Monday, October 3, 2011

My Whinnie Smile

I needed a new smile.  Mine just wouldn’t do. 

Too much gum. 

Like when a horse whinnies.


I quickly flipped through the channels on my television; my finger resting upon a program of interest, America’s Next Top Model.  I watched on as a young girl stood before the judge panel, the judges critiquing every flaw.  She stood nervously awaiting her destiny. 

“You show too much gum when you smile,” one judge said; I think it may have been Tyra Banks.

Gasp!  Hey,is Tyra talking to me? 

But Tyra, what is she, what am I, supposed to do? 

“You need to tame that,” she answered us.

Tame it.  Tame it.  Well, I never knew. 

The taming of a gummy smile.  There was work to do.

I have heard of a plastic surgery procedure that can quickly tame the gum.  Many celebrities have done this.  Look at Jennifer Garner.


Do I need plastic surgery?  Well, I have no money.  I don’t care that much.  And who wants the recovery down time?

So there I stood, staring at my reflection in the mirror.  My lips stretched out to form a smile.  How did I not notice this before?  Then I laughed.  Whoa, my upper lip rose like a curtain in a play, revealing the main performer, a vast amount of pink tissue surrounding my teeth.  It was like a Broadway nightmare.  As I looked at myself in the mirror, the sunlight shown through the window brilliantly, shimmering off of my wet gums and into my reflection.  Ah, my eyes! 

Less gum.  Time to begin the procedure.

"Upper lip, relax.”      

I spoke in a low, soothing voice to lull it down.

Loosen your hold upon my gum.



As low as you can go.

That’s right.  Relax. Melt down like butter. 

Muscles, release your grip upon my lip.

I continued the exercise until my upper lip was borderline dangling over my upper teeth.  It took a lot of focus and concentration, and extreme lip control to keep it down; nevertheless, I tamed it.

My nonsurgical treatment was complete.  Here is my before picture:

And here is my after:

Wow.  Just like Jennifer Garner.

And my recovery was minimal.

I had my new smile in one tiny course of action, and it was like I had gone under the knife.  Awesome.  Why hadn’t I had this done before? 

A new me.



And that night there was a perfect occasion to try it out.

This very night my brother, a professional photographer, was having a show at a local art gallery, “My friend Amber Tamblyn is coming,” he said in a matter of fact way.  He had taken pictures of her before and they had become friends as a result.  I was not that familiar with Amber Tamblyn.  I had never seen The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  How in the world can one pair of pants fit four different bodies anyway?  The story line didn’t interest me.  But a celebrity is a celebrity, so, of course, I was excited.  And I had my new smile just in time.

I walked into the art show that night, my new grin displayed across my face.

I looked through the crowd to find a familiar face.  "Oh, there's Karl, my brother's best friend."  “Hey, Karl,” I said as I approached him.  He did a double take.  Oh, he’s impressed. I smiled even bigger.  "Oooo, a big smile takes a lot of concentration," I thought to myself.  My upper lip suddenly started to wobble, shake and then....
fling!  Without warning, my lip let lose like a retractable shade. 

Oh no!  Janna, gain control before everyone thinks this is just a gig!  This new smile is the real deal, people.  Gums?  What gums?  Where?

I quickly attempted to relax it back down.  But in the process of continually smiling, my top front teeth had dried out.  As I lowered my lip, it grabbed a hold of my two dried out upper incisors.  Stuck.  My top lip affixed to my teeth.  I quickly dashed a look at Karl.  Did he notice?   

Hmm,has she had work done? I saw him tilt his head and raise his brow.     

I tried to pucker my lips.  But a pucker is only a pucker when two lips cooperate.  Karl looked at me with concern.  It would only be released by way of hand.  I drew my hand up to my face, pretending to scratch my nose.  I quickly flicked at my lip to release it.  There.  Back to my new normal.

Karl cringed and smiled back at me awkwardly.  We both let out two uncomfortable chuckles.

“I am going to meet the movie star,” I said as I walked away toward my brother and Amber Tamblyn.  (You can’t just call her Amber because she is a celebrity).

My brother stood talking with Amber Tamblyn.  Ah, perfect timing, I will walk up and he will introduce me.

But as I walked up, my father, interrupted them, pulling my brother’s attention to the side.  I stood before her, awaiting my brother’s return and his introductions.  We stood face to face, maybe two feet apart.  Both of us awkwardly avoiding eye contact.  He will be finishing up with my dad at any moment, I thought to myself.  But the moment turned into five minutes, five very long, uncomfortable minutes for both of us.

I stood there staring at her, dumbly, smiling.

Her feet shifted uncomfortably.  I could tell she felt uneasy with me.  And it was obvious why.

She was jealous of my new smile.

And that was my simple journey from a whinnie smile to a winning smile.


  1. Janna you are so funny!! I love these pics, mmm, can't decide which is my favourite one though ;)
    You write so well! Have an awesome 'smiley' week :)

  2. That is kill me sometimes....and do you look like you are trying way to hard in that after picture? Yes you do. God gave you an amazing smile so show it to the world gum an all! You are a beauty!

  3. I laughed out loud with this one and brought it to the breakfast table to share with my family. Girlfriend--- from one gummy smiler to the next--- the bigger the better, I say!! :)

  4. O Janna,
    I think that Jennifer Garner had silicone injected into her lips and tooth surgery. Weird. Janna you have naturally beautiful plump lips....Um I'm not trying to pick up on you although "ridiculusly good looking" does's run in your family! Your smile is infectious and perfect as is!!

  5. Best laugh of the day!!! Love your posts!!!! Every. Single. One of them!! Keep on smiling cause you are gorgeous!!

  6. The after photo looks a bit like Michael Jackson after too many surgeries. I'd stick with the before smile :)

  7. Ok, cuz I KNOW you were so burning with the need to know... HAHA... And I commented once before with you about this... I found this chart on relatives and cousins and such.

    So your mom's cousins are your first cousins once removed. Their kids are your second cousinsm, and their kids are your second cousins once removed. Confused yet? lol

    Also, your first cousin's kids are your first cousins once removed, and their kids are your first cousins twice removed.

    Uffda! (yes, I'm both Norwegian - just a little - and from MN.) :D

    Here's an article and chart if you can figure it out.

  8. Funny. No problems I see.:)

    Dr. Russ Murray

  9. hilarious!! i had to cover my mouth so the laugh-snorting wouldn't wake my husband. i love your whinnie smile, by the way.

    LM ROCKS!! =)

  10. This was absolutely hilarious! Us girls get so carried away with silly things, don't we?! Keep smiling!

    One of my favorite quotes: "A bright smile is the best form of communication." anon

  11. This was HILARIOUS, and just the laugh I needed before heading to bed. Blessings! :D

  12. This made me laugh out loud! Just what I needed. Fantastic! And you have a beautiful smile!

  13. I can not read your blog when I'm at work. People think I'm crazy because I'm laughing so loud. You haven't changed a bit. I love your humor Janna. Keep writting. <3