As I’m sitting at the breakfast table, eating my nicely saturated bowl of Frosted Flakes cereal, I could hear the clattering of dishes and utensils from behind me as my mother was washing dishes. Between spoonfuls, I'm staring at Tony the Tiger, who’s sitting on the table about five feet away from me. He’s smiling a bit too happily, so I smirk back at him. I then glance at the buffet cabinet, holding all its shiny fine glassware, which is about fifteen away.
I thought about how I could see Tony okay but I couldn’t make out the lettering on some the glassware just a little further in the distance. Not being able to see clearly reminded me of school so I finally decided to mention it to my mother.
“Hey, Ma,” I said. “When I’m in school, it’s hard for me to see certain things on the chalkkboard.”
“Do you mean from where you sit in the back of the class?” she asked.
“Yeah. I kind of have to squint to see the writing on the board” I responded.
From where she stood, the overhead light was partially blocked by her head. As I looked up at her, there was a glow around her that seemed very saintly to me. I know I’m exaggerating but this particular day, she did have the answer that would save me.
“This afternoon, after you get home, we’re going to
I didn’t like the sound of that. She and my father both wore glasses but my brother didn’t. He was older so why was I having problems and not him. Anyhow, I figured it would be like going the doctor. If you’re sick, he gives you something to make you better. An eye doctor couldn't be much different.
As I sat in the shaky highchair and looked at myself in the undersized round mirror, I had only one thought. "Could they have made these black plastic frames any uglier?" I hated the way this thing on my nose looked and I felt immediately self conscious. Wasn't life difficult enough for my poor ego? The fact that I had to wear
In my sadness, I glanced around the store to see if anyone was watching me. To my shock, all the signs and posters, even the optician, were all crystal clear. How could I not be happy? My love for TV, movies and the world around me had been brought back into focus.
I finally rationalized that it wasn't like I couldn't get
Across the next decade, I went through what I called The Dork Ages. At least, as the years rolled on, I was able to get fancier looking glasses, which made me feel a little better about my appearance.
Unfortunately, there was another sad truth. With each yearly eye exam came the understanding that my vision was becoming weaker. In the beginning, I could squeeze my eyelids together and hope to
make a difference with how I viewed the world but by the time I was twenty-one, my need for optical assistance was constant. I could hold my hand straight out in front of me but then I’d have to bring it closer an inch or two, to bring it into focus. The other truth was that the worst the vision, the thicker the lens. I would take my glasses off to have pictures taken of me but I wouldn't know what the
To be continued…….