Today I had my yearly vision exam and the results are in. I have the sight equivalent to that of someone wearing fogged-up goggles. Think around the four hundreds, and you'll be there.
I remember being in about the third grade, and the way our classroom worked was that every week, the desks in the front of the rows were moved to the back, and so everyone kept rotating their position. One week I moved my desk to the very back of the room and discovered I couldn't really see the chalkboard. I kept whispering questions to the people around me about what the hell was up there. I was a model student, teacher's pet and all that, so my teacher was shocked to see me talking so much in class, and she had a chat with my parents after me getting into trouble.
Off I was carted to the optometrist, as my mother and sister were very near-sighted, it was found that my gene pool straw also came up short. Outfitted with the most ginormous pair of glasses, I didn't get into trouble anymore since I could now see what was going on.
The only problem was, I was very atheletic, and it was hard for me to play all my sports with my regular glasses. Volleyball and basketabll were diffucult with all the jumping, and the worst was softball. The hats and helmets made things very uncomfortable, even with our lame attempts at holding the glasses on with a lanyard across the back of my head.
So I entered what I like to call my "Kareem Abdul Jabbar" phase. Not that I was some sort of outstanding athelete, ready to dominate the pros. Hardly. It was that he and I had almost the exact same eyewear. The lenses wrapped almost completely around to the sides of my head in order to keep my peripheral vision unobstructed. Then there was this huge strap to keep it fastened to my head. Attractive, I know.
I think I am glad that I was rather oblivious to how ridiculous I looked, as I only wore them for sports, and usually there wasn't a mirror around the softball field. I think I intimidated the crap out of the other teams just because I looked so bizarre. I was definitely one of the only girls in Southern California wearing anything like that, and it was a good thing for all girls with similarly impaired sight that the trend failed to catch on.
When I hit high school and made the volleyball team in the beginning of my freshman year, I begged and groveled for a pair of contact lenses, which were still fairly new then. My mother thought I wasn't responsible enough to have them, a constant theme throughout my life. We played our games over at the our brother school, one with all boys to counter ours with all girls. They of course, had the better gym. I would have rather melted into the ground than play a game there in those glasses. Somehow my mother took pity on me, and I have been a contact lens wearer since.
I have considered Lasik, but due to the extreme astigmatism in my left eye, I am not a good candidate. Besides, every time I think about Lasik, I think of a particular Simpson's episode where Homer is propelled into an apocalyptic future. He knocks on the front door of his long-suffering neighbor Ned. Homer is shocked to see that Ned's eyeballs have fallen out, and Ned, sensing his discomfort says, "Lasik, who could have known?"
I have read that near-sighted people actually begin to self-correct as they age since your eyes change shape and harden as you get older, to the benefit of this condition. So I can be comforted in knowing that as all the rest of you peer at the paper with your reading glasses, I might finally have enough vision to see the clock six inches from my head when I wake up in the morning without squinting.