I went to the eye doctor recently. Just a routine check up since it had been a few years… and well, since I have been lucky enough to have undergone several eye surgeries, it is a good idea to check in every now and then.
I am also always optimistic that medical science will have made some great leap and there will be life changing good news regarding my vision.
It was a new doctor, and while the visit went well with no bad news and he was friendly enough, he did have this annoying quirk. He isn’t alone, a lot of people have this same quirk. But, for what should be obvious reasons, it is a quirk that drives me up the wall and is one of the fastest ways for Feminist Kay to come out of her box swinging.
I call it the “Ewww… Glasses!” personality quirk.
You know what I’m talking about right? People, movie makers, fashion sorts, teenage boys, 3rd grade girls, even my wonderful aunt… a lot of people have this quirk and it drives me bonkers.
How many movies show the “unattractive girl” turning “pretty!” with the removal of her glasses? Oh sure, she might also comb her hair or “learn to wear make up” –gag- but the glasses also must be removed or Hot Chick she simple won’t become.
Anyway, my eye doctor, an ophthalmologist, who really ought to know better, has this same quirk. We had a conversation that went like this:
Dr. B. Have you considered lens implants? (My lenses were removed when I was less than a year old… part of the joy of being born with congenital cataracts in 1980)
Me: No… I wasn’t aware I was a viable candidate, aren’t I too old?
Dr. B: No… in fact I could get it scheduled pretty easily and the effects would be great.
Me: Really? Would it greatly improve my vision?
Dr. B: Well, no, not really. It might help with your day to day getting around stuff though.
Me: Like… my peripheral vision?
Dr. B: No, not really.
Me: Oh, like my depth perception?
Dr. B: No… not that either.
Me: Umm, then what would it do for me?
Dr. B: Well, you wouldn’t have to wear your glasses anymore!
(Big grin from him, skeptical eyebrow from me)Me: But… no actual increase in vision?
Dr. B: No.
Me: Wouldn’t that make it cosmetic?
A few minutes later:
Dr. B: Have you considered wearing contacts?
Me: Yes, I have, in fact I wore them as a child and then in high school but they weren’t practical. They made my eyes even more light sensitive and I still had to wear reading glasses.
Dr. B: We could get you a prescription if you wanted.
Me: Would they do anything beneficial? Like, give me better vision?
Dr. B: No, not really.
Me: Better peripheral vision? Better depth perception?
Dr. B: No… neither of those things.
(I try to raise my eyebrow but at this point I am also blinking like crazy and grimacing from the pain of the eye exam.)Kay: Then, what would be the point?
Dr. B. Well.. again… in order to get rid of the glasses.
A few minutes later:
Dr. B: We could always consider another Strabismus surgery.
(I have had a few… Strabismus is what causes the lazy eye thing I have going on.)
I look at him and blink, slowly, partly to show my wariness, partly because he just put drops in my eyes that sting like a mother load of bees.
Kay: What would it do?
Dr. B: It would, um, that is to say, it would straighten your eye out temporarily.
Dr. B: Yes, well, -ahem- (he has the good grace to blush) it wouldn’t last, your eyes are damaged enough to not provide enough nerves to fuse….
We look at each other.
Kay: But in the short term, would it actually… (I trail off, letting him finish the thought.)
Dr. B: No, (he sighs) it wouldn’t help your vision at all. But… (he seems compelled to continue) … at least you wouldn’t have to wear your glasses.
By this point I was crying. Mostly because of the pain and discomfort of the actual exam. Mostly.
Yes, I wear glasses… so do a lot of people.
Yes, it would be nice to not have them fog up when I am doing the dishes, straining hot noodles or opening the oven to fresh baked cookies. Yeah, it would be great not to worry about them while dancing, jogging, or getting swept away with passionate kisses.
But really… really, I don’t mind. And personally, my glasses are a) a huge part of me and b) actually help deflect attention from my bad eye.
Why in the world would I want to get rid of such wonderful tools that allow me to walk in a semi straight line,, cross the street without getting hit, read, write, blog, work for a living, get a college degree (In Literature!), cook, watch movies, enjoy scenery, make and hold eye contact, express myself, and in general make my life tens of thousands of ways better… why do people keep trying to tell me that I would be better off without them?
Why do people keep telling me I would be more attractive if I wasn’t wearing them?
When I was 13 I had a teacher (male) tell me that boys wouldn’t like girls with glasses. When I was seven, a dental hygienist (female) told me I would never find a husband unless I got my teeth straightened.
They, along with everyone else who has ever dared to utter similar sentiments to me over the years, are completely full of crap.
Along with my crooked teeth, my short little thumb, my random scars and other body imperfections, my glasses don’t make me any more of less attractive. I rely on my genuine smile, my intelligence (from all that book learnin’), and my fantastic set of bedroom skills for that.
I left the eye doctor’s office and blinking stepped into the sun. With the help of my iPhone’s GPS I managed to find my way to the nearest bus stop and half an hour later I was relaxing on my couch with my feet up, a book on my lap, enjoying the scent of big beautiful flowers from the wonderful Maifan-San.
Take that Dr. B and all the rest of the “Ewwww Glasses!” bigots.