Lady Smarts

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By Meredith Russo You've dreamt this day would come-only this time you're wide-awake. Whether you got punched in the face, fell down the stairs or just bit an exceptionally hard pita chip, it's time to grin and bear it. On second thought, scratch the grin. 1) Stop! Whatever you do, don't swallow. 2) Spit it out-be it blood, gravel, chewed-up-pita-chip-goo-just spit it all out. 3) No tooth? (Gasp! Are you sure?! How do you SWALLOW AN ENTIRE FRONT TOO-) No, no. It's totally fine. We can do this. It's what, 2 a.m.? Friday-no, Saturday. The dentist should be open again on? Monday. 4) Okay, now? cry. 5) Cry for every unfair thing that's ever happened in your entire life. 6) Just when the sobs begin to subside, let your mouth close enough to feel that hollow, creepy, phantom pain-y gap. Throw up a little in your mouth, and then cry some more. 7) Alright, alright. Pull yourself together! And seriously, would you put down the titanium pita chip already? 8) Speaking of which, do you think the tooth fairy covers drunk-eating-related-tooth losses? 9) What's that? You're still hungry? Well, I hope you have a fridge full of pudding because for the next 48 hours you're chewing with an overexposed, nerve-filled minefield. And let's face it- you were already brushing with Sensodyne on a good day. 10) Now, think of the next two days as an opportunity. Read a book! Clean your apartment! Act out the first installment of your homeless-vampire-fan-fiction in the bathroom mirror! 11) What's that? You may need to leave the apartment? 12) Okay, so here are some simple tricks to avoid the "Hey, how are y-[horrified gasp!]" 13) Buy some Chiclets. Get crafty. 14) No luck? Try Tic Tacs. Hey, no offense -I haven't seen your teeth-they just, you know, could work for some people. 15) Mashed potatoes. Fill your mouth with mashed potatoes. It worked for Jasmine in Aladdin. Who knows, you may even get a magic carpet ride! Plus, you're probably pretty hungry by now. 16)Hiding under a giant hat or sunglasses may seem like a good idea, but they won't hide your mouth. In fact, they'll only incite more conversations. Just imagine explaining where you got that "vintage treasure" without showing any teeth, or lack thereof. 17)If-god knows why-you feel inspired to go to the gym, today would be the day to REMEMBER YOUR FREAKING ID CARD. Idiot. Try saying your name with your lips together. Seriously, just try it. And for those of you named Meg, Ali or Jo - don't get cocky. It's even less attractive than your gap-toothed-vampire-shard. 18) I should mention that there is another tactic, which, especially given the bleak options above, may seem more appealing than ever in its beautiful simplicity: Own it. 19) I know, you want to sit in your pajamas, not shower and eat pudding all weekend, but dressing up your jagged-gap snaggletooth is the only way to fool people into thinking it's not only intentional, but enviably chic. 20) Soon enough, you'll start to feel more comfortable-confident, even. After all, you always liked Lara Stone. This is kinda like that. Kinda. 21) Whatever you choose, consider your current suffering an investment in future excuses, and don't forget to take pictures. If you're discreet enough now, the next time you're invited to that friend of a friend's birthday brunch, BAM. Now who's smiling?

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