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Hey Wes, What’s Wrong With Your Face?

I’ve told this story before, but I don’t want anything like this to happen to you.  People often come up to me and ask me why I’m mad, or if something is wrong.  I’ve always said that my face just “hangs” that way.

Like a lot of you, I had a couple of very, very rough years after high school.  Crappy jobs, crappy apartments, too much booze and worse.  Sometime during those lean Ramen years I got a cavity on the top of my front tooth, right at the gum line.  Looking back, I’ll be you couldn’t even have seen it if unless you were six inches from my face.  Now, you’d think with the water stains and everything else people around here have, I wouldn’t have been concerned, but I am extremely self conscious.  So, I did what made sense to me at the time, I taught myself to not smile.  Here’s the weird thing.  The cavity was fixed in less than a year.  I also started smoking around that time, but even then, I have a little “smokers stain” but not horrible.  Now, for some reason, decades later, I still don’t smile.  I don’t know why I don’t.  Now, this isn’t a “never” thing, but it just isn’t a regular part of my countenance.  I guess somewhere in my psyche there’s a voice that says “you don’t get to smile unless your teeth are perfect”.

Notice how I instinctively cover the bottom of my face decades later.

I tell you this because it’s in MY HEAD.  I have friends that are also less than perfect and I have friends who have lost teeth.  Trust me, they have no problems smiling and when I see their big goofy smiles it makes me feel good.  I don’t know why I can’t spread that kind of smile myself.  They OWN it and they don’t let it get them down.  I know it sounds like a weird children’s book, but “I Lost My Smile” in 1981 and never got it back.  I hope you will never lose yours.

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