Thursday, September 9, 2010


I wear contacts. I remember the day I got them. I was 17, and it was right before a Christmas play I was in. My character didn’t exactly conform to the whole glasses image. I remember the first time I ever wore them, trying them on there in the optometrist’s office. I was overwhelmed by my ability to see out of the corners of my eyes. It’s impossible to do that with glasses. Or at least, it is when your eyesight is as bad as mine.

I got glasses when I was 4. When my mom took me in for the kindergarten vision check up, the eye doctor told me to read the first letter on the chart. I squinted and responded, “What chart?” He told my mom he had never seen such an acute astigmatism in a child so young. Gee, thanks. What do I get, a nerd trophy?

*Also, side story: When I had the eye exam, they made me take a depth perception test, usually something they do for young children. They tried to make me touch this plaque with a 3D fly in it. I remember screaming, thrashing, trying to get out of the seat, doing anything to avoid touching that fly. Who makes a 5 year old touch a 3D fly??! It’s downright cruelty. For the next 21 years, every time the fly experience came up, people looked at me like I was crazy. No one had ever heard of such a thing. I began to think maybe I had imagined it. But last year, at one of Atleigh’s (numerous) opthalmology appointments, the nurse opened a drawer and I SAW IT! THE FLY! I had a total freak out moment. I practically screeched, “Oh my God!!! It exists!!! The fly exists!!!” Needless to say, she thought I was crazy. But, obviously, I’m NOT. Because the fly EXISTS. End of side story.*

My first pair of glasses were hideous. The late 80’s were not kind to eyewear fashions. They were this enormous plastic affair, like what Dustin Hoffman wore in Tootsie. They faded from pink at the top to blue at the bottom. They took up my whole face, from eyebrow to lower cheek. I hated them, even as a young child. To make matters worse, my eyesight was so bad that when I first got the glasses, I had vertigo. I remember everything stretching like a fisheye lens, lifting my leg three feet in the air to step over a curb, and stumbling in a parking lot because it looked like hills.

As I said, I got my first pair of contacts when I was 17 (that’s 12 YEARS of wearing glasses), and I’ve never looked back if I could help it (ha, vision joke- because I could have looked back, since contacts provide peripheral vision). There have been horrible days, weeks, or months in the last 10 years where I’ve been forced to wear my glasses when money is too tight for me to buy new contacts. My extreme nearsightedness and astigmatism (even my astigmatism is abnormal, for an astigmatism) mean that contacts for me run a couple hundred dollars. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

When I have to wear my glasses, my whole outlook on life changes. I feel dowdy, plain, grumpy, claustrophobic, and self conscious. My self esteem, which is already low, plummets further. My hair gets on my nerves, my face feels greasy, my nose looks pointy-er. I can’t see to put on my make up, I can’t see shampoo bottles- the whole process is squint, grab, repeat. I can’t blow-dry my hair because my glasses get knocked off my face. To top all that off, the glasses I have are 5 years old, the prescription is expired, and I can’t drive at night with them because I can’t read road signs.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a ton of people who look great in glasses. I just don’t think I’m one of them. I see all these pretty girls in glasses, and I think, “Why can’t I look that cute? Why am I such a nerd?” They look intellectual, whereas I just look like that scrawny 5 year old. A Four-Eyes.

Tomorrow I have to wear my glasses. My bi-weekly contacts that I’ve been wearing for the past *cough* two months, have rubbed a sore on the inside of my eyelid. I’d suffer through it if it didn’t feel like I scraped a fork across my eyeball every time I blink. I’d rather not go blind the rest of the way at the age of 27, so I’m trying to let it heal for a day or two before I put in my new pair of contacts.

You may ask, what is the point to all this blogging? The answer is, there isn’t a point. I’m just warning the general public that I will be nerdy and grumpy tomorrow. Don’t sneak up on me from behind, because I won’t have peripheral vision, don’t expect my makeup to look good, and don't call me Four-Eyes.


  1. I love you tons. :) I would never call you four eyes. I feel your pain, trust me! You looked beautiful when I saw you. As always. :)

  2. I don't think I was wearing my glasses when you saw me... LOL. ;)