No more braces-guilt

I am getting my braces off this week. I have been waiting almost three years for this, and yet I am feeling hesitant or weird about it. I do not want to wear the braces anymore. I want to eat pop corn and apples!
But I am not looking forward to the “your teeth look so good, now!”
It is that “now” that troubles me.
This idea that somehow I was less than perfect and NOW I am closer to that ideal. My father-in-law was telling me how I used to be pretty but NOW that my teeth are straight I am beautiful.
Troubling, yes. It is like a backhanded compliment.
Why can’t he just say I am beautiful? Why does it have to be “used to” and “now”.
Of course I feel guilty because I can’t just except the compliment. I hate this feeling that because I did something to better my looks then everyone has a say in what I did.
My husband says I am over-reacting (like usual, he would add), but I feel justified. I almost do not want anyone to say anything! I wanted to celebrate, and maybe I will when my mouth is free and clear of metal. But right now. This minute. I am kind of worried about the straight teeth I have worked so hard for and what they say about me. And of course what those around me will say.
Guilty because I can’t accept a backhanded compliment. That is a new one!
-GR