I received an e-mail in November.
It took me some time to think if I really wanted to include the story into
the collection. Eventually I decided to do so. The names in the story were
changed to protect their privacy. I decided to give the author a nick: Timothy
My wife is very near sighted although when I was first introduced to her I did not know. I met her through a friend at work. He had got four tickets for a Jazz concert and as he knew I would be interested, he asked if I wanted to go but it would mean making a four up, with him, his wife and his wife's sister. I was very suspicious as it was obvious he was trying to set me up but in the end I agreed. We met up on the night of the concert in a bar and Steve my friend introduced me to his wife, Penny and her sister Andrea. I was absolutely stunned because both girls were really lovely looking. Penny had long hair and she wore glasses but that did not detract one bit from her obvious good looks. Andrea, was stunning with blonde shoulder length hair, beautiful features and a fabulous figure, she did not have glasses. I had imagined being set up with some sort of witch, how wrong can you be! After her initial shyness, we got on really well together, and I found her very easy to talk to and had a great evening. I said I would take Andrea home in my car as she lived in the opposite direction to Steve and to cut a long story short asked if I could see her again, which to my delight she readily agreed. Over the next few months, we met more and more often and we were becoming or I thought we were becoming very close.
After 3 months of seeing Andrea, I had been given two theatre tickets by one of my clients, so I obviously asked Andrea to come with me. At first she was very enthusiastic but when I suggested we should make a day of it, I would pick her up in the morning, have some lunch, a look around the city in the afternoon , go to the theatre and finish off with some supper, but she became very reticent and started to back off the idea somewhat. I asked her why, but she, could not or rather would not say. I was quite upset and when I saw Steve at work the next day, I asked him if he knew what the matter was? He said he didn't but he rang Penny later to try and find out. As Steve was about to leave work that evening, he asked me if I would go round to his place as Penny wanted to talk to me. I imagined that this was Andrea about to give me the brush off!
I arrived at Steve's and he disappeared somewhere leaving Penny to say her piece. She said I believe that you are upset that Andrea doesn't want to go to the theatre next weekend. I replied that I was devastated because I thought we were getting on really well and enjoying each others company. Penny said that since Andrea had met me she had been very happy and that she thought the world of me. Again I replied that I thought that but now I was not so sure. Penny then started to explain – have you ever noticed anything about Penny's eyes. I said that obviously I had seen her use glasses to read and I thought that was quite unusual for someone who was only nineteen and that she had problems with her eyes watering especially in places where people had been smoking. Penny then told me that Andrea was very near sighted and used contact lenses but she was only able to tolerate them for a few hours then had to go back to using her glasses. She continued, the reason she does not want to spend the full day with you is that she will have to use her glasses and she is worried that you won't want a girlfriend with glasses. I was beginning to get very upset by then, and said does she think me so shallow, it doesn't matter to me if she has glasses or not, she is still the same person. Also, you wear glasses all the time and you are very attractive: Penny went a little red and said thank you but pointed out that Andrea's glasses had significantly more glass in than hers. I then pleaded with her to persuade Andrea to go and I was not bothered if she wore glasses or not!
Later that evening, I got a phone call from Andrea, saying that she understood I had a chat with Penny and that now I knew the reason why she did not want to go! I confirmed and said that I wanted to be with her, whatever and that I was sure she would enjoy the day. She then agreed to go.
I picked her up on Saturday morning, and she obviously was still wearing the contacts. There was a little atmosphere at first but that soon lifted and we had a great morning and good lunch in a reasonable restaurant. At the end of the meal, Andrea became quite serious, and said I am sorry but I have really got to take my contacts out, they are really uncomfortable, and she went to the bathroom. Ten minutes later, it seemed longer, she re-appeared wearing glasses. She said to me, "they are awful", aren't they. I disagreed and said she looked great. She went on to say, that she understood if I did not want a girlfriend who had such poor eyesight. I think that was the first and last argument we had and I ended up assuring her it did not matter and ended by telling her the first and only lie I have ever said to her. This was that I thought she was more aware of the thickness than anyone else. After that we continued to have a good day and when we finished the day in a smoke filled bar, she had no trouble with her eyes running. The only other embarrassing moment she had, was when we went to the restaurant after the theatre and the waiter brought the menus over. She had to go into her bag and change into some reading glasses, she started to apologise but I stopped her. That night when I dropped her off at home, we kissed and arranged to meet the following day, I said and by the way, it is obvious you are more comfortable wearing glasses, so please wear them tomorrow! She smiled and said goodnight.
I think I must have got my point over because now we have been married over 30 years and that day was the last she ever wore contact lenses.
We continued to see each other and her prescription increased quite significantly twice as I recall before our marriage and the second time she was very upset, when she picked her new glasses up from the optician. It was just before her 21st birthday and came out of the shop quite depressed. I was with her, told her she looked wonderful and asked if she would like to go into the jewellers next door to choose a ring to match her new glasses? It was a few moments before she realised what I was asking but that is how we became engaged to be married and it really had the effect of taking her mind off her new prescription. We were married about 1 year later. During the intervening period, she has needed minor adjustments to her prescription but nothing significant until about 2 years ago, but now wears hi index varifocals. I don't think that being a glasses wearer ever crosses her mind or mine for that matter until the incident a few weeks ago.
The above is only background to what I have now got to say!
I was returning from a business trip, just got in the car at the airport when the phone rang. Andrea said, Oh great you must be down, otherwise you couldn't have answered. I told her that for once we had arrived early and I had managed to clear immigration in record time, and I should be home in approx half an hour. That will fit in great, as I need to go to the supermarket and Jill (our daughter) wants to borrow my car, so if you will pick me up there, Jill can drop me on her way out. No problem, see you there.
Had a good run home and arrived at the supermarket early. I looked outside and at the checkouts, but no sign of Andrea, so assumed she would be in the shop somewhere. I wondered over to the wine alley to see if there was anything decent on offer and was browsing, really just to waste some time. At the end of the alley 2 guys late teens early twenties where having a conversation. The first one said, I really like that girl who is serving on checkout 7! The other one said, who the one with glasses? Yes, came the reply. The other then said, you have always been attracted to girls with glasses haven't you, I remember you went out with Julie when we where at School and then you went out with Carol for a while and they both had glasses. Carol's were quite strong as well. If you like women with strong glasses, did you see that women who was shopping over by the freezer stuff earlier? Her glasses were massive! No I didn't see her said his friend but I think I must! The other one said, "you are weird"! Then he said, look she is coming this way now. There was then an exclamation of my god those are magnificent!!!
I was obviously intrigued by this but just then my wife turned into the wine aisle smiled at me, came up and gave me a kiss and said I thought you might be here. She was wearing some extremely thick glasses. Before I could say anything she said sorry about the coke bottles, pushing her glasses up but I managed to break my others yesterday at work. What happened? She explained that she had been suffering from a mild form of conjunctivitis and she had gone to the bathroom at work to apply some eye drops. She had taken her glasses off, put them down and couldn't remember were she had put them after applying the drops. She was feeling around for them when she caught them, knocked them onto a tiled floor and they had smashed and as they are glass, because they are apparently the thinnest high index lens that is available, so they were really were smashed. I said to her what on earth did you do? (I noticed the 2 guys were now listening to my conversation). Andrea said she was panic stricken but fortunately her colleague Linda came along and helped to get back to her desk. Andrea then explained that Linda had then helped her to get home and said Linda was wonderful because there is no way I could have got home myself. She continued, when I got home, I found my last pair of glasses but the vision was quite poor because of the prescription increase last time and as I really need some new ones now because things are not as sharp as they should be, I was really panicking! Then I remembered that when I got my last glasses there had been a special offer on, two for the price of one, but the shop would not give me the second pair with hi-index varifocal lens. I had refused to pay extra as the cost was already very high so they made some up with just ordinary plastic lens that were bi-focal and I chose some budget frames not taking very much care. When I picked them up, I took one look at them, and was horrified by the thickness so I put them in the case and there they stayed until yesterday. They are horrible! They just look like two glass bricks in front of my eyes!
At that point, I really felt sorry for her gave her a hug and kiss, picked up a couple bottles of wine and some champagne to cheer her up later. One of the guys who had been listening to the conversation seemed to look at me with total jealousy and he watched us leave the store. He obviously couldn't keep his eyes off Andrea.
Interestingly, Andrea made an appointment to get some new glasses, but they were some time in arriving as they had to be sent back to the manufacturer due to a flaw, so she needed to wear the very thick glasses for quite some time. I noticed that many people, particularly men, turned and gave her a second look. I am sure some were out of sympathy for someone who was forced to wear such thick glasses but I am sure some were also out of admiration!
Finally I married my wife despite her glasses not because of them but I am sure some of your visitors to the site may be a little jealous?
Tom November 2007