Thursday, August 25, 2011

Self Improvement OR Home Improvement?

So I recently spent a chunk of change.  A chunk of change that needed to be spent, but the dilemma was: use it for self improvement or home improvement.  Although I love me some nice home improvement, I love beautiful spaces, I love decor ... the self improvement won out.

At 38 years old (and some months), I am now the proud owner of ... wait for it ... a lovely set of old school braces!  Yep, I'm talking train tracks on the chompers.  You see, I was not too bright as a teenager and when the dentist told my parents that I needed braces (not that he had to tell anyone, I was not blessed with straight teeth) I protested.  Loudly.  No braces for me.  Today, I can't even tell you why ... maybe the discomfort?  My younger sister had braces and wound up with a great smile ... but my parents let me decide and I have had 20+ years of regret. 

I'm not particularly vain, I don't think.  I am, on a good day, semi-attractive.  I don't have delusions, but I'm also not hideous.  I work with what I have.  I'm a hair and makeup girl.  This means that most days I make an effort, I do my hair, I wear makeup, I dress for my body type and I keep myself maintained.  I don't think I'm what you would call high maintenance, though ... I do my own nails, I don't buy expensive beauty products, I take care of my own body hair, etc.  I do these things, regularly, though.  Once a friend told me that her husband had to bribe her to get her to shave her legs (in the winter) ... EEEEK!  I was horrified and embarrassed for her. 

So, you can imagine that my crooked teeth have bothered me for years.  I have long considered getting braces and I guess I held off because of the money and discomfort.  Then, at my last dental appointment, my dentist hit below the belt.  He said to me, "Now you have this great new figure ... You need a great smile to go with it!".  Ouch!  He is old and not at all creepy, so I took this comment to heart.  I mentioned it to my good friend a few days later and she also encouraged me to go for it.  Her point was that this is something that I can't fix myself ... I can't work hard and expect to wake up with a great smile, it just doesn't work like that.  She also made me see that I deserve it.  Hubby has been likewise supportive.

Self Improvement vs. Home Improvement.  The money I spent (even with decent dental insurance) could have replaced most or all of the 1980s carpet and tile in our home.  It could have provided for a decent remodel of our master bathroom.  Instead I get to smile at my 40th Birthday Party!  I think I made the right choice ... if you come over anytime in the next few years, pardon the outdated flooring and the 1980s Jack and Jill bath ... they will eventually get an overhaul ... but first, I'm being selfish!

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