I had been checking the mailbox as soon as I arrived back at my apartment every afternoon after class for almost a week now. Finally, the package was there. I looked at the small rectangular box, and studied the name and the logo of the sender, Optical4less. I was excited, but was also a little scared to open the box containing my newest pair of glasses. My mind raced back, back to the beginning of it all.
“Kayla!” a loud voice exclaimed. “Where did you get those glasses and why are you wearing them?”
And that, at the age of seven and one half was the start of everything. I had told my friend Tanya that I could see a whole lot better when I wore her old glasses after she had gotten her new ones a few weeks ago, and I had been wearing them in private whenever possible. But, the unthinkable had just happened. I had been reading in my bedroom, and I had nodded off to sleep. Now my dad had caught me.
“These are Tanya’s old glasses, Daddy. I have been wearing them a bit because they help me see better.”
“Well, I had better get you an appointment with the eye doctor as soon as possible, Kayla. You shouldn’t be wearing someone else’s glasses.” Dad said to me.
I didn’t want that. Well, yes I did, but only if it meant that I could get my own glasses. But, I had not been wearing Tanya’s old glasses long enough for them to change my eyes at all, so I was afraid that a visit to the eye doctor would just ruin my chances of ever wearing glasses. I knew I could fool my Dad, but a real doctor wouldn’t be fooled.
My name is Kayla Morgan, and at this time I was 7 ½ years old. I don’t know why it was so important to specify the half-year, but at that age it seemed very important to me. And, I didn’t need glasses, although something inside of me made me badly want to wear them. In later years I have come to realize that I associated glasses with my Mother, who wore them all the time while I was a baby. Then, when I was around 4 years old my Mother and her older sister had the chance to be a test case for a new type of eye surgery that was being developed, so they had laser surgery, and Mom no longer wore glasses.
It had been a year or so since my Mom and Dad had decided to separate while they could still do it on friendly terms. Dad had moved to a 2-bedroom apartment, and my Mom and my 2 older sisters stayed in the 3-bedroom house that we had shared as a family. My 2 sisters had moved into the master bedroom, and Mom and I had each gotten one of the smaller bedrooms. My parents had settled for joint custody, and one of the 3 of us stayed with Dad for a week at a time. This week had been my turn, and I had been planning to ditch Tanya’s glasses long before Dad arrived home. Now I probably couldn’t wear them for the rest of the week.
Dad and I ate the supper he had brought home with him, and after supper we sat down in the living room to watch TV. I purposely moved close to the TV, and Dad suggested that I shouldn’t sit so close, but I told him I couldn’t see it properly from the couch. That, of course wasn’t true, but he believed me, and told me that if I really felt that it helped me, I could wear Tanya’s glasses until I got my own.
So, I put Tanya’s glasses on that evening, and for the next 5 days I wore them constantly.
My Dad had gotten me an appointment with a doctor at one of the one-hour chains for Friday afternoon, so he picked me up at school, and took me to the mall for my appointment.
The doctor took Tanya’s glasses from my face, and checked them in a machine. Then he took me into a room filled with machines, and sat me down in a chair. He put a machine with lenses in front of my eyes, and clicked it a few times. Then he asked me over and over again which way was better. Finally he finished, handed me back my glasses, and we went out to talk to my Dad.
“I have increased her prescription a little bit from what she is presently wearing. It is nothing to worry about – only around 0.25D more. And I found that the axis of her astigmatism has changed a bit. So, it will really help if you get her new glasses.” Doctor Adams told Dad.
I was in shock. I had only worn these glasses for a week, and already I was able to get stronger lenses. I didn’t even remember what I could have done to give the right answers to the questions. But, I was very happy.
Then my pleasure turned to disappointment when Dad took me by the hand, and we left the mall without ordering my new glasses. We drove back to the apartment, and went up the elevator. I was angry, and I didn’t say a word. Dad sat me down at the kitchen table, and he sat down in the opposite chair. I didn’t have a clue what was to come next.
“Do you really, really want to wear glasses for the rest of your life honey?” Daddy asked me.
I didn’t know how to answer, so I just nodded my head yes.
“I don’t think you really needed Tanya’s glasses when you started wearing them, did you?” came his next question.
I nodded my head no.
My dad got up from his chair, and told me to wait there. A few minutes later he came back with a pair of young girls glasses in his hand. He handed them to me, and told me to try them on. I did, and for the first minute or so I thought that they were too strong, but my eyes quickly adapted, and soon I could see just fine.
“How well can you see with those glasses on Kayla?” Dad asked.
I looked over at the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall, and the numbers were very clear to me, so I said, “ I can see the calendar just fine Daddy.”
Well Kayla, these glasses are almost –2D stronger than the ones the doctor prescribed for you. If you are sure that this is what you want, I can get you new glasses that are close to this prescription, with your astigmatism prescription added,” Dad told me.
I told him that I would really like to have glasses like this, so he went back to his room, and came out with a piece of paper that looked just like the slip of paper that the doctor had given us. When I got a good look at it, I saw that it was not filled in where the doctor had written. I watched in amazement as Daddy wrote in the numbers, and I can still remember what he wrote. He put in my name, address and phone number, and then he filled in the numbers. They read –3.00 x –0.50 x 70, and –3.00 x –0.25 x 0.90. Then he scrawled a signature on the bottom.
After Daddy finished with this, we went back out and drove to another nearby mall. We went to a different store from the same chain where I had had my eyes checked, and with the help of a very friendly lady, we picked out a new frame for me. Daddy gave the woman the paper he had filled out, and soon my new glasses were ordered. While we were waiting Daddy took me for supper in the food court. I had a million questions to ask him, but I couldn’t think of which one to ask first, so I just ate. When the hour was up we went back to the optical store, and my tray was still not out of the lab, so we had to wait while the optician checked the glasses. Then she came out of the lab with my glasses, and I took off the ones Daddy had given me back at the apartment, and put the new ones on. The new glasses fitted perfectly, and, since my eyes had already become adjusted to the stronger power, I was able to see perfectly well immediately.
When we got back to the apartment I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I asked, “Where did you get those glasses Daddy, and why did you have them?”
“I got those glasses at a thrift store honey. I bought them because I really like glasses, and I have a collection of glasses. Would you like to see my collection?” he asked.
So, he led me into his bedroom, where he had about a hundred pairs of glasses in a cardboard box. That night until bedtime I entertained myself looking at all the different pairs of glasses that there were in the box. I was fascinated.
“How did you get the paper for my new prescription?” I asked him, as I was getting ready for bed.
“I made it up on my computer, using a special program. Please remember though honey that this is a special secret, just for you and me to know.” Daddy replied.
“I won’t tell anybody, I promise.” I remember saying.
That night I slept with my new glasses on. The next day I had to switch places with Jess, my older sister. Before I left, I checked my Dad’s bedroom closet, and there, hidden in the back corner, was the cardboard box containing our secret stash of glasses.
Everyone at the house made a fuss over my new glasses. Both of my sisters wanted to try them on, and so I had to let them. I hated taking them off, and I hated it even more when they both told me that they couldn’t see a thing with them, and that I must be blind. My Mom talked to my Dad for a while, and finally Jess and Dad left. Mom still hadn’t said anything to me. She remained strangely quiet through supper, and when I was finally back in my own bed, she came into the room, and kissed me goodnight.
“I’m so sorry you inherited my bad eyes honey. I had hoped that none of you girls would have had to wear glasses like I did when I was younger.” Mom told me.
“Oh, that’s ok Mom, I don’t mind having to wear glasses.” I told her. If she only knew!
Soon I was 8. I had worn my glasses now for 6 months, and they no longer seemed to pull at my eyes like they did for the first little while. They felt really comfortable, and I loved wearing them.
The next time I stayed at my dad’s for a week, I asked him if I could look through his glasses collection again. So he let me take all the glasses out of the box, and I had a great time trying all of the ladies glasses on. There were a few pairs of men’s glasses, and they were all really, really strong. Some of them had little circles in the center of the lens, so I asked Dad what type of glasses they were. He told me that they were myodiscs, and they were very special, because you had to have a very strong prescription before you had to wear them. I found another pair of girl’s glasses, and they seemed to have quite a bit stronger, and thicker lenses than mine did. But, I put them on and I wore them around all the rest of that day, and when I got up the next morning I put them on again. The following morning was Monday, and I had school, so I put my own glasses back on. I couldn’t see anything with my own glasses. I told my Dad that my own glasses didn’t help me anymore.
“Those other glasses are –5.50D Kayla. I can’t let you wear them. They are way too strong for an 8 year old.” Dad told me.
But, I insisted that I really couldn’t see, so he got out an optical testing card, and he set it up. Then he asked me to read the letters with the stronger glasses. I read all the lines down to the 20/30 line, but I couldn’t read the 20/20 line. Then he got me to try it with my own glasses. I could barely read the 20/100 line. He couldn’t believe it, or should I say he didn’t want to believe it. But he went and got another blank prescription form, and filled it out. My new prescription now read –5.50 for both eyes, and the astigmatism remained the same. Instead of Daddy going to work that morning, we were at the mall where we had gotten my other glasses only 6 months previously.
The same friendly lady was on duty, and when she saw my new prescription she exclaimed, “ That is quite an increase in such a short time. Let’s pick a new frame, and we will get your new glasses for you as soon as we are able to.”
And, she was fast. This time they had my new glasses ready in less than an hour. I guess that I was the first customer of the day, so that helped a lot. I had worn my old glasses to the mall, and I guess my eyes adapted back a bit closer to that prescription, because when I put my new glasses on I had a hard time getting used to them for the first few minutes. Fortunately Daddy and the optician didn’t ask me to read any test cards or anything. The optician just asked how my vision was, and I told her that it was great, that everything looked so much clearer and sharper now.
“You lied to the optician didn’t you honey,” Daddy said to me as we walked back to the car. “I bet when she asked you if you could see better you couldn’t really see a thing.”
It bugged me that he could know this, so I asked him how he could be so sure of that.
“Well honey, a young child your age has around –10D of accommodation. But, it takes a while for your eyes to adapt to a stronger lens power. I think that your real prescription would actually be around the power of your old glasses, and that the –2D increase now is simply accommodation. You seem to be able to get used to the higher power much faster than most people,” he said.
Well, he was right, but I didn’t want to tell him that, so I just stayed quiet. I wore my new glasses for the rest of the week, and by the time I went back to the house I was feeling very comfortable wearing them and I was seeing really well.
When I got home, my sisters had seen me at school wearing my new glasses, and they had told Mom I had gotten them. She took one look at me though and exclaimed, “ My gosh, are those glasses ever strong. How much stronger will they be when you are a teenager?”
I couldn’t resist it, so I told her “ The doctor said I had really bad eyes for my age, and that they would probably get a lot worse.”
My Dad heard me say this, and I saw him scowl. I think I should have kept my mouth shut.
The next time I went back to Dad’s I went looking for the box of glasses in his closet. They were not there. I didn’t dare ask him what he had done with them.
It had only taken me a very short time to adapt to the stronger prescription. After a couple more months of wearing them Dad pulled out his eye chart, and this time I could read the 20/20 line. I wanted stronger lenses, but I knew that Dad was not going to help me again for quite a while. Back at the house a few weeks later I was putting Mom’s laundry away. In her top drawer I found a glasses case. I pulled the glasses out, took off my own, and put what must have been Mom’s last pair on. They were definitely stronger than my present glasses, but they were not a whole lot stronger. I went back to my room, and got my first pair of glasses and slid them back into the case. I buried the case in the drawer, and prayed that Mom wouldn’t have any reason to take her old glasses out.
That night, after everyone had gone to bed, I wore my Mom’s old glasses while I read part of a Nancy Drew novel. At first I had to hold the book a lot farther away from my eyes than I usually did, but after an hour, I found that I was able to see just fine with my book about a foot away from the lenses of the glasses. I had the feeling that I wanted stronger glasses again.
I couldn’t wear Mom’s old glasses to school. My sisters would have seen me, and ratted on me. Also, the glasses were a bit too large for me, and everyone would have noticed. The next time I was alone at Dad’s, I searched through his computer to see if I could find the program that he used to make prescription blanks. But I couldn’t. I was getting very frustrated. Finally it was almost time for my 9th birthday.
“What do you want for your birthday this year Kayla?” Daddy asked.
“New, stronger glasses,” I replied.
No, I won’t let you do that this time. Maybe next year you can get stronger lenses,” He said.
So, I sulked. I wouldn’t tell him anything else that I wanted for a present, and every time he asked me I just replied, “new glasses.”
Finally, on the Saturday of my 9th birthday he told me to get in the car. We drove to a mall, and went inside to an optometrist’s office attached to another one-hour optical store. The girl at the desk took my information, and soon I was ushered into the doctor’s office. I was ticked off. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get stronger lenses this way. I wanted Daddy to write me out another stronger prescription himself.
The doctor took off my glasses, and checked the prescription of the lenses in the machine. At least that is what I assume he did, because I could no longer see a thing without my glasses.
“That’s a pretty strong prescription young lady. Are you having any trouble seeing the board at school?” the doctor asked.
“Just in the afternoon.” I mumbled, still not too happy about the situation.
“Well, we will try to fix that for you,” he replied cheerfully.
So began the clicking of the lenses, and the questions of which was better, this or that. When it got to the red or green, I had read somewhere that red was better, so I always picked red. And, I tried my best to pull my head back from the chin rest a bit, but that was hard to do without him noticing, and a couple of times he told me to bring my head closer. But finally he seemed satisfied.
“Are my eyes any worse doctor?” I asked.
“Your astigmatism has increased, and there has been a small jump in your sphere,” came his reply.
He wrote out the new prescription and handed it to me. I walked out into the waiting room, and read what he wrote on the slip before I passed it over to my dad. My new, proper prescription now read –6.25 x – 1.00 x 70, and –6.25 x –0.75 x 90. I guess I was going to have to be happy with that.
Daddy didn’t say much. I was surprised when we left the mall without getting me my new glasses. We drove to the other side of the city, to a brand new mall that had just opened. Daddy took out a clipboard, and I could see that he had another prescription blank on it, all ready to fill out.
“Well, how much of an increase would you be satisfied with this time? Would –1D do?” he asked sarcastically.
“ –3D would be better,” was my reply.
“No way. The most you are going to get is –2D,” came his reply.
“Ok.” I gave in easily.
He filled the numbers in, giving me –8.25 for the spherical correction, and leaving the astigmatic correction the same. We went into the optical store. The young man that looked after us seemed quite insistent that I had to get polycarbonate lenses, or if I wouldn’t get poly, then I needed high index lenses. I was just as insistent that I wanted regular plastic. Finally my Dad spoke up, and told the assistant optician that we were willing to accept safety lenses if he was worried about breakage, but that we wanted regular plastic, or we would find another optical store. The assistant called over the manager, and we went through the same spiel again, but finally they agreed to make my new glasses from regular plastic, with an increased center thickness for safety lenses. They made Daddy pay for the lenses first, but I guess they do that at all the one-hour places. They wrote right on the receipt that the customer was warned that the lenses would be very thick.
And they were right. The edges of my new lenses were a good half-inch thick. I was thrilled when I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw the flat fronts of the lenses, and the multitude of power rings. When we got back to the house for my birthday party Mother was horrified at the thickness of my new glasses and the appearance of the lenses.
I adapted to these glasses very quickly. I knew that it was going to be a hard sell to get my dad to allow me another increase in power any time soon, but I was determined that I was going to get up to my age for my prescription from now on. By the time the next year rolled around, I really was having trouble seeing the blackboard, and I wondered if –10D for my 10th birthday was going to be strong enough. I told Daddy well before my birthday that I really was having a lot of trouble seeing, and I discussed with him the idea that I wanted –10D lenses for my birthday. He complied with my request, and when we came back to the apartment with my new –10D glasses, I knew that I was barely corrected enough. Daddy checked my eyes with the eye chart, and I could read the 20/20 line, but just barely.
Three months later I couldn’t see the blackboard from the 5th row, and I had to move right up to the front row. My teacher called my Mom, and Mom came to pick me up right after school. This time it was Mom who chose the optometrist. She asked whom my dad had used the last time, and I had to tell her that I couldn’t remember. I was a little worried when Mom chose the same optical place that we had used when I first had my eyes examined, but I was worried needlessly. The doctor found my chart, and looked at my glasses, and all he remarked was that my vision had certainly deteriorated a lot over the past 3 years. He checked my eyes very carefully, and did a retinal examination. When we came out of his office, I heard him tell Mom that my eyes were healthy, but my myopia was progressing very rapidly. Mom had the slip in her purse, and we walked next door to the optical store.
A very pretty lady came up to us and Mom handed her my new prescription. I was dying to see the numbers, but I just couldn’t see that far. I could, however, see that the optician was lying when she told my mom that my new prescription was almost the same as hers. I looked at her glasses, and they looked like plain glass to me, so I told her that.
“Oh honey,” she said. “ They won’t let me wear my real glasses here in the store. They look too strong, and management doesn’t want to scare away the customers, so they make me wear my contact lenses, with plano lenses in these glasses. Just wait here and I’ll be right back with my own glasses.”
Soon she returned carrying a pair of glasses. She removed mine carefully, and placed the glasses on my nose. I was amazed. I could see clearly again.
Her glasses were rimless hi index, and the edges were highly polished. I loved the look of her glasses on me when I saw myself in the mirror. So, that is exactly what we ordered for my new glasses. And, when I had her glasses on I was finally able to get a look at my newest prescription, it was –11.50D x –1.5D x 75 and –11.25D x –1.50D x 90. My prescription was almost –12D, and I was barely 10 ½ years old. There went my idea of having my prescription match my age.
Mandy was the name of the very pretty friendly optician, and she was very sorry to have to tell me that I couldn’t get my new glasses for 3 days, because they were a special order. I really wanted to be able to have my new glasses immediately, but I was getting an idea in my mind. Mandy wasn’t wearing a ring, and she wore strong contact lenses.
My dad seemed to have an abnormal interest in glasses, and eye care, and everything associated with vision. My mom and dad had separated within a couple of years of my mom having eye surgery, and no longer wearing glasses. Was it at all possible that my dad left my mom because she no longer wore glasses?
So, if there was any chance to start a ball rolling, I suggested to Mom that Dad could take me back to pick up my glasses when they were ready. Mom had left the number at the house for the store to call, so when I got home from school 2 nights later there was a message on the machine from Mandy saying my glasses were in. I phoned back, and asked to talk with Mandy. I found out that she was on duty that evening, so I called Dad, and told him that Mom was busy, so I needed him to take me to pick up my new glasses. He was surprised that I had needed new glasses, but he agreed to pick me up. I told him about the very pretty nice optician who had let me try her glasses before I had ordered my new ones. I mentioned that I ordered the exact same glasses as the optician showed me, and that the optician’s glasses were just a little bit stronger than mine were, and that the optical company wouldn’t let her wear them to work, but instead made her wear phony glasses. I think he was interested, and when he met Mandy, I noticed him become very friendly and attentive. Mandy was a bit younger than my mom, but I don’t think she was too much younger. I made sure I mentioned that my mom and dad were divorced, and that I was lucky enough to be able to track down Dad so I could come right over to get my new glasses.
My mom had met a nice man, and they were thinking of getting married. This was going to cause a lot of problems, because Jess, and Sheila both wanted their own room. Mom and Gordon were going to get the master bedroom back. Gordon had offered to build another bedroom for me in the basement, but it was so dark and damp down there that I hated that idea. I was spending a lot of time at Dad’s apartment anyway, so I was trying to suggest that maybe it would be easier if I went and lived with Dad for a while. That way everyone could have their own room. Mom and Dad talked about it a lot, and finally it was decided that I would go to live with Dad. I was pretty happy with this, and I really wanted to see if the romance that had been started between Dad and Mandy would grow.
I had been doing a lot of reading about vision and eye care at the library. I was a bit worried that my eyesight might be getting too bad too quickly. I loved the looks of me wearing my new rimless glasses, and I wanted to be able to keep them for a while. The books I read were not a whole lot of help. I discovered that some of the books claimed that doing eye exercises and relaxing your eyes would help, so I decided that I would stop reading a book a day, and would try to spend a bit more time focusing on things in the distance. I also discovered some exercises to strengthen my eye muscles, so I began to do them every day. And it seemed to help a bit, because it was almost a year and a half before I started to notice that distant objects were becoming really blurry again.
Mandy had moved into the apartment with Dad and I, and I am sure that Dad had told her that he found her very attractive wearing glasses, because she had begun to wear her glasses all the time, and she had changed jobs to a privately owned optical boutique not too far from our apartment. So, one afternoon just after my 12th birthday, when I had noticed that the distant blur had gotten almost intolerable, I walked over to see Mandy at work. Mandy talked to the optometrist, and she was able to slide me in between patients. My new prescription was –13.50D x –1.50D x 75 and –13.25D x –1.50D x 90, a whole –2D stronger than the glasses I was presently wearing.
Mandy took one look at my new prescription and exclaimed, “Kayla, I can’t do this in rimless, but I have just the glasses for you! These frames just came in this morning.”
I had to trust Mandy, as without my glasses I couldn’t see a thing. She fitted the frames, and called the other optician over, who agreed with her that they looked just darling on me. This store didn’t advertise super fast service, but they did have a very well equipped lab on site, and the man who made all the glasses for Mandy was called out for his advice. He looked at my prescription, and he and Mandy talked a lot about different options that would give me my new glasses right away. He headed back to his lab, and in no time at all he came back with my new glasses.
Mandy asked, “ How did you do it so fast George. They look wonderful, and they are anti reflective coated as well.”
George explained, “ I took a –3 coated blank Mandy, flipped it around and I ground the main prescription into the other side of the lens. Kayla will have a bit of trouble getting used to the negative front base curve, but it shouldn’t cause her any real problems.”
I put the new glasses on, and George was wrong. I didn’t have a bit of trouble getting used to the new lenses. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to see clearly again. It wasn’t until I walked through the first small doorway that I experienced the sides of the door being curved wider in the center. It was a wonderful feeling, and again I loved the looks of my new glasses when I looked in a mirror. The fact that my glasses curved in on both sides was a neat feature, and I really liked watching the reflections. They were now upside down.
So, since I didn’t want my eyes to get too much worse too rapidly, I continued my routine of doing my eye exercises, and of looking off into the distance as much as possible. When I had to do close work I looked away from my book, and the computer every few minutes to change my focus. Mandy and Dad got married, and I was the Maid of Honor. Both Mandy and I wore our glasses for the wedding. And, whenever the three of us went somewhere, people would comment that I looked so much like my mom that I didn’t have the heart to tell them that Mandy was my stepmother. I finished high school at 17, and by the time University started I had turned 18. Oh, and my glasses prescription by this time was just under –20D. My lenses were dished in a lot more at the front now, but my glasses didn’t really look that much thicker. And, I still was thrilled to wear such strong glasses.
The increases in my prescription seemed to have slowed down during the four years that I was at the university. I had had one small increase after my first 2 years, and now my prescription was –20.50D x –1.75D x 75, and –20.25D x – 2.00D x 90. I had graduated with honors, and I was beginning a job soon as an insurance underwriter.
During my university years I had done a lot of searching on the Internet. I found a lot of information on myopia. I discovered that I was not the only person who had eyes that were extremely malleable to whatever prescription that was placed in front of them. I also found a few sites that dealt with the glasses fetish thing. I discovered that my father probably had been a hard core fetishist, and that it was quite likely that he had worn strong plus contacts under some of the many pairs of strong myodiscs that I had found in that old cardboard box many years ago. And, I came to the shocking realization that I also had a hardcore glasses fetish. I had gone out with a lot of different guy’s while I was at university, and the one common denominator that they all had was that they were all very nearsighted.
I snapped back from my thoughts about the past. I had to quit daydreaming, and get back to the task at hand. You see, one of the Internet sites that I was a frequent visitor to had just taken on an overseas sponsor. So, to celebrate my graduation, and the fact that I was starting a new job, I had ordered a new pair of glasses from Optical4less. I opened the package, and on seeing the new glasses my first thoughts were that they were an absolutely gorgeous pair of glasses. I carefully removed my old glasses, and put my new ones on carefully. As I looked through the new lenses, just a day before my 22 birthday, my heart started to pound and the blood rushed through my veins, as I experienced the surge of excitement I had not experienced since I was last overcorrected many years ago. My graduation, and birthday gift to myself was a lovely new pair of myodiscs with a prescription of –22.25D x –1.75D x 75 and –22.00D x –2.00D x 90. They were only –1.75D stronger than my correct prescription, and I was right back on track to have my spherical prescription match my age.
With thanks to Ilona for the theme to this story.
Specs4ever, with editing by Aliena