in one day, I’m going to be in Spanx for 12 hours. My elastic line is gonna get infected again.

I’ve had a week of low self-esteem, which meant only one thing: I needed food for emotional support.

Like I said, one of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life. So far.

Maybe I should try and top it with another bad decision? Maybe I should just say “Oh, fuck it”, and go have pizza, cake, chips and a big giant glass of Cranvodka tonight? I mean, it’s my kid’s birthday party right? I gave birth to that little guy (now measuring 5’10”) fourteen years ago so I deserve a night off from this mental torture device, right?

Happy Birthday, Number One Son! Let’s party! Separately of course. I am cool like that. You guys stay downstairs and watch mindless YouTube videos while I surround myself with all the food that I bought for you and watch an R-rated movie. Now who’s going to help mommy carry all the food and the bottle of vodka and cranberry juice upstairs?

Update: I did not even get to eat anything when the doorbell all of a sudden went off. “Are you guys expecting more people?” “No…” We opened the door and it was The Girls. Well, I guess I have officially thrown a cool party right if it’s been crashed? You’d be happy to know that after I corralled them into singing Happy Birthday and cut the birthday pies, I quickly grabbed my bottle of ready-made Costco Margarita (NO cranberry juice in the house!) and headed upstairs while leaving Mr. Monk, my 9-year-old in charge.

 

Article by Absence Alternatives

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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Kelley March 10, 2012, 10:13 pm

    Loved your description of Invisalign! My MIL uses them. I always think “invisible my a**”, kind of like your spring forward deal. Still better than regular braces, right?

  • Alexandra March 11, 2012, 10:48 am

    I love your posts.

    Happy birthday to Mr 14.

    My big boy will be 17 next month.

    My first baby that I nursed at my breast.

    I cannot believe it.

    I, too, am in nightly invisaligns.

  • Life in the Boomer Lane March 11, 2012, 10:50 am

    So funny. I probably need braces at this point. All my teeth, which used to be very straight, are now very slightly crooked. This means I always have something stuck in my teeth, usually the green and leafy variety. Aging is such a gift.
    Life in the Boomer Lane´s last blog post…The Aging of the High School Reunion

    • Absence Alternatives March 11, 2012, 12:31 pm

      Well, after reading your wonderful post on HS reunion, I have to agree with you about aging!

  • Kathy March 11, 2012, 1:20 pm

    At least the night was an hour shorter than it would have been otherwise–right?
    Hugs,
    Kathy
    Kathy´s last blog post…A Friday Manifesto on the Creative Process

    • Absence Alternatives March 13, 2012, 7:00 pm

      I have to say: I quite enjoy leaving work when it’s still bright outside. 🙂 It’s been 60s here in Chicago. Can’t beat that.

  • Diane March 12, 2012, 7:10 am

    I had braces at age 50. Not Invisalign, but regular old-fashioned attached-to-every-tooth-top-and-bottom braces. Eating lost its appeal for 12 months. So did talking, going out in public and getting my picture taken. I tried not to do anything photo-worthy during that year. However, I had a chance to meet Michelle Obama and went for it. The photo that I have framed is of us – her and the back of my head.

    • Absence Alternatives March 13, 2012, 7:00 pm

      You did???!!!!! NICE! Glad you got a picture of her face! Otherwise people will not believe you right?

  • Meg at the Members Lounge March 12, 2012, 10:09 am

    I just finished the Invisalign ordeal, which lasted 2 years. I have to say, I ran into the same issues as you, those damn anchors. I felt like a vampire. Now that they are off I think it was worth it, my teeth look great! My trick was to keep them in as much as possible during the day, and then at dinner time (aka, wine time) they were out for about 3 or 4 hours til bedtime, or I was done sipping wine. My treatment went just as planned; I don’t think it’s realistic to keep them in for 20-22 hours like they say. Cut yourself some slack at some point during the day or evening and you’ll find the experience not so torturous!
    Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog post…I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Are We Still Burning Bras?

  • BigLittleWolf March 13, 2012, 8:45 am

    Just smirking…

    I see you’ve reached that stage.

    Our “whole house sleeping record” was seventeen. Yes, I said seventeen. Bodies strewn everywhere, and in only 1,000 feet of square space. Impressive, really.

    Good luck… I bet you can top it if you try!

    🙂
    BigLittleWolf´s last blog post…Going Nowhere… Slowly

  • Elly Lou March 14, 2012, 7:01 am

    I can’t focus on anything else cause all I can think is, “But her teeth were lovely before!”

  • Wildology March 14, 2012, 12:19 pm

    I think you should just try to eat with it in and see what happens:)…something not to hard and not to mushy.
    Wildology´s last blog post…The ‘Healthy’ marriage talk

  • Jack@TheJackB March 14, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I am impressed- that is a lot of teenage boy to have around the house. Hope it wasn’t too painful. I know that a house filled with 11 year-olds made me lose more hair.
    Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…The Bad Pitches Bloggers Sometimes Receive

    • Absence Alternatives March 26, 2012, 4:08 am

      They simply Sat around and watched dumb videos on YouTube. I’d say teen boys are somehow easier than preteen boys!

  • Nance March 14, 2012, 6:31 pm

    Happy Birthday, Mommy! (I don’t know why they get to have the party when we did most of the work, right?)

    Thanks for the skinny on Invisaligns; one more fixer-upper debunked. Is there nothing in the way of modern medical miracles that doesn’t come with those “And May Cause Death” side effect warnings?
    Nance´s last blog post…Greige. Dammit.

    • Absence Alternatives March 26, 2012, 4:07 am

      I dislike parties no matter who they are for. I always end up doing most of the work. Even my own!

  • Mary Lee March 17, 2012, 7:42 am

    My daughter-in-law is doing the Invisalign right now and she’s a high school Asst. Principal. (How’s THAT for guts?!) We’ve just got to figure out a way to get your mind off food.

    Watch my slowly moving cursor. . . you are getting sleepy… v e r r r r y sleepy. When I tell you to open your eyes, you will eat like Gwyneth Paltrow. (Your sons will be PO’d at the lack of junk food in the house.)

    Happy Birthday to Son #1. I feel confident with Mr. Monk in charge. In fact, I’d be confident with Mr. Monk in Congress (provided his religious education hasn’t unduly influenced him.)

    Oh. Almost forgot. You can open your eyes now.
    Mary Lee´s last blog post…Never Iron a 4-Leaf Clover*

  • Naptimewriting March 17, 2012, 7:19 pm

    I think I’m headed for full metal braces. And headgear.

    But, as with having teenagers, I will pretend it’s not going to happen.

    Denial is my absolute favorite pasttime.

    Hope the party went well, the girls left early, the boys slept, and the Sunday of Parental Time Torture went well.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
    Naptimewriting´s last blog post…Sucked in by the cute

  • Dufmanno March 19, 2012, 6:43 am

    I did braces for three years before high school and then I didn’t wear my retainer so my teeth went all wonky again. I have seriously been considering invisa-whatever to punish myself for preteen noncompliance.

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