Three years ago, in February of 2010, our daughter was blessed with braces (compliments of a generous neighbor!). Now, when I was growing up, braces were considered more of a curse than a blessing. Taunts, pain, and metallic ugliness were endured while awaiting orthodontic perfection.
These days, most adolescents embrace braces (get it?!) as a fashion statement. Every month my daughter (and her sister who also flaunts braces) coordinate a new color of dental rubber bands to fit their current wardrobe. Thousands of dollars invested to straighten teeth, and all they focus on is if neon green or hot pink would be the better shade for that particular season, month, or approaching holiday! Sure there is also pain involved; sometimes LOTS of pain. But, it all seems worthwhile when that special someone (or anyone) notices the new shade and comments, "Wow! that rubber band color looks really great on you!"
Today, she finally had her braces removed, and we celebrated with a Culver's hot fudge sundae. Was she ecstatic over a new, perfect, filed-down smile? Or was she sad about the loss of a very visible fashion accessory? I don't know; you'll have to ask her!