I was the shy, nerdy kid at school. I had a face full of acne, bucked teeth, and glasses. I was your classic, run of the mill, cliché nerd. Looking back at my yearbook photos now, I can hardly recognize myself. In my school years, I was quite good at academia, but my social skills were terrible. This was because I wasn’t comfortable with my appearance. I was the butt of ridicule from my peers and sometimes the teacher would even join in the fun. What a jerk.
Needless to say, I was disheartened and ended up a loner in my school years. High school was even worse. We all know how cruel kids can be and I had experienced it firsthand. I had become jaded at the world and the people in it. I would sit in my room and play video games. The characters in the games were my only source of outside stimulation. I had a lot of time to myself and studied really hard. That’s pretty much what you do when you have no social life.
I graduated and went to university – still looking like the same loner nerd as I was in school. Eventually, to my relief, my acne disappeared and I regained a little of my confidence. I was still a nerd and a recluse but at least I didn’t have a face full of pimples. This gave me some hope that I could possibly meet a girl. Can you imagine? A twenty-one-year-old virgin at university. Luckily no one caught wind of this, otherwise I would have to go into hiding and wear a disguise to my lectures to avoid the public ear bashing.
So I started going to the gym to turn my scrawny figure into something that resembled a manly body. I was really motivated and going to the gym three times a week. My body started to change for the better and in turn, so did my outlook on life. I met a few gym buddies and life started to look like it had a rainbow on the other side.
I was feeling great until ‘The Jenny Incident’ happened. The previous night at the gym, my buddies and I were talking shop. You know girls, school, our future. I told them about this girl in my Cell Metabolism class name Jenny. She was super sweet and had looks to boot. Anyway, the guys convinced me to go up and ask her out the next day. I was nervous, but I overcame the fear walked straight up to her the next day. My palms were sweaty, but my determination overcame my will to flee. But… as soon as I opened my mouth, I could see her peering at my bucked teeth. I could tell she was trying to be nice and not stare but it seemed like she was having trouble looking away – like a car crash. My heart sank mid-sentence and I ran away very disappointed in myself and I sunk into a deep hole of anxiety and pity.
I didn’t go to the gym for a week. That’s until one of the boys stopped by my house to see if I was alright. I told him the scenario and we jumped online to try and find a solution to my teeth problem so I could regain my confidence and composure. I just wanted to feel like a human being and not a freak that needed to hide. In hindsight, I was probably overreacting. My teeth had been my cross to bear my whole life and I was so self-conscious that I would always smile with a closed mouth which probably looked even weirder than my bucked teeth.
We eventually stumbled across a corrective procedure called Invisalign. They were kind of like braces except that no one could see them. They were, as the name suggests, invisible. Invisalign uses a series of corrective mouth guards over time to straighten your teeth. Anyway, I took all my savings out and booked in to see a dentist in hope to save my chance at a social life. The dentist said that in my case he could follow through with the treatment, further instilling hope in my life.
A year and a half later my teeth are now straighter than they ever were. I smile at strangers and receive smiles back and this warms my heart on a daily basis.
A year into the Invisalign procedure I walked on up to Jenny and asked her out for the second time. This time I was a lot more confident because my teeth were well on the road to being almost perfect. She must have picked up on my new found confidence and said yes.
Fast forward to now. Jenny and I have just had our second beautiful child together and haven’t left each other side since that faithful day I asked her out for the second time. If it weren’t for Invisalign, my life would be completely different and I may have very well turned out to be a jaded old bastard. But now my life is filled with love and contentment and I wouldn’t have it any other way.