In college, some people considered me something of a snob. "That one sorority girl, she never says 'Hi' when I see her on the College Walk," they'd complain to people who actually knew me. And the poor ungreeted masses were right. I NEVER said "Hi" to anyone who was more than an arm's length away. Why? Because I couldn't see them.
Wave enthusiastically at enough wrong guys, guys you thought you'd hooked up all on the night before, and see how many non-confirmed hellos you hand out. See I am almost technically sorta blind. As in, if I was driving a car (which I don't know how to do) and got into an accident and I didn't have my glasses on, then I could totally go to jail for reckless driving. At least that's what the guy from America's Best (nee the bootleg Lens Crafters) told me last time I went.
Funny thing is, I can never hold on to a pair of glasses for longer than six months before the Borrower's get 'em. And I hate contacts. There's a reason the phrase, "You have something in your eye," isn't considered like a compliment. It's a WARNING.
The first time I got glasses was in the 3rd grade. This was around the time in the 80s when we had special set aside classroom time to brush our teeth (or did I go to a "special" school?). Anywho, you'd think after learning how to clean my tongue alongside my mini peers, nothing would really embarrass me.
But when Frances showed up to give me a surprise in the middle of school and that "surprise" was a ginormous pair of plastic pale pink eye glasses, I wanted to gag on my toothbrush. I wore them that day under my mother's watch and then never again. Even when squinting at the chalkboard gave me headaches.
Since then (yes since third grade) I've made due like how someone who's hearing impaired develops a deeper sense of smell. And no, I am in no way comparing my terrible vision to deafness. BUT, when I broke down and finally got my first pair of glasses in 20 years, my optometrist (tologist?) was in awe.
"How the hell have you been walking around without glasses?"
"Really they're that bad? I figured I'll only wear them to read."
"Um, no. You have no idea what the world actually looks like."
And when I put those bad boys on for the first time, I felt like a goddamn super hero. Allow me to quote Aladdin for like the tenth time on this site. It was a "whooole neeew wooorld."
Then I lost them.
After spending hundreds of dollars in eye gear I always lose, I decided to resign myself to blundering through the streets of DC without 1) speaking to anyone I don't recognize, which is everyone and 2) sitting anywhere past the fifth row at the movies. Naturally this can't last.
So the other day I wandered into my local spectacle slanger's shop and got my hands on the good stuff. I look forward to not losing whatever pair I choose, but having little faith in myself I'm going to buy two pairs. Vote in the comments and maybe someday soon I'll actually be able to read them without squinting like a pirate.