“Laughter is the best medicine” – this adage comes to my mind as I contemplate on this card today. Who doesnt like to laugh or emjoy a good joke? A sense of humour is what we desire the most in our life partners and friends. For me Laughter was my worst enemy during my childhood. Its not that I was afraid to laugh or stifled into not laughing; rather I was embaressed to show my laughter.
As a child I used to suck my thumb while falling asleep. This habit soon started to affect my teeth; when I lost my baby teeth and new ones came in, the alignment got ruined. I ended up with awkwardly projected top front teeth.
Stepping into my teens, I was beginning to be aware of my looks and grew extremely self-conscious of my smile.
I started putting my hand in front of mouth to hide my bad teeth. Soon smiling and laughing were embarrassingly painful and I began to withdraw from being in company of people. So of course all of this resulted in a very low self-esteem.
I would hear friends n relatives comment on my looks and bemoan my matrimonial worth (or rather unworthiness) largely due to my teeth (weight, dark colour were already on the plate).
My parents decided to use corrective procedures for straightening my teeth. Thus began the torturous process of long waits in the dentist office for fixing dental braces on my teeth. To cut a long story short, I was now conscious of how ugly the food particles looked when caught in the metal bits on my teeth; I hated to open my mouth and was forever in front of a mirror to make sure they were clean.
So you can say the laughter disappeared out of my life as I was too scared and embarrassed to show my ugly teeth.
Time went by (four years), I was 18 and it was the first wedding in the family in my generation. I was adamant about not having the braces and refused to attend the wedding with them. The dentist was reluctant to remove them (blood/money sucking leech that he was) but I preservered.
What a relief to have them off! I finally could see my teeth and had no cuts inside of my mouth and could eat things without worrying about damaging the metal hooks.
And smiling – that took some time but it helped when perfect strangers started telling me I have such a an enigmatic smile.
I went from hiding my smile to laughing openly now. And I did laugh!
To date I am told by men (and women) that my smile is my best feature; it’s what attracts people to me. Sometimes, just sometimes, I go back to that little girl who hid behind her hand or a book while wanting to laugh out loud. Then the moment passes and I am back to doing it.
And yes I am making up for all the lost time and laugh out more often than not.