I wear glasses. I first wanted them in the first grade after reading a short story about a person getting glasses. This was shortly before I actually needed them. Now I wish I could see stuff without needing help from frames or poking my eyes with plastic. I also wish normal sighted people (read, cis-sighted) would stop asking to try on my glasses, only to exclaim “Wow! You’re blind!” Being the optimist that I am (selectively), I learned to look on the bright side. Life with glasses can be exciting, especially in times where you are unable to wear them. Here are a couple everyday life scenarios made more exciting by nearsightedness.
Getting A Haircut
This is what inspired this week’s article. Right before Christmas, I went for a haircut. It had been my first time at a professional place since 2012. And for you normal sighted people, you tend to have at least a general idea of what you are going to look like by the time you’re out of the chair, but with glasses all of that is out the window the second the barber/stylist says “Take off your glasses.” For nearsighted people, getting a haircut is a thrilling experience, kind of like choosing a suitcase in Deal Or No Deal. The barber/stylist blob you see in the mirror seems to whiz around your head, and your only confirmation on how you look is the person you brought with you giving a fuzzy thumbs-up when you ask them how it looks.
Rollercoasters are already exciting enough. You experience speed and outside forces you rarely experience in real life, unless your job is driving cars off cliffs or you’ve been in a curiously high amount of airplane crashes. Part of the anticipation is seeing what lies ahead and knowing you are going to go through all of it. If you are someone with glasses, you have probably taken them off the instant the line divided into individual seating rows and are clutching them or have placed them in the fanny pack of which you are numb to embarrassment. You don’t have a clear view of what you are seeing and that is arguably a more thrilling experience. That and you have the added excitement of checking your hand or fanny pack to make sure your glasses are still on you before, during and after the ride.
Going Inside A Store On A Rainy Day
This scenario is pretty specific, and even I don’t think I’ve covered all the prerequisites for it. You see, most people with eyes and average vision (or contacts) can walk into a store, place of business, or house whose temperature is warmer than it is outside, and shake themselves off like dogs and say “Boy oh boy is it wet out there?!” People with glasses try this and the water on their glasses combined with the density and temperature of the building envelops their eyes in a fog. You then have to find a dry spot on your clothes to clean them off. But for a few seconds you are lost, and you don’t know if you’re going to bump into a person, a pillar, or leftover Christmas merchandise discounted 90%. What a rush.
I’m dead serious about this one. Nearsighted people, unless they wear contacts and fall asleep with them in, wake up to a world that is out-of-focus. In the seconds between opening your eyes and reaching for the nightstand, anything can happen. The dresser looks like an ax murderer and the ax murderer looks like a mountain of dirty clothes. Everything could be anything until those glasses come on.
People see me with glasses and automatically assume that I’m ‘smart’ or ‘nerdy’ when, in fact, I live a life so on-the-edge it’s a miracle I haven’t fallen off. Mostly because I’m blind as a bat and can’t actually see the edge.