Reminiscing About My First Pair of Glasses

Yesterday, while out running 9 km1 with my friend and running partner, Alicia, I was telling her about how I was excited to get my new glasses and it reminded me of the very first pair of glasses I ever had. I was in grade 4 and my mom had taken me to the optometrist  after this one day when she’d asked me what time it was and I had to walk right up to the microwave to read the clock.  She was all, “oh my God, can you really not see the clock until you are that close to it?”  Given that she is blind as a bat and I have half her genes2, it really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to us, but it did.  So anyway, we go to the optometrist and lo and behold, I’m nearsighted and need glasses.  So we order a pair and I remember the day that I first got those glasses like it were yesterday.  I remember, vividly, walking out of the optometrist’s office and looking up at a tree and thinking, “my god, I can see each leaf on that tree!”  I still have the image etched in my memory3 – I can see it even now as I type this – because it was such an epiphany for me.  Prior to that moment, I had had no idea that most people saw things so clearly, so crisply, so bright and so vivid.  To me, trees had always been a big smudge of colour in the distance, not individuals leaves on individual branches – at least not until you got right up close to them. To give you a sense of what this is like, I’ve taken a photo of a tree as a person with good vision would see it (first photo4) and then blurred to about the level of what it looked like to me before I first got glasses (second photo)

So you can see why I was so shocked when I learned that everyone else wasn’t going around in a blurred world like I was.  Until then, I had honestly believed that everyone saw like I did.

I can’t wait to get my laser eye surgery re-treatment so I can see perfectly without glasses again!

1Alicia and I are training for the half marathon and every week we do our long run together. This week’s long run was 9 km, next week we do 10 km, then 12 km, then 14 km, etc. What have I gotten myself into??
2My sister, on the other hand, inherited my dad’s perfect 20/20 vision. She always got the good stuff – our dad’s perfect vision, the cushy job at the bank from mom (*wink*)… Not that I’m bitter or anything.
3And we are talking 20 years ago!
4Photo credit: Posted on Flickr by Exothermic, adapted under a Creative Commons license.