Monday, May 24, 2004

BloG #6: Do You See What I See?

April 23, 2004; 2:17p.m. A date & time in my life that will forever live in infamy.
Ah, but wait! Let's go back in time, shall we?...........

The year was 1971. Childhood as I knew it, took a left turn when my vision became impaired with Myopia (Nearsightedness). All of a sudden, I had to wear glasses, spectacles, visual aids, four eyes, windshields, specs in order to see across the room. Without them, everything was fuzzy. What happened? Why the sudden "blindness?"

I cannot exaggerate the effect this little fact had on my life. My face was now forced to accept a new piece of hardware if I wanted to see my life's experiences. It was fun for the first day. This next point cannot be overstated enough: From then on, I HATED WEARING GLASSES! Nothing can prepare a child for the horror of such a permanant change. From afar, glasses look try on for a moment. To wear them every waking moment is a whole 'nuther ballgame.

Let's review some social aspects this new hardware imposes on a child growing up in the 60's & 70's, shall we?
First, classmates notice everything. Boy, do they notice! Suddenly, you're different now, and it's not by choice.

Quick point here.... Individualism is not a real high priority in elementary school. Yes, we are trying to discover our unique traits that will one day define our character. But, having a uniqueness suddenly thrust upon you from out of nowhere.... Not a good thing, in general.
We're all looking for the big break in life. Getting to wear glasses as a child isn't it.

Anyway, self psycho-analysis for a moment: Wearing glasses throughout my childhood may partially explain my fascination with Elton John. Dude was rather unique as far as image was concerned. This cannot not be a full explanation, as the music caught my ear long before I'd ever seen a picture of the singer, however it may have contributed somewhat. Hearing the only pianist in Rock n Roll at a time when I was taking piano lessons may have contributed, as well.

Back to the social aspects of being labeled 'four eyes' as a child in the 70's.
Anyone who has ever broken a pair of glasses knows this can turn out to be a very traumatic moment. Example: Everyone remembers playground football, right? Here I was, participating in an activity - trying to act normal with my unique windshield attached to my face. "Throw me the ball, throw me the ball, THROW ME THE BALL!!!" In a snap decision, the quarterback see's I am open, decides to THROW ME THE BALL and... CRACK - the ball hits my face. No big deal until... everyone discovers my glasses are now hanging from my ears along the sides of my cheeks. Split right down the middle, they have become totally useless. Going back into class, I was blind again. The next day, I will show up to class with tape holding my hardware together. 'Revenge Of The Nerds' anyone?

Do you think the quarterback is going to instinctively throw me the football again? In a word......

Now, styles of glasses available to the consumer in the 70's was... how do you say....considerably ugly. Ever looked back at pictures from the 70's? Look at the glasses. They are hideous. News Bulletin: They seemed hideous then too! We didn't have cool choices then. NOTHING looked good. It was a matter of picking what looked the least bad on a face.
Thankfully, styles of glasses have come a long way recently.

So, then the contacts revolution came along. Here's some fun. Of course there were the hard lenses first. Then came the soft lenses... Unless you had astygmatism. Then, you were stuck with hard lenses at that time. Ever tried to look normal with a piece of hard plastic stuck in your eye? Pics from that era make me look as if I've seen a ghost. This is not my natural expression.
Finally, technology made available the option to wear soft lenses - even 'permanant lenses,' the ones you could sleep overnight in. This was going to be good, because I couldn't stand the routine of sticking stuff in my eyes first thing in the morning. Not long after investing in THIS new concept, my eyes reacted & seemingly rejected the contacts....violently.

There is the long & short of it. Glasses have been a part of my life since age 10 and, while thankful for the technology available to bring clear sight back, it has not been a relationship w/out pitfalls.

April 23, 2004; 2:17p.m. A date & time in my life that will forever live in infamy. I walked out of Lasik eye surgery able to see without hardware! The positive effects from this technological achievement cannot be overstated! To wake up in the morning & see across the room, first movement not having to be reaching for glasses. To walk in the rain w/out needing windshield wipers or de-foggers. To spontaneousley take a nap w/out having to remove the hardware from your face, otherwise smashing or losing them. To wear ski goggles w/out smashing glasses aginst your face & drilling a new set of holes into your nose. To freely choose a cool pair of sunglasses that are not clip-ons. To not worry about constantly pushing something back up on your nose. To swim & see. This list doesn't begin to even scratch the proverbial surface of how my quality of life is so vastly improved over the previous 3 decades with spectacles.

Worthy of a BloG, don't you think?!

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