the PSE went out and got herself braces.
on her teeth.
for a lot of money.
because the PSE is an asshole.

the PSE has wanted braces ever since she was old enough to realize that her teeth weren't perfect.
the PSE sucked her thumb until she was nine or ten years old and apparently that caused her a fair amount of problems for the way her teeth aligned.
thumb-sucking is also a sign of mental problems, insecurity and whatnot, and that is another one of the PSE's problems.
an absence of confidence and a mouth full of malformed teeth have conspired to create a perfect storm that now, i have to pay for.
the PSE's malformed mouth should have been her parents' problem but because the PSE's mother was a bipolar drug addict an her dad is a deadbeat, orthodontia was out of the question.
the PSE only saw a proper dentist two or three times before she turned eighteen and that was only when she knocked a tooth out, to get them to shove it back up in the empty socket.
i had no idea you could do that, but apparently you can if you soak the tooth in milk.
when the PSE and i first got together i took her to a series of free clinic dentist and get a lot of cavities filled and later, we had to go down to Mexico so the PSE could have a root canal.
the PSE's teeth have been structurally sound, white and pretty for over a decade now.
but they're a little snaggly and that's always bothered the PSE.

the PSE has a list of things she doesn't like about her body.
she thinks her nose is too angular, her teeth are too crooked and her vagina is too beefy.
for as long as we've been together she has wanted to fix those things that she doesn't like about herself.
i tell the PSE that what she really needs to do is work on her self-image.
the PSE looks fine, her sharp nose is fine, her snaggle teeth are fine, even her droopy inner-labia is fine, but, of course, it's human nature that we care about our own imperfections way more then anybody else does.
learning to accept her body the way it is would be a much healthier choice and much cheaper then trying to throw money at problems that exist in her mind that she'll never be able to solve, but, of course the PSE never listens to me when i'm making perfect sense.

several years ago, for a want of anything to do for one of the PSE's birthdays, i told her she could go ahead and indulge herself in one (1) of the cosmetic procedures she was after.
of course, the PSE and i share our money and she can do whatever she wants with whatever we have [in theory] but the PSE has always been conscientious and i figured me giving her permission to do one dumb thing that i didn't approve of would make her feel less guilty about it.
of course, i didn't want the PSE to go ahead and have any kind of cosmetic surgery, i think the whole thing is vanity rising to the level of mental illness, but, like i said, i didn't have anything else to offer her that year.
the PSE kept that offer in her pocket for several years and i had hoped that her good sense and keen awareness of our anemic economic situation would keep her from ever actually acting on it.
and for years the PSE was fine just daydreaming about fixing all the things that were wrong with her until a few weeks ago when she finally decided to act on it.

i suspect my decision to buy myself a motorcycle was the catalyst that finally made the PSE decide to pull the trigger.
if i can spend a whole buttload of money we can't afford to spend on a treat for myself, why can't she.
and sure, i get it, it is important to keep moving forward, to kee crossing off goals from your vision board, but having a motorcycle is cool and getting braces to have marginally-straighter teeth is just a waste.
and, if you recall the PSE gave me a whole heep of grief about me buying myself a motorcycle, so much that it was a week-long fight that almost tore our relationship apart.
in the end, i had to use other moneys unrelated to the money i share with the PSE to pay for the thing, just to placate one of the PSE's grievances.
that should give me the right to get into it with the PSE about hypocrisy, to get all puffed up with righteous indignation.
how goddamned dare the PSE raise holy hell with me for spending our money on a toy for myself when she's gonna spend way more on some dumb shit for herself.
but, again, i promised the PSE she can treat herself, so i just have to keep my fucking mouth shut.

the PSE had two options for braces, conventional metal-in-her-mouth and Smile-Direct.
Smile-Direct is a company that will send you a series of bite-guards through the mail that are designed to gradually move your teeth around over time.
the PSE was a little put off about doing it via the mail because who the hell do you talk to if you have questions or concerns?
several months ago the Smile-Direct people sent the PSE out a kit to make a mold of her mouth for her to send it back and get the process started but she couldn't do the mold right and gave up.
a few weeks ago, however, the Smile-Direct people opened up an actual storefront in Dallas so the PSE drove over to have trained professionals take pictures of her mouth.
a week later, she got an e-mail with a little GIF showing her teeth moving around and straightening as best as the Smile-Direct people thought they could get it.
the process would take four months and cost $1,800.

the problem the PSE had with Smile-Direct was that, even with their physical location in Dallas, the PSE would still be conducting her business through the mail and wouldn't actually be dealing with a proper orthodontist.
also, the extent of Smile-Direct's ability to alter the PSE's mouth was limited.
while Smile-Direct could move her janky teeth around, they couldn't reshape the structure of her jaw, which i guess was important to the PSE.
the PSE would take Smile-Direct's deal if it was the best she could get, but she wanted to see what a proper orthodontist could do for her.
in the intervening week, the people from Smile-Direct's customer service department called the PSE Every Single Day and left overly-solicitous voice mail messages because i guess the suckers are paid on commission.

the PSE made herself an appointment with an orthodontist down the street from our apartment to see about conventional metal-in-her-mouth braces.
Fort Worth has the most dentists/orthodontists per capita of any city we've ever lived in [it seems] and we just so happen to live right down the block from at least a dozen of them.
the PSE had her appointment two Thursdays ago.
the PSE found the staff polite, the orthodontist friendly and the facility clean and quiet.
they took pictures of the PSE's mouth [see below] and told the PSE what they could do for her, which, apparently, was what she was after.
they told her the process would take about thirteen months and would cost $3,237.
that's inclusive of a 5% discount for paying cash up front.
the PSE came back to the apartment having already made the decision that this was what she was going to do.
she was really, really happy that after so long, she was finally gonna get the mouth she wanted.
it was all i could do not to shit on her happiness and how stupid and wasteful this whole project is, so i went into my office to write and sulk.
i mean, sure, i'm glad the PSE is happy, but, $3,237 ain't nothin'.
i was planing on spending the money she made at the Austin Drug Study in more productive ways, like paying rent.

the following day the PSE made an appointment with a different orthodontist in a different warren of dentistry, just to see if she could get a better price quote.
this place was geared more for a lower-class clientele and the PSE was put off by them immediately.
they took her in a dark, gross room, looked in her mouth for a few seconds and the receptionist told her braces would be $4,500.
$4,500 is a lot more then $3,237 but, don't worry, you can pay it off in monthly installments of $99 for the next sixteen years.
dirtbag businesses love trapping poor people into financing shit they can't afford.
the PSE thanked them politely and got out of their quick.

last Thursday, at 10:00am, the PSE returned to the orthodontist that she liked down the street and gave them a money order for the full $3,237.
then she took a seat in an exam room and for the next two hours a friendly Orthodontist's Assistant glued pieces of metal to her crooked teeth.
periodically the Orthodontist himself would come along, pat the PSE on the arm and tell her “you're gonna look even more beautiful then you already do!”
right, thanks for all your hard work!
when the PSE came home and smiled at me i laughed out loud and i continued to be amused by the look of her for days thereafter.
but the PSE is happy [after the soreness in her mouth subsided] so i guess i'm happy, too.
good for you, PSE! way to make progress on your life goals, silly as they are.


//[ab irato ad astra]

October 2017

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