It was on my grandfather’s car, the driver’s side side-view mirror but I couldn’t figure out why it was there or what purpose there was for a mirror not to reflect reality.
Can’t say for certain if that ‘moment’ happened when I was twelve because it could have been when I was nine or 10 too, but 12 sticks out because it was the year I got glasses.
Initially I didn’t have to wear them anywhere but in class and that suited me just fine because I having to rely upon help for my eyes.
And when you are a boy who loves to play sports, ride bikes and wrestle with his friends glasses are something you never want to wear because you don’t want to break them and get in trouble.
Boys Grow & The Eyes Don’t Cooperate
When puberty hit and I finally started growing I held out hope that I’d somehow make it to 6’4 and that my eyes would cooperate by becoming stronger and not weaker.
Nature chose not to gift me with the height I asked for and decided a double dose of myopia would be good for me.
That old mother didn’t bother to ask me if I thought it would be easier to hit the ball, make a basket or win the 100 meter breaststroke with bad eyes.
By the time I graduated high school I was almost 5’10 and weighed 185 pounds. Since my dad told me he had kept growing until he was around 20 or so I figured I was mostly on track, I still had a shot at 6’4, didn’t care if it was a small one.
A chance was a chance.
But what I didn’t have were good eyes anymore.
If I wasn’t wearing contacts or my glasses it was because I was asleep or swimming.
I couldn’t watch television or a movie without them and even though I could read without them I tended to wear them anyway.
And don’t bother asking about driving because I knew that getting behind the wheel without them for anything short of a major emergency was a mistake.
So I grudgingly accepted my glasses and wondered if the surgery I had heard of to give people perfect vision would ever make sense for me.
I very much wanted it, but the idea of someone taking a scalpel to my eyes was…uncomfortable.
All Shook Up
By the time the Northridge earthquake hit in ’94 I was almost 25 and sadly resigned to never getting beyond the 5’10 I had maxed out at.
Part of me appreciated being average height, I loved to work out and there were multiple advantages that came from not having the longer arms and body that the additional size would have brought.
But the earthquake shook the idea of being ok with my eyes right out of me.
That is because that monster threw my classes off of my nightstand and destroyed the shot glass collection that had been hanging on my wall.
So when I got out of bed I couldn’t see very well and I knew damn well that much of my floor was covered in broken glass.
That was the day I decided I was going to figure out how to pay for surgery, especially since I had started to hear about some fancy Laser deal that could fix your eyes with less fuss and muss than the other.
Aren’t Reading Glasses Just For Bloggers & Old People?
It took another five years or so for me to figure out how to make wishing for perfect vision into reality and not a dream.
I remember right before they clamped my eyes open and told me it would be over before I could blink they reminded me by the time I was old enough to need reading glasses there would be a surgical option to correct that.
It made me laugh to hear them talk about that, they used some ancient number like 45 and that was more than a decade away.
Hell, it was almost 15 years and for all I knew I might be using a jetpack instead a car to get around.
The kid who was 3 months old when I had the surgery done is going to be 15 this year and the jetpack hasn’t yet materialized.
But the reading glasses that I couldn’t imagine wearing…have shown up.
I don’t use them all of the time but I have noticed that they help if I am tired of if the lighting isn’t particularly good.
Dates on coins and and the small details on some stuff just don’t jump out at me like they used to. I’d like to say it is because they are dirty, smudged or have other issues but…
But I am pleased to say I proved the doc wrong because I am not 45, I am 46 and still not using them all the time. That has to be worth something.
Ok, maybe not to anyone but me, but I’ll pat myself on the back and smile at the imaginary trophy I am holding.
And since the airlines have seen fit to shrink the amount of room we have I am even more thankful that I am not 6’4, but between you and me I’ll confess that if there was a pill that made us a bit taller I might consider it.
But that is not because I care about being taller because I don’t but a couple of inches in height would mean I could say I only need to lose a few pounds. 🙂