I was 12-years-old when my eyes started to fail me. There wasn’t really a moment when I realized I was starting to have trouble seeing things in the distance. It just sort of happened.
I remember playing softball that summer and being in the outfield. I didn’t want the ball hit to me at all – at least not late in the game. Early in the game it was still bright enough for me to track the ball with sunglasses.
But when it got dark, it was extremely difficult for me to track the ball as it soared through the dark sky. I could see a white dot, but not enough to judge how far it was going to go.
Fortunately, I only had to play the outfield for one or two innings. No wonder I preferred pitching. Baseball is all about proximity, kids.
Grade 7 was very big on powerpoint slides. Every other lesson seemed to revolve around them. If I sat near the front of the class, I wouldn’t have problems. If I sat near the back, I’d squint and be able to figure out the words.
Or I’d just listen to my teacher read the slides and write down as many words as I could remember. I had my tricks.
At this point I started to hate the eye doctor. I hated eye drops, too. I still hate eye drops.
Could I read the eye chart? Some of it. The big letters. E.
Did my doctor say I should get glasses? After a few years, yes.
Did I get glasses? No. I told him I could
squint see the board at school. I was in denial.
All throughout high school I tried to get a seat near the front of the class. Second row was okay. The back of the class was a nightmare and I didn’t want to admit defeat and tell the teacher I couldn’t see.
Looking back, I was foolish. I wasn’t missing out on any information and my grades weren’t suffering. But why wouldn’t I just get glasses?
In Grade 12 I finally got glasses. I never wore them at school. I always said I could see. And I could see.
As long as I squinted, and the lighting was right, and the angle was right, and the words on the board were big, and the teacher dictated them, and the person next to me had legible writing for me to look at in case I was “too slow” at copying down the notes, or if “someone’s head” was in the way.
I’m typing this and thinking the same thing as you are. Why didn’t I just wear my glasses?
Truthfully, I guess I didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want the “Oh, you have glasses now?” Or the “When did you get glasses?” Or “Hey four eyes!”
Looking back, I was dumb and shouldn’t have cared, but I was dead set on my squinting ways. Again, it’s not like my marks were suffering. I had an 88% average in Grade 12.
I don’t think many people, if anyone, even knew that I didn’t have miracle eyes, like they did.
Now remember, I’m near-sighted. I can read a book, no problem. I can see people in the distance. Can I see their facial features? Not until I’m closer to them.
So my eyes aren’t that bad. But they aren’t exactly something you desire, either.
When I got to university, I had to wear glasses. The lecture halls were just too big and education was too important at this point to be dumb and squint. Plus, I was in a world where I didn’t know anyone. For all they knew, I had been wearing glasses my whole life.
No one would question me. No one would point at me. No one would ask when I got them. Nothing.
Yet the first time I wore them in university, I was in a lecture sitting next to the only other person who went to my university, that had gone to my high school.
Naturally, he said to me, “I didn’t know you had glasses.”
It didn’t matter, though. We were friends. I could see everything. And after a few weeks I was comfortable wearing them every single time I went to a lecture.
It was then that I realized how dumb I had been in high school. I realized how dumb I had been at the eye doctor. Glasses weren’t that bad. I had built them up in my head to be this terrible thing that caused everyone to stare at you.
In reality, I was only hurting myself. Six years later, I look back and laugh.
I don’t wear glasses all the time. I wear them to drive; I wear them to watch TV; I wear them at sporting events. That’s it. I don’t wake up and immediately put them on. I don’t need to do that.
Are contact lenses an option? Nope. I ain’t touchin’ no eye ball.
For people who have excellent vision and don’t need glasses, you don’t know how fortunate you are.
One – you save money. Two – you don’t have to worry about bringing your glasses case with you everywhere you go. Three – you don’t even have to think about not being able to see something.
Glasses fog up. Glasses get rain on them. Glasses need mini windshield wipers. Glasses prevent you from immediately touching your eye if you have something in it. Glasses force you to remove them or reach under the lenses if you need to rub your eye. Glass can break. Glasses aren’t really comfortable if you fall asleep with them.
Glasses can be a nuisance. However, they help me see, which automatically outweighs all of the cons.
If you have perfect vision and wish you needed glasses, wish for something else.
If you have glasses and wish you didn’t, get in line.
If you need glasses but are in denial, go buy yourself some glasses.
Hindsight is 20/20. Now my vision is too.