Saturday, August 20, 2005


In high school, I thought Debbie had the most beautiful smile. She had very long teeth that eclipsed her lower lip. Everyone called her Piranha. At the time, i didn't know that piranhas were ferocious fish with teeth who will eat their victims alive within minutes!

I thought her pretty nickname meant "princess" in spanish.

I used to copy her buck teeth smile, by curling and pushing my lower lip under and behind my front teeth. My teeth are not long, and in fact, somewhat little teeth, so I had to force it.

Whenever I flashed my new dazzling smile, I imagined me as beautiful as Debbie.

One day after feeling especially beautiful smiling my new piranha smile, I quickly flashed it in the mirror to see if my reflection matched what I saw in the mirror.


Several days ago, I overhead the most contagious laugh while grocery shopping. I wondered how she got such an adorable giggle. Was it one she was born with or did she practice it at a giggling school. When I got into my car, driving home alone with just my groceries, I tried to replicate it to see how it felt and sounded. It was disasterous. I thought of my forced smile many years ago and this time laughed quietly to myself.

I'm perfect just the way I am. The lesson was learned a long time ago.


carla said...

That's a great story! I think we all have had a similar experience. I like the illustration...the face matches your written descritpion perfectly.

Magpie Magic said...

Brilliant - the story and picture match totally.

It's funny how those topics remind us of our childhood. I remember having mumps and looking in the mirror thinking with dread that I'd look like this forever. It went away, luckily!

Constant Thing said...

Your story certainly struck a chord. Our self consciousness can sometimes make us do things that turn out to be so foolish and hilarious, on hindsight, that is... Your cartoon is real funny too!

wellrounded said...

so funny. so truthful. so you.
p.s. i like small teeth.

Laura said...

Isn't it interesting how our childhood impressions of beauty are sometimes so independent of fashion? I remember lots of kids who had some feature that I thought was so cool, but for some reasons others didn't think they were.

bee'nme said...

Well said...well drawn! You made us all smile and think and remember and be grateful!

danny said...

That was wonderful! It reminded me of my second grade school picture. I tried to smile like Yogi Bear, who's picture I had seen in TV Guide the night before.
It came out as a ridiculous half-smile, but I was 'doing' Yogi.

sipsey said...

"I thought her pretty nickname meant 'princess' in spanish."

That right there is what makes me have to squeeze you. Kids seem to see beauty where they find it naturally, and not where they're told to find it. I wish you had a picture of yourself flashing that piranha smile. The wonderful illustration is the next best thing.

Mustashrik said...

great story and flawless illustration, it has a very Peanuts feel too it and all the better for it!