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My mom is always attempting to glean material for “bragging rights” to convince her friends that she had not entirely fucked up as a mother. While her friends proudly discussed their adorable, brilliant grandchildren who multiply on a yearly basis, my mom announces at their posh brunches, “Beatrix got her braces off and now has a beautiful smile.”

Yes, it’s true. I wore adult braces last year, and my mom even included their “coming off” in her year-end letter like it was a highly admirable accomplishment. Because, getting your braces off is, for instance, right up there with starting a sustainable-living village in Cambodia. That was in my aunt’s year-end letter last year. Her son, Calvin, my cousin, literally invented a highly successful model for a sustainable living village which was launched in Cambodia last year, complete with solar energy and locally sourced organic food. He then went on to make several trips to the White House to discuss it with government officials, and, he also gave a Tedd Talk about it.

My other numerous cousins took extravagant vacations to France and Switzerland with their two and four-year-old blond child-models, and got doctorates from places like Yale in various medical fields. And I got my braces off.

My mom also failed to denote that the braces were for my teeth. She just wrote, “Beatrix got her braces off this year. Horay.”

This likely led some of the confused readers to assume that I had been wearing Forest Gump-style leg braces, and they had just come off. So, now I could walk again without the assistance of some kind of rehabilitative leg-immobilizing device.

Thanks Mom.