(I couldn't find the story when I wrote the most recent FHE BLOG on self esteem so here it is now,)
In my Dad's family tree at least one person of many, many generationns has been blessed with the Wiser Gap...a large space between the two front teeth. I have fun pictures of me in grade school smiling my way through until about 5th grade when I was teased about my teeth. From then on, I never I never opened my lips to smile until I was a junior in high school.
Dad was a poor farmer and money to fix teeth (especially when mine looked just like his) was not really an option. But when I was in high school Dad got a new job and things were much improved. My older brother and sister were married and so Mom, who had listened to me over the years, understood and took me to see Dr. Hall in Twin Falls. I had two surgeries to remove skin between my teeth. Then over a five month stretch of healing, making gooey molds, and then resizing my two front teeth down to little slivers - painful and disgusting - Dr. Hall fitted me with caps. They were disgustingly yellow and did not fit my mouth, but these were the olden days when this was al new stuff. I just kept my mouth closed for two more weeks until my real porcelain caps were ready and put in place. They matched. They felt great. And they alm0st t0uched, just a barely noticeable, small sliver left of my Wiser Gap. A huge improvement!
Mom said I didn't have to go back to school that day, but I insisted. I felt like an entirely different person. I wanted to show off my teeth! I chatted with everyone, smiling all the while. No one said one thing about my teeth! I thought they were just being nice. Finally with 4 or 5 of my closest friends around me, I burst out, "Look! Look at my teeth! I can hardly stand how much I love them." They looked curiously at one another and then Karen said, "They look great but why are they new?" Exasperated I reminded them of the horrid space and all I'd silently suffered to come to this moment. Connie said, " Isn't that weird? I never noticed." AHHHHHHH! Could it really be true that it didn't matter? It mattered to me, but it was unbelievably surprising that I seemed to be the only one. Worrying over the Wizer Gap took years of energy. Amazing huh?