Last year I went out with Harrison, who I’d met online. The first night I met him I came out of my building and there he was, standing in front of his (very nice) car waiting for me. He wasn’t as tall as he’d claimed, but he was taller than me, so no big deal. Overall he looked exactly like his photo except that he was wearing glasses. This was a nice bonus because, I absolutely love glasses on a man. I jumped into the passenger seat and we zipped downtown for a movie. Harrison opened doors, led me by the small of my back… basically made me feel like a girl (which we all know I love).
As we entered the movie theater I was standing in front of him on the escalator. He said something to me so I turned around to look at him. That’s when I got a direct view into his mouth and realized he was missing at least two teeth towards the front! The missing teeth were on his left side which made them easy to miss when I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car.
I realize that the condition of a persons smile can vary based on a number of things. It can be a reflection of personal style (gold teeth), bad habits (smoking) or lack of access to proper/affordable care. But that doesnt make poor dental hygeiene excusable. I’ve never seen anyone in my office with a gold tooth. I’ve never seen a politician with missing teeth and I’ve never met a person who didnt want a whiter/brighter smile.
Not that a person has to have perfect teeth. My sisters tell me that I have “rabbit teeth” because my two front teeth are slightly larger than the others. But all of my teeth are accounted for and they’re all white, thanks to those little strips and my regular dentist appointments.
Teeth are important but… are they a Deal Breaker?
I really want to say no, because teeth are fixable. If a guy is tall and interesting, but has awful teeth, my instinct would be to stay patient. There are a plenty of options for a person who is trying to create a decent, if not perfect smile. Of course, it costs money and you have to be willing to make that investment….
About a week after that first date, Harrison called me to tell me that he’d taken the day off of work because of a tooth ache. Then he informed me that he’d made an appointment to get the tooth extracted.
Another one bites the dust.
If I was going to go any further with Harrison, we’d have to address the fact that his teeth kept falling out. I took a deep breath, “Are you going to be okay?”
“Yes, I’ll be fine. This isnt the first time I’ve had an extraction.”
I couldn’t even pretend to act surprised, but I wasnt going to let up. “Well, are they going to give you some sort of replacement or implant for the missing teeth?”
“Cece, that stuff costs money. Unless you have two grand you want to give me,” he laughed.
I didn’t know what to say, Harrison had been driving his (very nice) car for less than six months. His teeth had been dropping like flies for years, but his financial priorities weren’t to get his dental situation covered. Instead he bought a car, which in New York City is not a real necessity.
That’s when I realized that Harrisons missing teeth may not have been the issue. Its what they represented. Call me crazy, but the reality is that you can only get so far in life with a mouth full of gaping holes. If a guy is okay with only being able to get “so far” in life then he may not be the man for me.
Having bad teeth isn’t always something that can be controlled, but it is something that can be addressed. And I would rather be with a man who takes the subway, smiling proudly the whole way, than a man who covers his toothless grin while driving around in a (very nice) car.