Friday, April 6, 2012
I started wearing glasses when I was four. Little round gold-rimmed glasses with thick, thick lenses. I was far-sighted and had severe astigmatism. My left eye was worse, so I tended to use my right for sighting, which was a problem because I am left-handed. Years later, I realized that was why I was probably so lousy at sports like baseball and kickball.
I grew up and wore glasses with plastic frames. Still thick though, but by then, so much a part of me, I rarely thought about them. In fact, I even wore them in the shower. I tried contacts several times but could never adjust to them. They hurt, they itched, I couldn't get them in. I threw them away and went on with my life.
Marriage, motherhood, divorce, grad school, work--the glasses accompanied me through every crisis and every triumph. When I was 36, they became bifocals.
As I got older, cataracts appeared. For years, they didn't intefere with my vision, but finally in the winter of 2008, my eye doctor said it was time to remove them. I had the two surgeries over winter break. Surprise! Colors were so much brighter than I had thought. Another surprise! I could see without my glasses. Wouldn't people be amazed to see me without my coke bottle glasses! In early January I strode into the school I consult with. I expected people to stop me in the hall and exlaim about the new glassesless Me. Not a word. The only person who noticed was the janitor.
The other day my daughter remarked that she has had trouble getting used to me without the glasses. "You don't look like my mother without them," she said.
On the other hand, I am thoroughly used to Life Without Glasses. At first I felt undressed. For months after the surgery I reached up to take them off at night, groped for them in the morning when I woke up. But now I'm completely comfortable without them, my vision is great, and someone even told me recently I have pretty eyes. For me, that's the ultimate compliment.