It's hard to sit here and say, yeah, I know how you feel son, I was young once and like you had to get on a bus every day and walk into a building full of judges who I was pretty sure -- no, damn sure -- were staring at me daily waiting, just waiting, biding their time, hoping I'd come walking into the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary school wearing a reason to be ridiculed.
Which I did. I walked into to school one day with a whole mouth full of reasons for those Catholic school kids to tease me.
But I got lucky. Orthodontics being the way they were at PBVM, I was in good company. Roughy, oh, EVERYONE had braces on their teeth at one time or another. So I wasn't alone. My good buddy Mike Hurley had braces for what seemed like forever. Even my first girlfriend, Debbie Rohlik, had 'em.
The other day my son and I walked into the fine offices of Dr. Carlin Wiemers. I know those offices well. They were the bane of my daughter's existence for two years as Dr. Wiemers' magic brackets and wonder wires -- and don't forget headhear -- transformed her crooked smile into a beautiful one. And how it's her brother's turn.
Sam has known this has been coming for a while. His mouth isn't exactly a picture of dental harmony. It looks a little like mine did, actually. Except mine was worse. And even though I had braces, my teeth don't exactly show it. But that's a story for another time.
The boy took it well. And to make sure he never forgets just how special that day was -- and to hopefully make sure he never forgets the financial sacrifice his parents are making to give him a million-dollar smile -- you have the semi-clever piece of writing before you.
Now, he's kind of a ham. So it's not like he'll completely hate the fact that his latest oral odyssey will be broadcast to the tens of readers to check in with Freep Spirit. But it'll embarrass him a little. And that's kind of how we roll in the Murray house.
If you're worried about him or feel badly for him, don't. I can guarantee you he's already plotting his revenge. It will swift, and it will be severe. That's fine. I struck first. Which reminds me of what I believe is Mexican proverb: "He who strikes first, strikes twice."