Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

Girls in Glasses
Jennifer Flaten

I got my first pair of glasses in fifth grade. My best friend, who got glasses about a year before me, accused me of copying her, which goes to show how dramatic girls can be. I was a child of the eighties and eyeglasses in the eighties were so ugly no one, I mean no one, would pretend they needed eyeglasses just to be cool.

As soon as I could, I got contact lenses, and I happily wore them until I had children. Twins and contact lenses just don’t mix. If a baby wasn’t poking me in the eye, I was to sleep deprived to actually get the contacts in my eye. I can’t tell you how many times I fumbled in the insert and spent 20 minutes chasing the lens around my eyeball. After a while, I started wearing my glasses full time. Now I am just too damn lazy to get contacts.

This week I went to the eye doctor for my long overdue eye exam. Generally, I find the whole eye test process relaxing-who doesn’t like taking a test they can’t fail? I nailed the peripheral vision test, of course, I did I am a mom. In fact, after 11 years of attempting to keep these guys out of trouble, alive and my valuables unbroken, I am pretty sure I can rotate my eyeballs independently.

Everything was going swimmingly until the technician approached me with something that resembled a micrometer. It was the new glaucoma test. The old glaucoma test involved puffing bursts of air into people’s eyeballs. It terrified the hell out of me.

This new test wasn’t looking promising either. Apparently, the device is placed near the eye and some sort of wand comes out and taps your eyeball. Immediately, my hands started sweating and I totally had to resist the urge to bolt out of the exam room.

Yes, I did wear contacts, but no one else can touch my eye but me. For my first set of contact lenses, the doctor wanted to insert them for me. I insisted on doing it myself.  I have an un-natural fear of being poked in the eye. This is probably due to the numerous horror/sci-fi movies I’ve watched where aliens enter people’s brains via the eye.

The tech attempted to sweet talk me into taking the test. I informed him that unless he wanted me to run screaming out of the building, after punching him in the face, we should just agree to skip the test. He looked like he wanted to argue, something made him change his mind; perhaps it was my clenched fist.

He promised to send the physician right in and beat a hasty retreat. The good news, my eyesight hasn’t changed much in the four years since my last eye exam. As an added bonus, I don’t need bifocals. Yet, the physician cheerfully told me to expect to need them soon.

Finally, I was able to choose my new glasses. I love getting new frames; problem is I usually can’t tell if I look good in them or not because I can’t see them. Yes, my vision is that bad. I have to press my face up against the mirror to see how I look.

Obviously, I am not the only one with this problem because the now they have computers with cameras that take your picture with the new frames on so you can compare side by side.

This is awesome, except each shot looks like a mug shot. Now, I know exactly how I would look if I actually punched the technician and got booked for assault.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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