Thursday, June 4, 2009
My ancestors were near-sighted, far-sighted, oh, just generally bad-sighted, with touches of astigmatism for an impressionist view of life. Neither side of the family could boast good vision. So why me?
20/10, here. Friends ask me to read menus, street signs, and addresses on houses located 100 miles away. My talents may be few, I don’t look both ways, but I can see.
Well, could see. Last year I noticed, painfully, that the really tiny print on the bug-spray can was blurry. Not the instruction part (“Do not wrap head in plastic bag and spray down throat”) but disclaimer part (“Discontinue use if ants still move but you’re dead.”)
I’ve always wanted glasses. I look better in glasses than without glasses. Plus, they give you this cool little barrier between you and the world. But I hate to fail a test, any test. Perhaps that’s why I passed the eye exam. Here’s the thing: My vision has lost a step (more like twenty feet), and damn it, I want those pink oval frames with the cool transition lenses.
So the doctor finally agreed a prescription would improve my quality of life; I got fitted, and came for my return appointment to try them on. The fit was nice. I told the doctor he had a loose filling in his left bicuspid. We walked to the window and I noted the pollen on the stamen on the poppy growing 6 miles away, 40 degrees southwest of the echo mountain trail. Only trouble was, anything larger was a giant blur.
No, this will not do at all, I told the doctor, walking into the eye chart but clearly seeing the copyright date in the left-hand corner.
He made further adjustments. By now, I was wedded to the idea of pink wireframes, and had already invested $200.
Two weeks later, I took the new lenses for a test drive. Underwater, or so it seemed. Driving wasn’t a good idea. Nor was walking. Or breathing. Ever been seasick? Barf on the deck, divest-yourself-of-any-bit-of–lasagna-ever-eaten seasick? That’s what hit me and my new glasses while reaching for the Ajax cleanser on the bottom shelf at the local Ralph’s.
What price beauty? What price pretty pink frames? What price reading itty-bitty print? I can choose to see the sidewalk plainly, or choose to see the initials of the guy who laid the sidewalk two miles away cutely.
For now, I’ve settled for glasses and permanent nausea. Go back for another prescription adjustment? I can see your point. It’s you I can’t see