My braces are off! When I started with Invisalign last February, I thought those 13 months would take forever. But it actually wasn’t that bad. It’s so weird to be sitting around with nothing on my teeth. They feel different. Like sharper or something.

It’s also weird to see my teeth perfectly straight. My front tooth had been slightly crooked since I was about 13. I had a retainer in junior high. It killed. The wires dug into my gums and my back teeth always ached where the wires wrapped around them. Maybe that’s why I kept accidentally throwing my retainer out at lunch. I never finished with the retainer, my front tooth stayed crooked, and the pattern of my teeth settled into this V shape instead of a U shape. Which made my bite a problem. When I bit down, my teeth were meeting at an angle. That would cause enamel rods to break off over time and eventually might lead to teeth loss later on. I decided the proactive approach would be best. It’s always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to your teeth.

There was no way I’d be able to handle old-school braces. I seriously would have clawed them out of my head. A BIG shout-out to those of you kicking it old-school. I hear those braces are super painful. You are way more courageous than I am! I’m just happy to have my braces off in time for my book tour in May. Touring with Invisalign was challenging. You have to take them off to eat. Then you have to brush your teeth before you put them in again. Which was not fun times on planes, let me tell you. There would always be turbulence right when I was hunkered down over the little airplane sink, trying to rinse my mouth without soaking my entire shirt. But I do like the habit of brushing after every time I eat. Which is pretty easy to do since I work at home – I have no excuse. I’m going to try and keep that up. Although I just had some corn nuts and totally didn’t brush my teeth. Attempt fail!

Corn nuts always make me think of that scene in Heathers where Veronica asks Heather what kind of corn nuts she wants at the gas station. Heather whips herself out the car window all like, “BQ!” With this attitude like, What other kind of corn nuts would someone even eat?

Ah, the 80s. Era of big hair and bigger fashion catastrophes. Who decided that angular new-wave shapes on everything was a good idea? I do not know. What I do know is that I was never a fan of big hair. So having big hair is kind of a problem. Japanese straightening to the rescue! I’m going in tomorrow for my touchup. Twice a year I sit in a chair for five hours and let technology mellow out my hair. It is so curly and frizzy and puffy in its natural state I can’t even. I’m so immensely grateful that I get to have straight hair now.

Everything about the 80s wasn’t heinous, though. I’m all about the nostalgia. Although my nostalgia is more for times I didn’t experience, but still. You may know that I have an addiction for graphic tees. I have way more graphic tees than necessary. Does this stop me from getting more? Not remotely. I just scored these awesome 80s tees online and I can’t wait to wear them:

Atari, Simon, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Reading Rainbow 80s tees

I’ll probably wear the Reading Rainbow one at my New Jersey Library Association conference event. I adored that show. In fourth grade, my best friend’s mom’s book was on it. I thought she was the biggest rock star. The Simon shirt is awesome because I played that game obsessively. And the Atari one brings me right back to my Atari 2600 days when I ruled at Pac-Man. As for the Bueller one…well, some things need no explanation. You will rock on in our hearts forever, John Hughes.


11 thoughts on “straightening

  1. My process is very similar. I have a notebook for each of my books with those kinds of details. Lots of the details will never appear in my books, but it makes each character more realistic and believable for me to know them. Knowing as much as you can about each character ensures that everything you write about them, from the way they speak to the way they dress, will ring true with your readers. I highly recommend this process – cardboard characters are the worst!

    • Thank you so much for responding. I’m currently going to school for education and find it inspiring that you were first a teacher and now an amazing author. I love your books and actually advised my mom to read one of yours that I have on my kindle last night. She asked me to pick which one and I just couldn’t choose… I finally picked Waiting For You. (I read 2 of them back to back on my way to and from my gram’s house a lil after Christmas and enjoyed them so much.) Buying a sample of any of your books on there is just a waste of time cause I know that by the time I finish the sample there is no way I can not buy the book. Can’t wait till May and like others have said I totally see John and you in the cover.
      ā¤ Kelly

  2. i know how you feel about the braces. i got mine off less than a month ago and i feel free. retainers are annoying, but i have the clear ones with no metal, so its not so bad. the – as you put them – “old school” ones, were so bad. i probably have scar-tissue an inch deep, but having straight teeth is freaking fantastic.
    cant wait to buy and read “So Much Closer”!!! ā¤

  3. Did I say congrats about this on FB? In any case, congrats! Such a lovely milestone to be done with. I have to do two things before I can even *start* Invisalign – possibly have a frenectomy and possibly have a tooth removed that never came down. Leave it to my mouth to have a bunch of *other* problems, lol! But I am excited to finally have made the decision, since it’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. You played a big part in helping me make it (not that I didn’t do a bunch of research, but seeing someone I know personally go through it was insightful), so thank you! šŸ™‚

    • Yay, I’m so happy you’re moving forward with Invisalign! It’s not uncommon to have to have some other work done first. It will all be worth it in the end. And I think you’ll have an easy time with the process. That’s why they charge the big bucks!

  4. for our school play we are doing awesome 80s prom- basically a mock of all the awesome 80s movies from back in the day. anyway, my character is a heather! haha. it’s very interesting having to play a mean girl. and the freshman photographer character is supposed to be lloyd dobler, and our drama teacher kept getting angry that the kid didnt know how to act like lloyd dobler, so i lent him my Say Anything to watch. He loved it. And I never would have discovered that amazing movie if it weren’t for you mentioning it in When it Happens. Thanks for all the greatness you give out to the world! šŸ™‚


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