Sundays With Ingrid
Ingrid Levin-Hill, three weeks past her thirteenth birthday, sat thinking in her orthodontist’s waiting room. You’re born cute. Babies are cute. Not hard to guess why—it’s so everyone will forgive them for being such a pain. You grow a little older, and people say, What beautiful hair, or Get a load of those baby blues, or something nice that keeps you thinking you’re still on the cuteness track. Then you hit twelve or thirteen and boom, they tell you that everything needs fixing. Waiting in the wings are the orthodontist, the dermatologist, the contact lens guy, the hair-tinting guy, maybe even the nose-job guy. You look at yourself in the mirror, really look at yourself, for the first time. And what do you see? Oh my God.
Two orthodontists divided the business in Echo Falls: Dr. Lassiter, who didn’t mind pulling a tooth or two to speed things along, and Dr. Binkerman, who liked to say he’d turn in his badge before sacrificing a single tooth. One kind of parents sent their kids to Dr. Lassiter. Ingrid, whose parents were of the other kind, was well into her second year with Dr. Binkerman, and behind her braces lurked the same jumble of teeth she’d come in with in the first place. And by the way, what stupid badge was he talking about? Ingrid flipped to another page of Seventeen. The glossy paper made an angry snapping sound.
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