Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh, the Vanity of it all!

The following is a true email I sent to our wedding photog and friend, Whitney Tampien:

Carey Guhlke to Whitney                                                                                               show details Jun 16

10:30 works perfect. I love Auntie's so maybe we could get some pics in there for the bookstore portion and then I was thinking we could tie the two together with picnic-type shots (our goods from the farmers market while reading our books? Maybe I'm making this too complicated...) Let me know what your professional AND personal opinions are.

Also, I have a little bit of an embarrassing question to ask you. Don't feel badly if you laugh out loud after reading this:
You've probably noticed that while my teeth are straight... they're still pretty screwed up. I got into a horse accident in high school and have one front tooth that is discolored due to a root canal and another that has a half cap on it. The cap is now a different color from the rest of my teeth because my natural teeth have become whiter since it was installed. Long story short... I had planned on getting all of this fixed before the wedding, but it's not going to happen. So longer story short... can you edit my teeth? (I'll pause here so you can compose yourself). I know that might mean extra work in editing so let me know what you think about that.
Anyway, see you Saturday at the Spokane Farmers Market on 5th and Brown at 10:30. We can meet next to the market manager's booth.
Whitney is an amazingly talented photographer and editor so I know she could have managed this strange request with no problem, but I'm happy to report that I got my teeth fixed. Whitney's response to this? "Excited for you and your teeth! :)"
I'm aware that a post about my teeth is a little strange, but my messed up chompers have been an unfortunate feature of my face for far too long.
Back in my Rodeo Royalty days (let's just label this the most humiliating blog post and leave it at that) I was involved in what I like to call a "horse accident".
After I did my thang in the arena (it involved a lot of out of control horse running, sparkles and waving like I had a cramp in my elbow) I was headed back to the trailer when I heard a comotion. My cowboy hat - which doubled as a two-way radio with Robin in the Bat-cave (continuation of humilation) crackled and I heard him say,"Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods!" (it's a true Robin quote, I looked it up here. Chris would be proud. And Holly would be proud that I used the word "snoods") "There's a horse running wild through town!"
With that, my mount and I were off in search of the horse-run-amok. We had the haunches of the beast in our cross-hairs when it took a sharp corner to the right. My trusty steed being usually untrusty and out-of-control 75% of the time would not slow down. To be fair, the 17h (very tall) Paint was on pavement with metal shoes and we shouldn't have been running in the first place.
(Insert the high-pitched cartoon audio "whoop, whooop, whoooop" which always indicates slipping and falling.)
In slow, dramatic motion we gracefully slid around the corner. And by gracefully I mean not gracefully. And by slid I mean screached to a halt with our faces on the gravelly pavement. My trusty steed and I.
This is where the story becomes less Cartoon Network and more Lifetime Movies.
The dust settles and there lies the lifeless body of a rodeo princess. Little sparkless float to the ground as the sound of galloping horses becomes inaudible in the distance. Her trusty steed has ditched her.
(The details get a little fuzzy around this point in the story. Probably because I had a concussion.)
My eyes flutter open to see a car full of floaty-wearing, sunscreen smelling, swimsuit doning kids staring back at me. A small woman scuttles around the back of the car and I sit up in shock.
-Memory Blackout-
I'm in the car with said kids gaping at me, blood running from my face. I run my tongue across my dry lips and croak, "My teeth!" I must have just about jumped out of the car because the woman responded in a panicked tone, "Do you want me to take you ba..." Before she could finish her sentence I found my teeth. Their fragments were lodged into the inside of my lower lip.
-Memory Blackout-
I'm sitting in the waiting room at the local hospital trying to call my parents.
-Actual Blackout-
I'm in the E.R. and some guy is scrubbing at my road-rashed face with something that stings like hell. I'm clutching my teeth in one hand and the bed railing with the other thinking, "Where did that lady and her kids go? What happened to my horse?"
Soon my parents get there. The events that followed are a blur and I don't remember in what order they happened.
None of the local dental offices were open so we had to go to the next town over (Wilbur) so a dentist could glue makeshift braces to my teeth because they were all loose. At one point my mom took me back to the corner so I could look for a little angel pin that had fallen off my sash in the wreck. Sad. I don't remember if I found her or not. A little old lady came out of the house on the corner while I was searching and told me the story of the crash, not realizing that I was the subject of her story.
I couldn't get my broken teeth fixed until my remaining teeth had firmed up and in the mean time I was in a wedding. I put an ad in the local paper thanking the woman who scraped me up off the pavement and took me to the hospital, but never heard from her. A lot of people think she was an angel. I'm not so sure. I think maybe she was in town from Wenatchee visiting her sister, on her way to the public pool with her kids and nephews.
No, I'm pretty sure she was an angel.  

So for the past 10 years I've been walking around with temporary teeth that sometimes fall out if, for example, I pull my ski jacket zipper up with my teeth, get kicked in the face while practicing Jiu Jitsu, or bite into something especially crunchy. The temps have also, over the years, stayed the same color while my real teeth have gotten whiter. This lent itself to a very realistic hillbilly impersonation.

As of yesterday, thanks to Dr. Martin, I am now the proud owner of two new, white, beautiful teeth. Forever.
I understand that many of you won't appreciate the weight of this life improvement for me, but let me just say that I will no longer worry about smiling with my teeth... and that's huge.

All I wanted for Christmas were my two front teeth.
Someone had to say it.
 By the way, my horse, Mick, was fine aside from some road rash and soreness. He's now living out his last days on a farm as a pet.