My cup was the copper colored one. I think my sister had a green one. When I first rested my mouth against it to drink, I felt what seemed like a a tiny electrical current snap me.
I suspect that my Kool-Aid reacted with the metal somehow to bite my lip. We rarely got Kool-Aid so it was an electrifying moment even without the cup.
In this old photo I am with cup in hand. My sister Trish is giving me a casual hug while my brother Mike attempts to look serious and distinguished. Our dog Bobbie looks smaller than I remember him. Whoever took the photo should have told me to get that cup out of my face.
I was hiding my mouth.
My front four baby teeth came in dark and disintegrating.
The dentist told my mom that she'd probably been sick during the pregnancy, or I had experienced a high fever as a new born. He pulled them .
(I'm sure the dentist was wrong. I think it's some kind of genetic thing. My sisters eldest daughter had the same problem. The dentist covered her teeth with silver until her permanent teeth came in fine. Now my granddaughter Curlymop had the same problem. Her teeth are painted with something that is barely noticeable. I'm sure her permanent teeth will come in fine, too.)
My permanent teeth came in straight and white. And BIG.
Thus, my brothers called me Bucky Beaver. They may have only done that once, but when you are small and impressionable you remember it as if it was a daily occurrence.
The attention and comments that my huge new teeth drew caused me to be very self conscious. To the point that I didn't want to smile for photos or open my mouth around strangers. That ugly duckling feeling stayed with me through elementary school and into my early teens.
That changed one summer day when I was in a furniture store. We never bought furniture so I have no idea what I was doing there.
The salesman walked past me where I was leaning up against the counter and then stopped and turned back.
"Gee," he commented before he moved on, "You've got the prettiest smile I think I've ever seen!"
I must have smiled in response and disbelief.
"Yes, indeed - I just love a big white smile on a beautiful face." And then he went on about his business.
Why I believed him is a mystery. But, I did.
I smiled from that day forward.
When my mom passed away in 1993 I found the cup stashed away in one of her cupboards. It now sits by my husband's bronzed baby shoes in our china hutch.
And my smile sits on my face.
16 hours ago