La bouche. The mouth.
Think about all the gifts of the mouth. It can be a mating call without uttering a word. It is an important part of the respiratory system. It is the front end of the digestive system. Try not to think too hard about that one. It breathes. It speaks. It eats. It kisses. It yells. It lies. It is brutally truthful. It is incredibly versatile.
I have full lips and like most body parts, they have been in and out of style. I wasn’t sure what to do with them when I was younger. I used to curl my top lip under when I smiled because it did this weird flat thing that made it look unlike anyone else’s in say, Seventeen Magazine. But then Julia Roberts came along and when she smiled her top lip flattened out the same way, and no one seemed to mind. So I stopped the sneer/smile and went natural. A whole lot less to think about.
Over the years many utterances have passed through my lips. I can be pretty witty, but as a younger me I emulated my hilarious father and let fly sarcasm sharp enough to cut the jugular on anyone’s self-esteem. I’m not sure if I was trying to elevate myself, this is typically why people are mean, or if I truly thought I was funny. Somewhere along the line I realized it was unbecoming at the very least and very lonely at its worse, so I aimed to change.
My teeth have had more of a traumatic history. Born with a space between my front teeth that was a few years too early to be cool like Madonna’s, I was always a little self-conscious about it. The Universe heard my pleas for “normal” teeth and on an autumn weekend as my best friend Lauren and I were playing air hockey at the mall I slammed my face into the table with such force that half of my front tooth flew into space never to be seen again. It was a serious game.
I felt for my tooth with my tongue and realized something was amiss. When I asked Lauren if it was bad she had a really hard time lying. Her mom wasn’t due to pick us up for an hour or so and being 13 I just didn’t see the point of alarming anyone when there was no blood, it was Saturday and there were boys to stalk. And we were AT THE MALL.
Her mother was not at all happy with me so you can imagine my own parent’s reaction. But nothing was done until Monday, so I rest my case.
I am now the proud owner of lovely veneers that have closed the gap and created the illusion of beautiful natural teeth that my upper lip can spread flat against when I smile like Julia Roberts. Just like Julia Roberts.
“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.” – Victor Hugo