Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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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.

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4eyes

My new eyeglasses arrived in the mail today! It’s funny, but after years and years of *hating* my eyeglasses, I was really excited to get this pair. I guess part of it is the novelty – I haven’t worn any glasses in more than six months and those ones didn’t properly correct my vision because they were so old – and part of it is knowing that I only need them for 3-6 months. And then the other part of them is that I got such a super wicked awesome good deal on them and who doesn’t love a good deal? (Props again to Karen for telling me about this place!)

The quality of the glasses is pretty good – they fit perfectly, they seem to be as solid a pair of glasses as I’ve ever owned.  I’m going to bring them to my optometrist’s office for her to have a look at – when I told her I could get a full pair of glasses for $40 from a site on the ‘net, she was baffled: “How can they do that?  We can’t even get a frame or lenses for $40, let alone a whole pair.”

Also, check out the crazy package my glasses arrived in:

package, redacted by you.

IMG_4534 by you.

It was wrapped in fabric, hand labeled in marker and sealed with wax!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a package sealed with wax before!  When I saw that package in the mail I thought “well, either that’s my glasses or someone is sending me anthrax.”  My next thought was “these must be so cheap because someone in Pakistan is paid 5 cents a day to make them.” But then, I’m sure the glasses you buy from the optician are also made in another country by underpaid labour and they just have a huge mark up.  Rock, meet hard place.  At any rate, there didn’t appear to be any anthrax in the package, so that’s a good thing.

Finally, here’s a side-by-side comparison of what the glasses looked like in the online trying-on-glasses-simulator jobby and my actual glasses.  It’s a pretty good simulation.

goggles6

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I HATE wearing my glasses

I know it’s only been 3 days of glasses wearingness, but I have to reiterate that I HATE wearing my glasses.

  • They aren’t the correct prescription, so I have trouble reading things like, say, street signs when I’m on the bus, making figuring out my stop a little challenging.
  • They are kind of scratched up, making them extra hard to see through.
  • They don’t sit properly on my face because the arms are bent, making them crooked, which makes me look even worse than if I were just wearing non-crooked glasses, which is already bad enough.
  • They do not protect my eyes when I cut onions, which I was painfully reminded of this last night when I was cooking dinner.  When I wear contacts, they make me eye-invincible to the painful, tear-producing evil that is chopping onions.  Glasses leave my eyeballs naked and, thus, vulnerable to the onions.
  • They get in the way – you have to take your glasses off when you get dressed. Or brush your hair – but then, of course, you can’t see how your hair looks when you are brushing it!
  • Alternating between my glasses & my prescription sunglasses is a right pain the butt. When I wear contacts, if I’m going in and outdoors repeatedly (such as when I  go window shopping along Broadway), I merely have to put my sunglasses on top of my head when I enter the (relatively) dark store, then pop them down onto my face when I go back in the sunshine.  When I’m wearing glasses, every time I go into a store, I have to reach into my bag, find my glasses’ case, and then swap my sunglasses for my regular glasses. And then vice versa when I leave the store to go back out into the sunshine.  Pain. In. The. Butt.
  • It’s not a problem right now, but I remember from back in my youth, before I first got contacts, that wearing glasses in the winter sucked because your glasses always steam up when you go inside.
  • I don’t look like me in my glasses – I can’t even tell you how many people at the AdHack Launch Party on Friday said, “I didn’t recognize you with your glasses on!”

There is, however, one benefit to wearing glasses: It gives you the opportunity to do the sexy “holding glasses up to your mouth” pose:

Is it time for my laser eye surgery, yet?