How my view of myself changed forever in a single day and will be that way for the rest of my life.

My life and identity changed forever today.

I approached the desk at the ophthalmologist’s office. Lots of big windows with slate colored light flowing into the large, mostly empty room. The lady I spoke to had dyed black hair, almond skin, and a shiny gold necklace lying on top of her black turtleneck. No eyeglasses, though.

“I need to have this eyeglass prescription filled, please.”

“Okay. Are you a patient with us?”

“Yes, I had an eye exam yesterday with Dr. Hatch.”

“Okay, go ahead and pick out your frames.”

“Actually, I already did that yesterday. I just had to talk to mom and dad about money.”

“Oh, okay. Go ahead and grab the frames you like and we’ll see if we have the lenses in.”

“Alright.” I turned around to the glowing display wall and found the black full-rimmed glasses with red stripes I’d liked yesterday. They were $40 less online, but the wait was several weeks, and my eyes were constantly sore from focusing too hard. I tried them on again (My neck looks fat with these on, I thought,) and brought them to the counter. “Here they are.”

“Okay, let me go see if we have the lenses.” While she walked behind a cabinet of manila folders and files, I looked around the office. Just like at Wal-Mart this morning, they had signs indicating Men’s and Women’s sections above the displays of frames. I’d wandered cluelessly around the glasses the day before until the overly-nice twentysomething secretary came over to help me figure out which glasses weren’t wussy.

The lady walked back to the front. “Okay, yes, we have them in. It should be about ten or fifteen minutes.”

“Wow, alright. Can I leave and come back?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

After eating my McBreakfast, I strolled back through the glass double doors and waited around in the waiting area. Over 25 minutes had passed. I didn’t see the lady from before. After waiting another ten minutes, I finally approached the desk and another secretary handed me my glasses wrapped in crème colored cleaning cloth; they looked like an eyeglass burrito.

The first thing I thought when I tried them on was, “Crud, this actually works.” The fine details I used to always see are back; everything is so crisp and clean, with a sharp “pop” to it. I actually do need glasses.

Fashion wise, I’ll need to cut my sideburns shorter so I don’t look like one of the Lone Gunmen. Also, I think they make my neck look fat, but that means I need to keep jogging. The gooey peripheral distortion when I move is uncomfortable, so I don’t think I’ll wear them while walking. Reading is nice, though, and feels good. Less eye strain.

In a daydream, I imagined myself visiting my sister at BYU when she starts there in the fall. I pulled my glasses out of a backpack and knew Kris would make fun. She made fun of my sideburns last weekend when I visited home, so naturally she’d make fun of this.

Suddenly, out of the daydream, I realized that I’d have to take my glasses with me on all of my trips. Every quick weekend away would require my glasses. I’d need them for every flight home or even staying at a friend’s place overnight. There’s no going back to pre-glasses, I thought. For the rest of my life, I will need glasses.

I have joined the glasses club. Old Navy and its spring lineup wouldn’t let me join the cardigan club, so this will have to do for ironic-nerd style.


Emily Goodsell said...

I'm part of the glasses club, too, and I'm a fan. I remember the day I walked out of the dr.'s office with my first pair of glasses. I was in the 6th grade. On the drive home, I could actually see the individual bricks on the buildings, and the individual leaves on the trees, and the power lines. It was incredible. Wearing glasses is like the high definition of real life. It's a good club to be part of.

Leanna said...

I'm sorry but this reminds me of Brian Regan's bit about going to the Optometrist and finally being able to see things. HA! If you haven't heard it, check it out. It'll make you feel a heck of a lot better.

Leanna said...

I have no idea why I capitalized optometrist. I've been out of school too long.

Kaitlin said...

I'm also a member of the glasses club, and I also love it. Think of it this way, Matt: this gives a hip guy like you the opportunity for a whole different look anytime you feel like it. Every morning, you can wake up, look in the mirror, and ask, "Am I feeling the glasses look today (i.e. chic, intelligent-but-classy)?" Seriously...you have now added a whole new fashion dimension to your life. It's your lucky day.

Jacob said...

Well, I'm not part of the club, but I'm afraid if I say too much, fate might make my eyes go bad. Thanks for the story.