#8: The Cycling Class
Mary from Oregon, USA
Everyone stresses if they should tell friends about
getting braces or not before the day they go on. I agonized
over this decision. I decided I would tell my closest friends
and family. I did not tell my friends in my gym's cycling
class and that is where I went wrong! The "big day"
came and went. I got them on a Monday and I spent a couple of
days showing my closest friends and family. Of course it
seemed like I ran into every old high school boyfriend that
week! How could that be? I saw everyone I knew everywhere I
went. I felt like I was on parade. I did the usual little
"interview" each time when my braces were noticed.
The usual questions about how long and why and if they
bothered me generally followed upon meeting friends. I was
nervous each time, but seeing people one by one made it seem
By Wednesday, it was time to make my big debut at my
cycling class. I had a great plan to avoid the class detecting
my new braces all at once. It was a kind of
"stealth" plan of sneaking in a few seconds before
the class started, do the class and then casually show the
instructor after while people were leaving. Perhaps fewer
people would see them at first and more next class. I was
confident that this plan would avoid a big embarrassing show
where I became my own "show and tell" in front of an
audience! I came into the gym and quietly beeped myself in at
the front desk. Luckily, so far so good. As I came upon the
room, I could just barely see my friends setting up the bikes
and getting started. Perfect timing! What I didn't know is
that one friend of mine had "leaked" info to my
instructor, foiling my stealth plan completely. "MARY...
GET IN HERE... WE ALL KNOW YOU GOT BRACES! LET US SEE THEM!
... COME ON... BIG SMILE!" the instructor yelled out the
Laughter was erupting and I thought... UGH! What do I
do? My thoughts turned to hiding in the towel hamper as I
turned a million shades of red. There was no escape. I simply
pulled my hood of my Nike sweatshirt over my head and just
ducked in the room walking backwards! This just made everyone
laugh harder! The instructor teased on...."Come on. Let
us see. Turn around, take off the hood. You can do it!" I
just responded with "NEVER, No NEVER!". I was still
holding my head well into the safety of my sweatshirt.
She insisted, "We're like family.... You can't
wear that hood forever!" I said "You're right! I can
also wear a paper bag!" We were at a stalemate. By this
time everyone was in hysterics. Everyone was also cycling. I
could not see to find my empty bike. I was like the phantom of
the opera or should I say "of the gym". The laughing
continued to erupted at an alarming rate. What a scene! With
each plea to see my braces I would shake my hood
As I came to the conclusion that one hour later the
laughing would be continuing and someone might die from a
Laughing "side ache", I gave in. The instructor
counted okay... "1... 2.....3 ...!" and I followed
her lead with the unveiling and a big braces grin. Everyone
stared. My face was bright red, eyes puffy from laughing so
hard, not helping my new braces look either!
Through the laughter I said, "Thanks a lot guys.
SO NICE of you to pick on the ugly girl in braces in the back
row! Just start pedaling... turn around now... nothing to see
here (gesturing like a traffic cop)... nothing to see... move
on.. move on!"
Even though this was most definitely, hands down, the
most embarrassing moment in my new braces, it was also the
most memorable. I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time. I
felt silly and self-conscious and dorky all at once. We all
felt like a bunch of silly 13 year old kids. Everyone laughed
about it for weeks and didn't let me forget it. It was one of
those embarrassing moments that I will never forget. As for my
cycling class, they all still love me braces and all!