It Didn’t Take


A Vignette


by Dieter


She had the most delightfully thin lenses in her attractive tortoiseshell frames.  It was especially obvious in the large rectangular shape that was commonly worn in the decade of ‘Wham!’ and ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’.  Her creamy skin, long brunette hair, and dark blue eyes served as a wonderful backdrop for the glasses.  There was a certain mystique about a woman in her twenties who chose to wear correction at all times given their obvious lack of strength.


It is not an exaggeration when I say she wore them for all activities.  The only time I saw her naked face was when the glasses were knocked to the ground during a backyard game of tetherball.  She showed no anxiety in blaming her loss on the brutal beating her smaller but less visually impaired opponent had inflicted.  Her diatribe embraced the handicap she had endured resulting from the ejection of her glasses.  When finished, she simply rescued them from the grass, dusted the glasses with a lone finger, returned them to her face, and rejoined to the party.


Wearing glasses to drive would be responsible.  To wear them for theatre and movies would likely be necessary.  It would be logical to wear them for presentations at work.  Using them when walking about might only be convenient.  But she fancied their use for physical pursuits like volleyball.  Surely, she could have seen the large ball without effort.  Most would find oversized glasses with a weak script to be more awkward than helpful.  Work, play, dates with her boyfriend; she was never found without their aid.


And yet, she was stunning.  Her stature seemed tall and willowy, but without frailty.   She possessed the slim physique of a teenager.  With the energy of one, as well, she was fit and cheery.  Did she always prefer to see perfectly?  Or did she simply have a preference to be seen bespectacled at all times?


It was said, “Her father would be angry if he caught her wearing glasses these days.”


“How could that possibly be?” I asked.


“Because he’s the one who paid!” was the response.


“Paid for what?”


“Radial keratotomy,” was the reply, “it was his gift.  He didn’t want her to be forced to wear thick glasses any longer.  You should see her school pictures.  She had always worn very thick glasses.”


I deliberated while listening.  She must have been truly special before her father meddled.


“Unfortunately, her eyes continued to get bad even after the surgery.  Before long, she needed glasses again.  But she is very careful to never wear them around her dad.  Well, at least now, the lenses are thin.”


Is that really the answer?  Do all glasses look preferable when the lenses are thin?  And consider the surgery.  It had been done the hard way, the old-fashioned way, with a precision calibrated diamond knife, performing the procedure on only one eye at a time with weeks of recovery in between.  But still . . . . . unsuccessfully?  I never asked her opinion, but to me she never looked disappointed by that outcome.  Maybe some of us are destined to wear glasses despite the circumstances.  What a pleasure for those of us who are destined to watch.  I wonder how her lenses look today?