When I was forced to get braces, I wasn't too keen on the idea of pain of the face. Even now, I will brave a migraine, limp on a kinda-broken ankle, attempt to do a strenuous workout after hurting my back from leaning over to pick up lettuce*, but face pain? Nope. I'm a fucking baby about it. I'll cry and whine and usually get my way of having some type of extreme pain reliever once I leave the dentist. But because my parents had the money and the overbearing will to compel my teeth to conform to Hollywood prettiness, I ended up in the scary chair where they attach metal and wires to your teeth.
As if it wasn't bad enough that I was a walking lightning rod, there were the regular checkups. I particularly hated these and hoped every time that they'd forget to adjust my braces. For days afterwards, it would hurt to eat, to talk, etc. And, like I said above, I was a whining brat about it the whole time. I figured, if I had to be miserable, so would everyone else. I'd even try to be late so my orthodontist, Dr. Gluck, would reschedule, which he never fucking did because I think he actually hated all people (but especially me). And so began what was a seemingly normal day: it was 8:30A and my appointment was at 8:15A and we were just entering the parking lot for Dr. Gluck's office.
To be fair, my mom is perpetually late. Everywhere. All the time. It's almost a gift of sorts. It's not that she doesn't try to be on time, but she most always is at least fifteen minutes late. And that's on a good day. When I was still in school and I'd call my mom to see when she'd be coming home, our exchanges went a little something like this:
Me: Hi, Mom. It's five. When are you coming home?
Mom: Oh, give me about thirty more minutes. Can you start the potatoes so they'll be ready when I get there?
Me: Is this normal-people-thirty-minutes or Mom-thirty-minutes?
Mom: What does that mean?
Me: Seriously? We have this conversation at least once a day.
Mom: I don't know. I'm busy.
Me: Well, I'd kind of like to know, because the potatoes will probably be one giant burned lump if we go by Mom-thirty-minutes.
Mom: Where's your father?
I think Dr. Gluck had at some point talked to my mother about my constant tardiness, because on this fateful morning, my mom was a little panicky that we were so late. It's not that it hadn't bothered her before, but for some reason, she seemed more out of sorts about it. She was pulling up to the front of the building and demanded, "Get out here and I'll go park."
So I step out. It all happened so quickly that it's kind of hard to remember exactly how everything transpired, but my best recollection was this:
I set my foot on the pavement and the car was still moving. The sole of my sandal landed but didn't stick, so it slid. Right in the way of the still-in-motion rear tire.
And that's when my mom ran over me. In front of witnesses, too.
The building in which Dr. Gluck's office was located housed several other businesses, like a mattress store and a regular dentist office, which on this day had just opened. About four dental hygienists and five waiting patients saw this whole sordid scene through giant glass windows. I'm guessing they thought it was early morning entertainment.
Okay, now, back to what was actually going on.
So my foot is underneath the tire and I am screaming at my mom to reverse. My sister, who is in the seat next to me, is telling her the exact opposite for some fucking reason. Because she would know??
Sister: OH MY GOD GO FORWARD!!
Me: OH MY GOD GO BACKWARD!!
Sister: NO GO FORWARD!!
Me: YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH!! I ALWAYS KNEW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ONLY CHILD!!
Mom: OH MY GOD I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING!!
She's rolling back and forth on my poor right** foot. Several times. And everyone inside that dentist's office is just gawking at the sight. Why no one came to my rescue still pisses me off slightly. This was in the years prior to reality TV, so maybe I should have seen that genre coming. Oh, well.
Anyway, Mom's senses finally took hold of her shocked brain and she rolled off my foot. The rest of my body just kind of fell to the ground, and I was kind of in this weird in-between state of "Do I feel pain?" and "What in the absolute hell just happened?" and "Yes, I think I hurt." As if on cue, the dentist's people came rushing out, fawning over me, and my mother had to go into Dr. Gluck's office to tell him she'd have to reschedule my appointment for a day that I wasn't run over by a car. HER car. I'm not sure how that went since I was sitting in the dentist's office with a sucker and a bag of ice on my foot. And my braces were not going to be tightened.
All in all, it was a good day.
I still have the little round scar where my foot was basically ground into the asphalt. And to this day, I will never open a door until a car has come to a complete stop. I will never let my mom live this down, either. She'll bring up something that I've done recently and I'll quip, "Yeah, well, you remember when you nearly killed me with your car? And how you were almost going to go with Stef's suggestion of GOING FORWARD?? Yeah, your argument is invalid."
* All of these are true.
** You know, I'm starting to think that my right side is cursed. My right leg gets third degree burns. My right ankle is the one that broke (one of the tiny bones that you apparently use but don't realize it) a few weeks ago. I nearly split open my right knee that one time. This list could go on forever.