It was 2006, and Damon Young had just met a woman on MySpace. Their back-and-forth was witty, flirty and easy. They went on a first date at Barnes & Noble, where they browsed books and continued to vibe.
Things were going great, Damon thought. That is, until she called off their second date.
Damon was confused, but he had a hunch about what fueled her sudden disinterest: his teeth.
Damon’s teeth had always been a source of shame and anxiety for him. “I know that in America, good, strong, bright, straight teeth signal good, strong, bright, straight money,” he wrote in his Modern Love essay. “My mouth is a memoir. Of canceled orthodontist appointments when my parents couldn’t afford the premium.”
Today, Damon shares his story about his complicated, evolving relationship with his teeth — and his self-worth. Then, we hear a Tiny Love Story about a woman who reflects on her mother’s ritual of doing her hair when she was a child, which she comes to realize was a sign of love.
Damon Young is the author of “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker” and a contributing columnist for The Washington Post Magazine.
Hosted by: Anna Martin
Produced by: Julia Botero, Hans Buetow and Chelsea Daniel
Edited by: Sara Sarasohn
Executive Producer: Wendy Dorr
Engineered by: Dan Powell
Theme Music: Dan Powell
Original Music: Dan Powell and Marion Lozano
Essay written and read by: Damon Young
Tiny Love Story by: Jackie Ostrowicki
Founder, Modern Love: Daniel Jones
Editor, Modern Love Projects: Miya Lee
Special thanks: Mahima Chablani, Renan Borelli, Jeffrey Miranda, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner and Anna Diamond at Audm.
Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]
Read the full article here