Good Evening TXK

photos by Matt Cornelius
photos by Matt Cornelius

Good Evening TXK

“My teeth are just a little jagged. It’s not going to be a huge problem!” That’s what I told my coworker, Candice, as we sat waiting to hear from the orthodontist at our joint consultation for braces way back in 2022. Doing mundane things like this is way more fun if you have a buddy to do it with, and Candice is so much fun. There is no one else I would rather have been laughing nervously with that day while laying in that frigid orthodontist office than her.

The saying is true—we DO make our plans while God sits back slapping His knee laughing! The fantasy appointment I envisioned for myself where an orthodontist threw Invisalign on my teeth and told me I was going to be alright suddenly became, “You need braces. You also have an underbite and side bite… and oh, you need jaw surgery.” Candice laughed. I told her to shut up, as I laughed along, because OF COURSE I DO! Of course, I need jaw surgery. Do any of the rest of you ever feel like if there is even a 0.99% chance a situation like this could become complicated, you are always somehow going to fall into that 0.99%? Story of my life.

I left the orthodontist’s office that day feeling defeated. At least the office staff got a kick out of my dramatic reactions, but that didn’t make the news any easier to swallow. I never thought I’d spend a large chunk of my early 20s wearing braces, let alone having an invasive jaw surgery. This must be how my car feels when I take it to the auto shop for a flat tire and I’m told there are a plethora of other things wrong with it. If I’m being totally transparent, I left that day feeling broken or defective, like something was wrong with me.

I’m going to tell y’all something I don’t tell many people. Maybe those around me have picked up on it by now, or maybe they haven’t, but here I am openly admitting I’m vain! I care deeply about what I look like! Maybe it’s the childhood trauma from my mom dressing me in Aéropostale and flip-flops, but I admit, I want to look good. I want to look aesthetically pleasing, and most of all, I want other people to be attracted to me. Tell me right now that you don’t feel the same way.

A very tiny part of me feels I am not worthy of someone’s affection towards me if I cannot love myself first. I feel strongly that I should be able to look in the mirror one day without cringing at myself before I can stand confidently in front of someone else. How unfair to the person loving me if I’m not bringing my best self to the table every single day. It’s impossible to be perfect. We know this, but squandering my full potential is not a regret I want to live with down the road.

One of my favorite quotes is from Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” It’s not that I necessarily experienced “fear” at the beginning of this process. After all, I am committed to maximizing my looks, and getting braces is the beginning of that journey for me. But the more I thought about the timeline of necessary steps in front of me–spacers, braces for a year, jaw surgery, braces on for another year–the more I felt like the lengthy journey may not be worth it. I’m glad I slowly talked myself out of that hesitancy, as we ALL must sometimes do, and allowed my yearning for better to take precedence over my trepidation.

If you’re thinking about getting braces in Texarkana, I can’t speak highly enough about my experience with Dr. Shambarger. Every time I walk into his office for an appointment, I feel welcomed; I feel comfortable and taken care of. He and his staff have made this journey all the more bearable for me. I know I will look back on this experience, as I do every time I am reluctant to do something new, and know it was all worth it. You can handle change too, one day at a time!


Saturday, July 1
SummerFest & Fireworks Show
Atlanta Fire Department
Atlanta, Texas
6-9 pm

Tuesday, July 4
Freedom Fest
food trucks, live bands, and fireworks
New Boston, Texas
at dusk


Every Saturday in July
Gateway Farmers Market
602 East Jefferson, Texarkana, AR
7 am-12 pm

Every Saturday in July
Texarkana Farmers Market
Downtown Texarkana
7 am-12 pm

Every Friday in July
Luke’s Free Friday
Thrive Yoga & Wellness

July 8
Texarkana’s Sesquicentennial Commemorative Ball
Texarkana Country Club, 7 pm

July 8
Comedy Night
1923 Banana Club, 6 pm and 9 pm

July 8
Texarkana Bridal Fair
Texarkana Country Club, 7 pm

July 14
Downtown Live
The Gallery at 1894, 6-9 pm

July 10-July 15
Texarkana Children Charities Open
Texarkana Country Club

July 22
Rodney Carrington
Perot Theatre, 8-11 pm


July 7
Lane Bricker
Redbone Magic Brewing

July 8
Dusty Rose Band
Redbone Magic Brewing

July 14
Heather and Jace
Redbone Magic Brewing

July 16
Travis Tritt
Perot Theatre, 6 pm

July 22
Trey Johnson
Redbone Magic Brewing

July 22
Tailgate Poets Live
Whisky River Country

July 22
A Tribute to Guns & Roses and
A Tribute to TESLA
Fat Jacks Oyster and Sports Bar

July 28
Danny Maxie and Joe Hart Night
Redbone Magic Brewing


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July 2023
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