Up until the age of about nine, I was normal. The only thing wrong with my eyesight was that I was – and still am – very colour blind. This alone marked me out in my immediate family, as both of my parents and my sister (my other siblings had not arrived by then) had vision problems. But not me. I was blond haired, blue eyed and occasionally, just occasionally, that was all I needed to get out of trouble.
Then came the fateful day that I was taken to the optician and presecribed glasses. I hated them. Hated them so much that I refused to wear them. That I had to be made to wear them.
Fortunately, my eyesight deteriorated slowly and I was able to put off the fateful day when I began being a four eyed geek on a daily basis until I started senior school. Even then, I longed for the time that I could get contact lenses.
Unfortunately, that plan was scuppered by an optician who, I now realise, was simply unprofessional. I went to see him just before I went to university and, clearly, he didn’t like the idea that I would be going away and therefore he might fit the lenses, only for me to take the follow up business elsewhere. So he made me walk around town for an hour with a pair of hard lenses in, then told me that my eyes were unsuitable for them.
Like a fool I believed him and spent virtually all of my university life peering at the world from behind prescription windows. This situation was not helped by the fact that I still trusted opticians, which meant that they were able to palm whatever line of hideous frames was not selling well off onto me. There is not one photo of me from that era where I do not look like a complete tvvat, at it isn’t entirely my fault.
Eventually, I visited an optician who took one look at my eyes, told me there was no reason I couldn’t have lenses, prescribed them there and then, and changed my life.
Well, sort of changed it. I still have to wear glasses sometimes, and in the past twelve months have even been known to go out of the house wearing them. I still look like a git, but at least it is a git with a wife and child – things which would never have happened to me otherwise.
This post was inspired by the experience of driving down the M40 with an eyelash trapped behind my right lens. Contacts don’t totally change your life for the better.