As a little girl, I longed for glasses. I know that seems ridiculous, but it was all because of a classmate in third grade. I can’t remember her name, but we will call her Mary.
I remember Mary was a quiet girl, who loved to read, just like me. What intrigued me so much about her were her glasses. They were baby blue and had little diamonds, which I was certain, were real.
Mary was a responsible little girl who took good care of her glasses. She even had a cute little case for them that, you guessed it, was baby blue and had more diamonds on it.
I watched her clean those glasses with not one, but two special little bottles of cleaners. She even had a little pack of throw-away cleaning towelettes, which at the time, seemed like it belonged in an episode of “The Jetsons” (that means futuristic for young readers).
In any event, when the people came to the school to do eye tests, I saw my chance. I think I was smart enough to not act like I couldn’t see the giant “E,” but I probably wasn’t smart enough to fake the next line or so.
Anyway, the person administering the test knew immediately I was fibbing, and whatever she said to me must have scared me to death. I didn’t fake the test again and thus passed with flying colors.
No baby blue glasses with diamonds for little Adlen.
Fast forward through life, and I quickly realized not needing glasses was a blessing and never wished for them again.
A few years ago, however, I started realizing my eyes were tired after a few hours on the computer, and that I was squinting. My friends said I just needed to get some reading glasses.
Five dollars and a total abandonment of vanity later, I was back in business. Next, I learned that one pair of readers was not nearly enough.
Turns out, my eyes were failing me when it came to reading print, the television remote control, cooking, menus and numerous other things. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I bought readers for all rooms in the house, as well as the cars and my purse. Problem solved. Or so I thought.
As my vision continued to deteriorate, Paul suggested I go to the eye doctor. He’s smart like that.
After much agony and dread, I finally made an appointment. While that’s not the worst type of doctor visit, it definitely was not fun.
“Is 2 better, or 3?” Um, I think 3. “Is 3 better, or 4?” And on and on it goes, the whole time you feel like your eyes are the worst and you are totally failing the test.
After the doctor figured out my number, I was sent to pick out my glasses from the walls of glasses that, to me, all look the same.
The helpful lady chose a pair she said looked good on me and I left. The next week I returned to pick up the glasses.
“They might take a little getting used to, but just wear them as much as possible until you get used to them,” they told me.
I tried to wear them all the time. I promise I did. But those glasses made me feel dizzy if I was walking or driving.
I know I should have gone back, but honestly, I didn’t think I could take another exam and feeling like such a failure again.
So I used those glasses for the past two years for reading, typing, chopping (not wanting to lose a finger), and when they were available, for reading the remote control.
Finally, I decided to venture back to the eye doctor to see if I was a candidate for contact lenses.
After another long and grueling eye exam, I found out my eyes were worse, but perfect for contacts.
When I returned a few days later to get my contacts, the nice lady showed me how to remove them using her own contacts. Piece of cake. She didn’t even need a mirror and did it many times.
Then I tried. Ha! Again, feeling like a failure, I tried time and time again to get that contact into my eyeball, all the while thinking, how can you do this when you cannot see?
After more than an hour, I finally succeeded. Then she made me take them out and put them in again. I was so relieved when I barely passed and was allowed to take my tired red eyes home.
Could I see? Yes! Was it worth it? Definitely.
The first thing I noticed was that I had more wrinkles than I realized. I immediately ordered some “miracle” eye cream I had heard about.
Next, I got on my cell phone, tablet and computer, marveling that I didn’t need glasses to see the screens. Oh happy day.
Next, I cooked dinner, free from glasses. I even boiled pasta just so I could drain it and not experience “fog” on the glasses.
I’m still not the best when it comes to getting my contacts in and I have ruined more than I care to admit, but the freedom from not having glasses is definitely amazing.
If you’re a candidate, I highly recommend them.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.